Archaeologists Unearth Unknown Pharaoh in Egypt
Previously unknown Senebkay ruled about 1650BC
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2014 12:11 PM CST
File photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scholars of ancient Egypt have a new pharaoh to study, thanks to archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Museum. Meet Woseribre Senebkay, who ruled from about 1650BC to 1600BC, reports LiveScience. The Penn researchers had to piece together his skeleton after eons of tomb robbers had their way with the site, but they think Senebkay lived into his mid- to late-40s and stood about 5-foot-10. With the discovery of a new pharaoh comes an official new dynasty, dubbed the Abydos Dynasty after the archeological site where the tomb was found.

Researchers stumbled upon it while investigating a nearby tomb of an earlier pharaoh named Sobekhotep. In fact, it seems that Senebkay did some tomb-raiding of his own—he reused Sobekhotep's cedar chest. “It suggests that the king had economic challenges, which has to do with the period of struggle and fragmentation of kingdom," Penn's Josef Wegner tells NBC News. Researchers suspect they'll find tombs of other pharaohs nearby.