Two ancient tombs discovered in Egypt

A tomb representing a symbolic burial site of the god Osiris while another is claimed to be a previously unknown pharaonic tomb

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Two ancient tombs were discovered in Egypt on Sunday, with one representing a symbolic burial site of the god Osiris while another is claimed to be a previously unknown pharaonic tomb.

The paper said Osiris’ tomb was found complete with multiple shafts and chambers at Al-Gorna necropolis on Luxor’s west bank, Ahram Online reported.

Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty, speaking to the daily, hailed the discovery as important as the tomb was a small version of the design of the Osirion found in Abydos in the Upper Egypt city of Sohag.

The tomb, which consists of a large hall supported with five pillars, can be dated to the 25th Dynasty, the daily quoted Abdel Hakim Karar, head of Antiquities of Upper Egypt, as saying.

The paper quoted María Milagros Álvarez Sosa, head of the mission, as saying that part of the tomb was initially discovered by archaeologist Philippe Virey in the 1880s and that some attempts were made to sketch out the main structure in the 20th century.

Osiris was a pivotal god to the ancient Egyptians and was usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead.

Tomb of unknown queen found

Meanwhile, Czech archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago, Agence France-Presse reported officials as saying on Sunday.

The tomb was discovered in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis southwest of Cairo where there are several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre.

The name of his wife had not been known before the find, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement.

He identified her as Khentakawess, saying that for the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb.”

That would make her Khentakawess III, as two previous queens with the same name have already been identified.

Her name and rank had been inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb, probably by the builders, Damaty said.

“This discovery will help us shed light on certain unknown aspects of the Fifth Dynasty, which along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids,” he added.

Miroslav Barta, who heads the Czech Institute of Egyptology mission who made the discovery, said the tomb was found in Neferefre’s funeral complex.

“This makes us believe that the queen was his wife,” Barta said, according to the statement.

An official at the antiquities ministry said the tomb dated from the middle of the Fifth Dynasty (2994-2345 BC).

Archaeologists also found around 30 utensils, 24 made of limestone and four of copper, the statement added.

(With AFP)

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