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Discovery of Egyptian queen’s tomb gives away her name too

Discovering a tomb in Egypt belonging to the ancient rulers and their queens is no news but for the first time a group of Czech archaeologists unearthed the tomb of hitherto unknown queen which has given way her name as Khentakawess.

She was believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago and her tomb was unearthed in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis southwest of Cairo where there are several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.

Though the king was famous, the name of his wife had not been known before the find, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement. Identifying her as Khentakawess, he said “for the first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb”.

But the name is familiar in Egypt, so that would make her Khentakawess III, as two previous queens with the same name have already been identified.

“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 said.

Miroslav Barta, head of the Czech Institute of Egyptology, who has 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.

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, said the statement.


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