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Archaeologists unearth new tombs in Egypt, identifying unknown queen

A team of Czech archaeologists announced Sunday the discovery of an ancient Egyptian tomb that they believe belongs to a previously unknown ancient Egyptian queen, according to the BBC.

While excavating the funeral complex of Pharaoh Neferefre in the Abusir region southwest of Cairo, the team unearthed the tomb of Queen Khentakawess III, whose name and rank were inscribed on the walls. Experts believe Khentakawess is the wife or mother of Neferefre, a Fifth Dynasty ruler who lived 4,500 years ago.

Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty said in a statement to Agence France-Presse that this was the first time any mention of the queen had been found.

“This discovery will help us shed light on certain unknown aspects of the Fifth Dynasty, which along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids,” he said.

In addition to the identity of Khentakawess III, about 30 artifacts made of limestone and copper also were found.

The leader of the expedition, Miroslav Barta, a faculty member at the Czech Institute of Egyptology, highlighted the continued opportunity for archaeological discovery in Egypt.

“This is another significant discovery in the last few years (that) have repeatedly confirmed that the Abusir necropolis provides a number of unique sources for the reconstruction of major epochs of ancient Egyptian history,” Barta said in a statement, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, a Spanish-Italian archaeological team called the Min Project made the announcement last week that they had located an ancient replica of the Tomb of Osiris, a mythological site in ancient Egyptian culture.

The site features several chambers and passageways, as well as a large carving of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld. The tomb’s age is estimated between 750 B.C. and 525 B.C., due to its architectural similarity to Osireion, a tomb located at the temple of Seti I in Abydos.