A burial ground in Egypt that was discovered in 1902 but never excavated has yielded its first pharaoh -and may contain many more. The tomb, in the area of Abydos, 300 miles south of Cairo, is being explored by a team of archaeologists led by Josef Wegner. They pieced together a 3,600-year-old skeleton believed to King Woseribre Senebkay, a leader of a dynasty not previously known in Egyptian history. His name was pieced together from hieroglyphics inside the tomb.
"We were pretty puzzled for two days," Wegner told the Daily Pennsylvanian. "It was a king's name that didn't appear anywhere else in history, so we didn't know who he was at first."
Senebkay's discovery confirms for the first time the existence of a third dynasty of pharaohs that ruled a central area between Egypt's northern and southern kingdoms in about 1600BC.
The two latter kingdoms were reunited in the century that followed – but the presence of a third dynasty suggests that their fractious relationship and subsequent amalgamation may have been more complex than initially thought.
The tombs at Abydos are modest by the standards of other pharaoh's tombs, which is why they weren't investigated earlier. There may be other pharaohs of the same dynasty waiting to be unearthed. Read more about King Senebkay at The Guardian. -via the Presurfer
(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)