4,600 year-old tomb of Pharaoh unearthed in Delta
The newly-discovered tomb of Khaa Ba at Quesna. Photo Courtsey of the Ministry of Antiquities
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CAIRO: A 4,600 year-old tomb belonging to the little-known 3rd Dynasty Pharaoh Khaa Ba, has been unearthed in Egypt’s central Delta town of Quesna, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty announced Monday.

“The significance of the new discovery stems from the fact that the Memphis necropolis [located to the south of Giza Pyramids], but not Quesna, has been always known to be the burial city of 3rd Dynasty Pharaohs,” Damaty said.

He added that the discovery of the Khaa Ba’s tomb in Quesna, best known for its Late Period (664B.C.-332 B.C.) to Roman (30 B.C.-390 A.D.) remains, “raises several questions about provincial administration and burial customs during the Old Kingdom Period.”

Ostracon bears inscription found inside the tomb. Photo Courtsey of the Ministry of Antiquities

Ostracon bears inscription found inside the tomb. Photo Courtsey of the Ministry of Antiquities

 

The tomb was unearthed during geophysical surveys carried out by the archaeology mission of the Egypt Exploration Society (EES.)

“In 2010, a mud brick mastaba (a flat-roofed, rectangular structure with outward sloping sides served as a tomb) was discovered in Quesna. Then the excavations continued until 2014 when a seal with the Pharaoh’s name was discovered and confirmed it is his tomb,” Dr. Joanne Rowland, director of the mission, stated Monday.

Very little is known about Khaa Ba, who is best known from his mastaba discovered in Zawyet el-Eryan, which lies between the Giza Pyramids and Abu Sir sites, archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Tuesday.

His name, which means “radiant soul,” was found inscribed on objects in the Mastaba, Sabban said, adding that Khaa Ba was the fourth Pharaoh of the 3rd Dynasty.

“the so called Layer Pyramid; an unfinished step pyramid also located in Zawyet el-Eryan, has been tentatively associated with the 3rd Dynasty Pharaoh although no remains of his burial were found,” said Sabban.

Khaa Ba is believed to have reigned a relatively brief four years between 2603 BC to 2599 BC, although these dates are highly conjectural, based on scanty of evidence of this early Pharaoh, according to Sabban.

“The new discovery also raises historical debates regarding the identity of the ancient Egyptian individuals that were buried in the Quesna site,” he added.

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