Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 3,500-year-old royal tomb near Luxor. The tomb was probably built at a time when Hatshepsut, a pharaoh, ruled jointly Ancient Egypt.
“Partial inscriptions and ceramic evidence suggest this was built during the joint reign of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut,” the archaeologists said in a statement.
The tomb was excavated by a team of archaeologists of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the New Kingdom Research Foundation mission, affiliated with the MacDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. The team found the tomb in October 2022 while exploring an area near Luxor called Wadi Gabbanat el-Qurud, which is located near the Valley of the Kings.
Thutmose III was a child, possibly only 2 years old, when he ascended the throne around 1479 BC. C., and Hatshepsut, his stepmother, acted as his regent and then co-ruler with him until his death around 1458 BCE. His joint reign saw the construction of a temple at Deir el-Bahri and a successful Egyptian expedition to a place known as Punt, which may have been located in East Africa.
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The newly discovered tomb contains multiple burials, and “the architecture, as currently understood, indicates that the tomb was disturbed several times shortly after it was first built,” the team said in the statement.
Archaeologists are not sure who the tomb was originally built for. “The surviving decoration and the size of the few currently accessible chambers point to a royal burial of some importance, most likely, given the location [near the Valley of the Kings]the burial of a great royal wife and several children of a Tutmosid king,” the team said in the statement. It is not clear how many human remains there are.
The tomb was badly damaged by floods in ancient times. “Repeated flooding has completely filled the main shaft of the tomb with concrete-hard rubble and caused the tomb roofs to weaken and collapse,” the team said in the statement.
Excavation and analysis of the remains of the tomb continue. “It will take several seasons to clear the chambers and make the tomb secure,” the statement said. Team members did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.
Several recent archaeological discoveries have been made near Luxor, including a cache of priests, giant ram statues found near the Temple of Karnak and the mummy of a teenager who was buried with fine jewelry.