Friday, November 21, 2008

A 4,300- year-old pyramid discovered in Sakkara desert

Daily News Egypt
By Marwa Al-A’sar

First Published: November 11, 2008

CAIRO: A 4,300-year-old pyramid of a Pharaonic queen was discovered in Sakkara desert, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass told reporters in a press conference on site Tuesday.
“The pyramid is believed to belong to Queen Sesheshet, the mother of King Titi (2323 – 2291 BC), the founder of ancient Egypt‘s Sixth Dynasty,” Hawass said.

The pyramid is part of the cemetery associated with King Titi, who had his funerary complex built north-east to that of King Djoser (2630 – 2611 BC). It is 4.5 meters high with a square base of 22 meters on each side. The original height is estimated to be about 14 meters.

“We are about to reach the burial area, yet I don’t think we will find much because we found traces of robbery there,” Hawass said.
Sesheshet’s pyramid is located near those of Titi’s two wives, Khuit and Iputi. The three pyramids were designed similarly.

Though Sesheshet was recognized from inscriptions on a medical papyrus, no identified tomb for her has ever been discovered in the Sakkara necropolis, according to Hawass.

He pointed out that the Egyptian excavation in the Titi cemetery has added a lot to the understanding of the beginning of the sixth Dynasty.

An Egyptian archeological team has been excavating the site since 1988. But the discovery was made a few months ago when it appeared that the structure unveiled under the sand was a pyramid.

The Sesheshet pyramid is the 118th discovered so far in Egypt. There are 20 pyramids more found out but with only the bases remaining.
“The newly discovered pyramid is expected to be unveiled after two months,” Hawass concluded.

The queen mother played an important role in the establishment of the sixth dynasty at a time when two branches of the former ruling family were in conflict.

For many years, scholars believed that Iputi was the primary wife of King Titi. Recently, however, Hawass excavated the pyramid of Khuit, discovering that her pyramid was built before Iputi’s, which indicates she was the chief wife.

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