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4,300 Year Old Pyramid Found At The Saqqara Necropolis In Egypt
"The newly discovered subsidiary pyramid of queen Sesheshet, mother of King Teti I, the founder of the Sixth Dynasty, is another clue to understand more such an enigmatic dynasty as Nevine El-Aref writes
Last week the announcement of the discovery at the Saqqara necropolis of the 4,300-year-old subsidiary pyramid of Queen Sesheshet, mother of King Teti I, the founder of the Sixth Dynasty, caught the headlines. Not only does it bring the number of pyramids discovered in Egypt to 118, but it enriches our 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.
Scholars have long believed that Khuit was Teti's secondary wife, but excavations and studies proved that her pyramid was built before that of Queen Iput, who was previously believed to have been Teti's chief queen. The fact that her pyramid was built before Iput's, however, tells us that Khuit was in fact the primary royal wife. Previous excavations at this site have also revealed the funerary temple of Queen Khuit, offering much new information about the decorative codes of queens' monuments of the period.
"No one can ever know what's hidden beneath the sands of Egypt," Hawass told Al-Ahram Weekly, adding that the excavators had been somewhat surprised to find a pyramid within Teti's cemetery since they thought the area had been thoroughly explored." Continued at link above.
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