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Who is Buried in the 3,500-Year-Old Tomb Just Discovered in Egypt?

In a discovery that has sent shockwaves through the world of archaeology, Egyptian authorities have announced the unearthing of a never-before-seen royal tomb in Luxor, Egypt, dating back around 3,500 years. The tomb, located on the west bank of the Nile River in the Valley of the Queens, a necropolis for the wives and children of pharaohs during the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties of ancient Egypt, is believed to belong to a royal of the 18th Dynasty of Pharaonic Egypt (1550 BC to 1292 BC).

As the joint Egyptian-English mission between the Supreme Council for Archaeology and the Modern State Research Foundation of Cambridge University, led by Dr. Fathi Yassin, continues its excavation and documentation of the cemetery, speculation abounds as to the identity of the royal buried within. According to Piers Litherland of the University of Cambridge, head of the British research mission, the tomb could be of a royal wife or princess of Thutmosid lineage.

Location of the tomb on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor. Credit: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The Thutmosid pharaohs are some of the most famous kings in ancient Egypt’s history, including Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Amenhotep II, and Tutankhamun. During their reign, these pharaohs expanded the territory of Egypt through military campaigns, built monumental architectural projects such as temples, tombs, and statues, and promoted the arts, literature, and religion. They also increased the power and wealth of the central government and the royal court. The 18th dynasty was considered a golden age for ancient Egypt and was the most powerful and prosperous dynasty in the New Kingdom.

The significance of this discovery cannot be overstated. Not only will it shed new light on the cultural heritage of this era, but it also has the potential to revive Egypt’s vital tourism industry. The highlight of these efforts is the highly anticipated opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, located at the base of the iconic pyramids.

Tomb entrance
Entrance of the tomb looking out. Credit: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

However, the tomb is in poor condition due to ancient floods, which filled the tomb with sand and limestone. The team of archaeologists will have to carefully excavate the tomb and preserve its contents. But despite the challenges, the discovery has already generated excitement among experts and the general public alike, as it promises to offer a unique window into the rich history of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations.

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