You know, stuff like this not only makes for great history, it makes for superb gaming material and excellent fictional materials. A party goes out to explore a set of ruins and stumbles across another set of ruins, or a tomb, totally unexpectedly, and discovers within it things far more valuable, and far more dangerous, than they had originally anticipated.
Czech archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago, officials in Egypt say.
The tomb was discovered in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis south-west of Cairo where there were several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre.
The name of his wife was not known before the find, antiquities minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement.
He identified her as Khentakawess and said for the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb”.
That would make her Khentakawess III, as two previous queens with the same name have already been identified.
Her name and rank had been inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb, probably by the builders, Mr Damaty said.
“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.
Miroslav Barta, who heads the Czech Institute of Egyptology mission that made the discovery, said the tomb was found in Neferefre’s funeral complex.
“This makes us believe that the queen was his wife,” Mr Barta said.
An official at the antiquities ministry said the tomb dated from the middle of the Fifth Dynasty (2994-2345BC).
Archaeologists also found about 30 utensils – 24 made of limestone and four of copper – the statement said.