ISLAMABAD: Discovery of King Senebkay’s tomb is regarded as first material proof of the previously unknown Abydos Dynasty.
The remains of a previously unknown pharaoh have been uncovered in southern Egypt, providing the first material proof of the existence of a royal dynasty dating back over three millenia, archaeologists say, The Guardian reported.
The skeleton of Woseribre Senebkay, a king from the forgotten Abydos dynasty, was discovered this month by a team of archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania.
He had lain largely untouched for 3,600 years on the site of the ancient city of Abydos, 300 miles south of modern-day Cairo.Although ancient grave robbers had pulled apart Senebkay’s once-mummified body, the archaeologists were able to piece together his skeleton, minus an absented jaw bone.
Hieroglyphs on the wall of his 60-tonne sarcophagus chamber described him as “king of Upper and Lower Egypt”.
Archaeologists now believe that Senebkay’s quartzite sarcophagus had been recycled from a tomb previously built for another pharaoh, most likely Sobekhotep I, the first king of Egypt’s 13th Dynasty.
The importance of this latest discovery lies in the fact that it “puts flesh on the bones of a theory,” says Nigel Hetherington, a British archaeologist based in Egypt.
“There was a gap in the chronology for this period, so people presumed that these pharaohs existed but they had not found the graves. The history books will now be rewritten because of what [these archaeologists have discovered.”
But the discovery may prove yet more significant if, as the leaders of the dig have suggested, the tomb is just one of many in the area. Joseph Wegner, the lead archaeologist, told the Guardian that around 20 previously undiscovered pharaohs may lie near Senebkay’s sarcophagus.
“It’s emerging as something like a Valley of the Kings,” he said, in reference to the Luxor burial site of Tutankhamun, Egypt’s most famous pharaoh.