Research, Technology

Hundreds of mummies and an unknown queen: an amazing find in the Egyptian Saqqara

The famous tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen wasdiscovered in 1922, exactly 100 years ago. For this anniversary, archaeologists were able to make another amazing find - the burial at Giza, which contains a huge number of tombs and well-preserved mummies. A cache with various artifacts was also found here. Of particular interest to scientists is the unknown Egyptian queen, for whom an entire pyramid was built. There is no mention of her in Egyptian texts, so her identity has not yet been definitely established, only her name is known. In general, this archaeological find turned out to be unique for a number of reasons. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with it in more detail and find out why it is of great importance for science.

Egyptologists have discovered hundreds of mummies and the tomb of a previously unknown Egyptian queen

Archaeological site at Giza

Archaeologists are excavating at Giza (about 30 kmfrom Cairo) for several years now. They have made good progress lately. In particular, they found many graves with mummies that belong to close people of Tutankhamen. Basically, they were all generals and advisers during the period of his reign, which lasted from 1333 to 1323 BC.

Necropolis of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Teti

After this discovery, the attention of archaeologists attractedpyramid of Teti, which was in the neighborhood. Teti ruled long before Tutankhamun - around 2347 - 2337 BC. That is, the period of his reign was short - about 10 years. Teti was the founder of the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians revered him, and during the New Kingdom he was even worshiped as a god. Therefore, many high-ranking Egyptians wanted to be buried nearby.

Ancient Egyptian mummies of the New Kingdom

As it turned out, scientists paid attention not in vainon the pyramid of Teti. Here, 22 mines with a depth of 9 to 18 meters were discovered, interconnected by a network of tunnels. But, most surprisingly, all the burials belonged to the period of the New Kingdom. This period lasted from the 11th to the 6th century BC. Previously, burials were found in Saqqara, relating only to the Old Kingdom or the Late Period. The presence of burials of the New Kingdom was a big surprise for archaeologists.

Egyptologist Zahi Hawass next to one of the mummies

All burials had unique coffins, onwhich depict individuals. According to them, you can determine who lies in the coffin - a man or a woman. Each coffin contains the name of the deceased and images from the Book of the Dead (an ancient Egyptian funerary text that has been partially deciphered). In addition, on many coffins there are images of the four sons of Horus. According to mythology, they protect the organs of the dead. In total, about 300 coffins were found.

But scientists were surprised not even by the coffins themselves, but by the fact thatwas inside them. There were well-preserved mummies, despite their great age. According to researchers, this suggests that it was during the period of the New Kingdom that mummification was carried out with the highest quality. Therefore, it is now known at what period the heyday of this art fell.

Some coffins contain two lids.But the most amazing coffin has a woman's mask made of pure gold. In addition to the coffins, archaeologists also discovered a large limestone sarcophagus. Also during the excavations, a partially destroyed pyramid was discovered, which was built in memory of an unknown queen. Her name was Nate - this, in fact, is all the information that is known about her at the moment. Now her name will be added to the list of rulers of Ancient Egypt. Perhaps in the future it will be possible to obtain additional information about this woman, for example, the period of her reign.

The pyramid of the ancient Egyptian queen Neith is poorly preserved

ancient egyptian artifacts

In the tombs and even the coffins themselves, scientists have foundmany artifacts. Among them were the ancient Egyptian game Senet, small figurines, a metal axe, statues of the god Ptah-Sokar and much more. It will be possible to look at all these artifacts, as well as the coffins discovered during the excavations, at the Great Egyptian Museum in Giza. True, it will open only next year.

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Finally, we note that most peoplethey perceive mummies simply as artifacts of Ancient Egypt, but at the same time they forget that these are the remains of people who, although they lived thousands of years ago, were not much different from you and me. To draw attention to this, Polish scientists recently recreated the appearance of an Egyptian mummy. She was a young woman under the age of 30. You can see what she looked like here.