Mystery Queen's Ancient Tomb Found in Egypt
Tomb of Osiris, god of the dead, is also uncovered
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2015 5:00 PM CST
Egyptian laborers work inside an ancient necropolis.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

(Newser) – Two ancient burial sites have been uncovered in Egypt—one belonging to a previously unknown pharaonic queen and the other to a god of the dead. The first, in a necropolis southwest of Cairo, has the name of a queen presumed to be Pharaoh Neferefre's wife written on the wall, AFP reports via Raw Story; her name was previously not known. Identified as Khentakawess (or really Khentakawess III, since there were two before her), on the tomb walls she's also called "the wife of the king" and "the mother of the king," perhaps because she was believed to have been married to Pharaoh Neferefre and mother to Pharaoh Menkahur, an archaeologist tells Fox News Latino. The discovery, dating back some 4,500 years, sheds light on "the Fifth Dynasty, which, along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids," an Egyptian official says.

The other find is a symbolic burial site for Osiris, once Egypt's supreme deity of the afterlife and the underworld, reports Australia's News Network (which has photos and diagrams). The 25th Dynasty burial site, dating to about 700BC, was likely used for rituals that linked the ruling Pharaohs to Osiris' powers. Located on Luxor’s west bank at the Al-Gorna necropolis, it was modeled on an actual royal tomb with several chambers; it includes a funerary complex with a carving of Osiris and an adjacent room with a relief of knife-wielding demons, perhaps there for protection. The site was discovered by archaeologist Philippe Virey back in the 1880s, Al Arabiya reports, but only now are its main rooms excavated. (Along similar lines, read about a jeweled mummy found under a collapsed roof.)