Archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology

Archaeologists uncover ancient Egyptian princess’s tomb in Dahshur

A wooden box that held canopic jars identifies the pyramid’s probably owner as a daughter of the 13th Dynasty King Ameny Qemau

by Garry Shaw  |  12 May 2017
Archaeologists uncover ancient Egyptian princess’s tomb in Dahshur
Archaeologists remove a large stone block to reveal the princess's burial chamber (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)
The tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess has likely been discovered by archaeologists excavating at a pyramid in the necropolis of Dahshur, 30 kilometres south of Cairo. The team, working for Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, first found the pyramid in April. Although only the inner structure remains, some architectural material was unearthed, including one inscribed block that bears religious texts and the name of the 13th Dynasty King Ameny Qemau, who reigned around 3,800 years ago and whose pyramid tomb is also at Dahshur.

Further excavations have revealed the princess’s burial chamber. Within, the team discovered the remains of a badly preserved human-shaped sarcophagus, a wooden box that once contained canopic jars—the containers that held the mummy’s internal organs—and wrappings. The inscriptions on the box indicate that the funerary objects belonged to one of King Ameny Qemau’s daughters, making her the pyramid’s likely owner.

The ancient necropolis of Dahshur is best known for two 4th Dynasty pyramids built under King Sneferu, known as the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, and the 12th Dynasty pyramids of kings Senwosret III and Amenemhat III. Other tombs of royals and courtiers were also constructed there, though little trace of them can now be seen above ground.

  • A stone is inscribe with hieroglyphics meant to protect the body in the tomb (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)
  • Although only the inner structure of the pyramid remains, some architectural material was unearthed (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)
  • Although only the inner structure of the pyramid remains, some architectural material was unearthed (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)
  • A wooden box that once contained canopic jars—the containers that held the mummy’s internal organs—has inscriptions that indicate it belonged to one of King Ameny Qemau’s daughters (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)


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