Archaeologists discover new pyramid in Egypt

November 23rd, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Cairo, Nov 23 (ANI): Archaeologists have discovered a five meters tall subsidiary pyramid of queen Sesheshet at Saqqara necropolis in Egypt.

Queen Sesheshet was the mother of King Teti I, the founder of the Sixth Dynasty.

According to a report in Al-Ahram Weekly, the discovery of the new pyramid not only brings the number of pyramids discovered in Egypt to 118, but it enriches archaeologists” knowledge of the Sixth Dynasty and its royal family members.

Sesheshet’’s pyramid, found seven metres beneath the sands of the Saqqara necropolis, is five metres in height, although originally it reached about 14 metres. The base is square and the sides of the pyramid slope at an angle of 51 degrees.

The entire monument was originally cased in fine white limestone from Tura, of which some remnants were also unearthed.

Ushabti (model servant) figurines dating from the third Intermediate Period were also found in the area, along with a New Kingdom chapel decorated with a scene of offerings being made to Osiris.

Also found were a group of Late Period coffins, a wooden statue of the god Anubis, amulets, and a symbolic vessel in the shape of a cartouche containing the remains of a green substance.

These objects will be transported to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square where they will be restored and put on display.

According to Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), who led the excavation team, the finds show that the entire area of the Old Kingdom cemetery of Teti was reused from the New Kingdom through to the Roman Period.

Culture Minister Farouk Hosni described it as “a great discovery” and said he wished that within the next couple of weeks, excavators could find more of the funerary complex of the queen.

“Sesheshet’’s pyramid is the third subsidiary pyramid to be discovered within Teti’’s cemetery,” Hawass said.

He added that earlier excavations at the site had revealed the pyramid of King Teti’’s two wives, Khuit and Iput.

“This might be the most complete subsidiary pyramid ever found at Saqqara,” he said.

The archaeologists found that a shaft had been created in Sesheshet’’s pyramid to allow access to her burial chamber, so they do not expect to find Sesheshet’’s mummy when they reach the burial chamber within the coming two weeks.

However, they anticipate finding inscriptions about the queen, whose name, according to Hawass, was only known from being mentioned in a medical papyrus. (ANI)

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