Princess Shert Nebti Tomb Unearthed Near Cairo
2012-11-07 0:00

By Maggie Fick | AP

Czech archaeologists have unearthed the 4,500-year-old tomb of a Pharaonic princess south of Cairo, in a finding that suggests other undiscovered tombs may be in the area, an official from Egyptís antiquities ministry said Saturday.

Mohammed El-Bialy, who heads the Egyptian and Greco-Roman Antiquities department at the Antiquities Ministry, said that Princess Shert Nebtiís burial site is surrounded by the tombs of four high officials from the Fifth Dynasty dating to around 2,500 BC in the Abu Sir complex near the famed step pyramid of Saqqara.

The antechamber to Princess Shert Nebtiís tomb pictured in here contains four limestone pillars and dates from the fifth dynasty (around 2500 BC).

"Discoveries are ongoing" at Abu Sir, El-Bialy said, adding that the excavation was in a "very early stage" and that the site was closed to the public.

Inscriptions on the four limestone pillars of the Princessí tomb indicate that she is the daughter of King Men Salbo.

"She is the daughter of the king, but only her tomb is there, surrounded by the four officials, so the question is, are we going to discover other tombs around hers in the near future? We donít know anything about her father, the king, or her mother, but hope that future discoveries will answer these questions," El-Bialy said.

On Friday, Antiquities Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said that the antechamber to the princessí tomb includes four limestone columns and hieroglyphic inscriptions. The current excavation has also unearthed an antechamber containing the sarcophagi of the four officials and statues of men, women, and a child, he said in a statement.

The Czech teamís discovery marks the "start of a new chapter" in the history of the burial sites of Abu Sir and Saqqara, Ibrahim added.

The archaeologists working at the site are from the Czech Institute of Egyptology, which is funded by the Charles University of Prague. Their excavation began this month.


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