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The tomb of Abydos dynasty king found: Gallery

A name of an ancient Egyptian king who was not known before was revealed in Abydos ancient Egyptian necropolis in the Upper Egyptian town of Sohag

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 15 Jan 2014
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Tomb of pharaoh Senebkay at South Abydos (Photo: Nevine Al-Aref)
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An American excavation mission from the University of Pennsylvania uncovered the name of an ancient Egyptian king from the Abydos dynasty during the second Intermediate Period (1650 BC) during routine excavations south of Abydos archaeological site.

According to a statement by the Ministry of State of Antiquities (MSA), the name of the king is Sneb-Kay. His name was found on Tuesday engraved on a wall of his tomb.

MSA Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that it is a very important discovery because it shed more light on Abydos local families that ruled the nome during the Second Intermediate Period, considered one of the most critical phases of ancient Egyptian history.

Ali El-Asfar, head of the ancient Egyptian Section at the MSA, said that early excavation revealed that the tomb was built with blocks previously used in tombs of the Middle Kingdom. Remains of a wooden sarcophagus still bearing the king's skeleton were also found inside the tomb as well as a set of canopic jars.

Early studies carried out on the skeleton, which is poorly conserved, show that the king could have been 1.85 metres long, El-Asfar said.

The skeleton of Pharaoh Senebkay was originally mummified but his body was pulled apart by ancient tomb robbers.

Joseph Wagner, head of the American mission, stated that the tomb neighbours the tomb of King Subek Hotep of the 13th dynasty and the newly discovered tomb can be dated to a dynasty called Abydos mentioned by archaeologist K.Rhyholt, although the ruling tenure of the king is still a mystery. He added that the poor state of the tomb shows that Egypt was suffering bad economic conditions.

Excavations and studies are in full swing to learn more about the mysterious period.

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Tomb of pharaoh Senebkay at South Abydos (Photo: Nevine Al-Aref)

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The skeleton of pharaoh Senebkay (he was originally mummified but his body was pulled apart by ancient tomb robbers) - (Photo: Nevine Al-Aref)

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Decoration in the burial chamber of Senebkay (Photo: Nevine Al-Aref)

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Decoration in the burial chamber of Senebkay (Photo: Nevine Al-Aref)

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Cartouche with the name of king Senebkay (Photo: Nevine Al-Aref)

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