Mummy of unknown Pharaoh discovered in Egyptian tomb

Written by PTI | Washington | Updated: Jan 19 2014, 22:10pm hrs
Archaeologists have uncovered the ruined tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh, who ruled over ancient Egypt between 1650 and 1600 BC.

Working at the southern Egyptian site of Abydos, archaeologists discovered the tomb of pharaoh Woseribre Senebkay and the first material proof of a forgotten Abydos Dynasty.

A team from the Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania, found king Senebkay's tomb close to a larger royal tomb, recently identified as belonging to king Sobekhotep of the 13th Dynasty.

The newly discovered tomb of pharaoh Senebkay, which dates to 1650 BC during Egypt's Second Intermediate Period, consists of four chambers with a decorated limestone burial chamber.

The burial chamber is painted with images of the goddesses Nut, Nephthys, Selket, and Isis flanking the king's canopic shrine.

Other texts name the sons of Horus and record the king's titulary and identify him as the "king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Woseribre, the son of Re, Senebkay," researchers said.

Senebkay's tomb was badly plundered by ancient tomb robbers who had ripped apart the king's mummy as well as stripped the pharaoh's tomb equipment of its gilded surfaces.

Preliminary work on the king's skeleton of Senebkay indicates he was a man of moderate height and died in his mid to late 40s.

The discovery of pharaoh Senebkay's tomb is the culmination of work that began during 2013 when a team led by Dr Josef Wegner discovered a huge 60-tonne royal sarcophagus chamber at South Abydos.

The sarcophagus chamber, of red quartzite quarried and transported to Abydos from Gebel Ahmar (near modern Cairo), could be dated to the late Middle Kingdom, but its owner remained unidentified.

Mysteriously, the sarcophagus had been extracted from its original tomb and reused in a later tomb.

Archaeologists now know that the giant quartzite sarcophagus chamber derives from a royal tomb built originally for pharaoh Sobekhotep - probably Sobekhotep I, the first king of Egypt's 13th Dynasty.