Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
11:50 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Art
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Rare pink granite sarcophagus uncovered in Egypt
A+ A-

CAIRO: Archaeologists have unearthed the intact sarcophagus of Egypt’s Queen Behenu, a 4,000-year-old artifact made from rare pink granite. The sarcophagus was found inside her burial chamber near her pyramid in Saqqara, chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass has announced.

The Old Kingdom queen’s chamber was badly damaged except for two inner walls covered with spells meant to help her travel to the afterlife, he said in a statement.

Ancient Egyptians believed that the souls of royalty could fly to heaven, or alternatively use stairs, ramps and ladders with the help of religious spells. Such engraved spells, known as Pyramids Texts, were common in royal tombs during the 5th and 6th Dynasties, Hawass said.

“Pyramid Texts were first discovered inside the burial chamber of King Unas’s pyramid at Saqqara, the last king of the 5th Dynasty,” he added.

The well-known necropolis of Saqqara, 30 km south of Cairo, served the nearby city of Memphis and was scoured in ancient times by thieves.

The 5th Dynasty is generally understood to have lasted from 2465 to 2323 BC, while the 6th Dynasty ran from 2323 to 2150 BC. The Old Kingdom collapsed soon after, amid social upheaval.

Philippe Collombert, who headed the French mission that excavated Behenu’s remains, said the team found her sarcophagus within the sprawling necropolis of Pepi I at Saqqara.

“It is a well-preserved granite sarcophagus engraved with the queen’s different titles, but says nothing about the identity of her husband,” Collombert said.

Archaeologists are unsure whether Behenu was the wife of Pepi I or Pepi II, both 6th Dynasty rulers.

One side of the sarcophagus bore the hieroglyphic inscription “the king’s wife and beloved.”

Behenu’s 25-meter-long pyramid was discovered in 2007 along with seven queen pyramids belonging to Inenek, Nubunet, Meretites II, Ankhespepy III, Miha, and an unidentified queen.

 
Home Art
 
     
 
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS