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Tomb of new pharaoh found

pharaoh tomb ancient egypt abydos

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#1    kmt_sesh

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:11 AM

The University of Pennsylvania, digging in the ancient necropolis of Abydos, has unearthed the ruins to the tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh. Named Senebkay, he may have been the first king of Dynasty 13, in the Second Intermediate Period. This was a fragmented time of rival dynasties and the absence of central authority, so it's not altogether surprising that a previously unknown king of this time should come to light. Still, pretty dame interesting.

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The king, who reigned more than 3,600 years ago, was laid to rest in a white sheet. His tomb was discovered in a badly damaged state with no roof. "He was originally mummified but his body was pulled apart by ancient tomb robbers,” said a caption that accompanied one of the photos of the tomb.

Source. (Please excuse the banner photo of a Giza pyramid, which has nothing to do with Senebkay. I hate it when journalists do this.)

See this link for another article. About the same content as the first article, but at the bottom of this one is a nice slid show with decent photos, including one of the skeleton of the king. A tall guy for his time. Senebkay's name is consistently misspelled in the slide show, but the photos are worth it.

I haven't seen anyone post this news in the Archaeology & Paleontology forum, but it will get more attention here, anyway,

It just goes to show: you never know what archaeologists will find in the Nile Valley. No aliens, however.

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#2    DieChecker

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:32 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 16 January 2014 - 03:11 AM, said:

The University of Pennsylvania, digging in the ancient necropolis of Abydos, has unearthed the ruins to the tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh. Named Senebkay, he may have been the first king of Dynasty 13, in the Second Intermediate Period. This was a fragmented time of rival dynasties and the absence of central authority, so it's not altogether surprising that a previously unknown king of this time should come to light. Still, pretty dame interesting.



Source. (Please excuse the banner photo of a Giza pyramid, which has nothing to do with Senebkay. I hate it when journalists do this.)

See this link for another article. About the same content as the first article, but at the bottom of this one is a nice slid show with decent photos, including one of the skeleton of the king. A tall guy for his time. Senebkay's name is consistently misspelled in the slide show, but the photos are worth it.

I haven't seen anyone post this news in the Archaeology & Paleontology forum, but it will get more attention here, anyway,

It just goes to show: you never know what archaeologists will find in the Nile Valley. No aliens, however.
One thing I find interesting is that so many people find it difficult to understand why tomb robbers would tear up the mummy in a search for treasures.

Super Cool find. :tsu:

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#3    cormac mac airt

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:33 AM

Any idea as to his placement amongst the few known pharaoh's during that time?

Senebkay and Sobekhotep I are two different kings aren't they. Or did I read that wrong?

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Edited by cormac mac airt, 16 January 2014 - 03:42 AM.

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#4    Taun

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:03 PM

"the longest rule of his time" and then it goes on to say he ruled for about 4 and a half years...

Things must have been pretty rough back then....


#5    YukiEsmaElite0

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:03 PM

I'd imagine people died rather easily...


#6    kmt_sesh

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:47 AM

Sorry for taking so long to reply. I can see this thread will disappear sooner rather than later. What, not enough aliens or giants or levitation or Atlantis?

In any case, I found a much better article from the University of Pennsylvania itself:

http://www.penn.muse...sef-wegner.html

So to answer your question, cormac, Sobekhotep I and Senebkay were two different people. Sobekhotep (also known as Sekhemre) reigned in the same dynasty, Dynasty 13, but over a century earlier than Senebkay. What will confuse people the most, I imagine, is that Egypt was fragmented in this time period, the Second Intermediate Period, so there was often more than one king ruling at the same time, but in different areas of Egypt.

What makes this find exciting is that it has revealed an unknown dynasty of kings who ruled the Abydos area. This fact was largely unknown prior to Penn's discovery. And it's just one tomb of this Abydos dynasty, so in all likelihood they're going to find more. Part of the confusion is that the kings of this regional dynasty seem to have been helping themselves to the masonry and other architectural features of Sobekhotep's older tomb.

As to your other question, it's conjectured at this point but Senebkay was probably the first king in the Abydos sphere of Dynasty 13. How he was related (if at all) to other personages of this time is not yet known. We'll have to wait and see what else they can dig up.

As an aside, one of the lead Penn archaeologists is Josef Wegner. Years ago I attended one of his lectures at the University of Chicago, back when he was excavating the massive subterranean Abydos tomb of Senusret III (which it turns out is in the same area of the necropolis as Senebkay's new-found tomb). Wegner is an excellent lecturer and very personable; I talked with him at length after his presentation. I knew then as now that his wife is always on-site as a photographerm but I had to wonder about that photo of the king's bones laid across a table. At upper-left the individual leaning over looks like a young teenage boy. LOL Turns out this is Wegner's son. Lucky kid!

Here's a link with some more photos:

http://news.discover...otos-140116.htm

Senebkay's four-chamber tomb is small but the decorated burial chamber is quite beautiful, in my opinion. The figures of the deities and other aspects are very provincial in appearance, but I've always thought that kind of pharaonic artwork has real charm.

I'll shut up now.

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#7    coolguy

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:32 AM

Awseome they found this tomb.it stinks people had to even rob from the dead back then


#8    cormac mac airt

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:39 AM

What makes Senebkay the First King of the Abydos region during the 13th Dynasty? It is my understanding that the 13th ended c.1650 BC and the 14th, 15th and 16th ran somewhat concurrently from that time. So does that mean there was actually a fourth dynasty ruling along with the previous three mentioned ones?

cormac

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#9    RedSquirrel

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:47 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 17 January 2014 - 03:47 AM, said:

\
Senebkay's four-chamber tomb is small but the decorated burial chamber is quite beautiful, in my opinion. The figures of the deities and other aspects are very provincial in appearance, but I've always thought that kind of pharaonic artwork has real charm.

I'll shut up now.

I don't post in threads like this often (mostly from lack of education), but reading you get gushy over this is appreciated. Your words are valued by this guy, at least.

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#10    Calibeliever

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:54 PM

"A group of later pharaohs (reigning about a century and a half later during Egypt's Second Intermediate Period) were reusing elements from Sobekhotep's tomb for building and equipping their own tombs. One of these kings (whose name is still unknown) had extracted and reused the quartzite sarcophagus chamber"

I don't pretend to know much on this topic. Was it common for Egyptians to have so little respect for their predecessors?


#11    scorpiosonic

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:40 AM

It depends on how (un)popular their predecessors were, and how long since their passing. I've never heard of a sarcophagus being reused though.

Cool find, it will help fill in some blanks.

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#12    kmt_sesh

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:05 AM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 17 January 2014 - 05:39 AM, said:

What makes Senebkay the First King of the Abydos region during the 13th Dynasty? It is my understanding that the 13th ended c.1650 BC and the 14th, 15th and 16th ran somewhat concurrently from that time. So does that mean there was actually a fourth dynasty ruling along with the previous three mentioned ones?

cormac

Because Wegner and his team said so. Isn't that enough? :w00t:

Seriously, at the moment, from what I've been reading, Senebkay's tomb seems to be the first in a line of tombs dating to this time (meaning the oldest, of course). Senebkay appears to be the first king of Abydos' Dynasty 13. His reign is already dated to 1650 BCE and is said to have lasted around four years. As of now I'm not sure myself how the Penn team arrived at this information.

As for the date, it would place Senebkay at the end of Dynasty 13, as you mentioned. It would still belong to Dynasty 13, but as a section of the dynasty unto itself, in Abydos. A separate chiefdom was previously not known for Abydos at this time. Egypt was kind of a mess in this period, of course, with rival dynasties in Thebes and the Delta. Abydos just adds one more chiefdom but still concurrent with Dynasty 13 at Thebes. Dynasty 14 and 15 are both relegated to the Delta, All this is concurrent in the timeline. Dynasty 16 picks up after 1650 BCE. Perhaps the timeline will need some fine tuning in the future.

I hope I'm not just muddying the waters only further. It's a confusing period, but a new dynasty at Abydos is exciting, even if was a minor chiefdom of regional kings. They would've disappeared from the scene as the Theban princes grew in power, especially in Dynasty 17.

I suppose they could call the Abydos chiefdom Dynasty 13a or Dynasty 13-Lite, but that might make it only worse.

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#13    kmt_sesh

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:07 AM

View PostRedSquirrel, on 17 January 2014 - 05:47 AM, said:

I don't post in threads like this often (mostly from lack of education), but reading you get gushy over this is appreciated. Your words are valued by this guy, at least.

Gush? Gush? How dare you! I don't gush, I emote.

All right, perhaps some gushing is in play. :lol:

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#14    kmt_sesh

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:17 AM

View PostCalibeliever, on 17 January 2014 - 06:54 PM, said:

"A group of later pharaohs (reigning about a century and a half later during Egypt's Second Intermediate Period) were reusing elements from Sobekhotep's tomb for building and equipping their own tombs. One of these kings (whose name is still unknown) had extracted and reused the quartzite sarcophagus chamber"

I don't pretend to know much on this topic. Was it common for Egyptians to have so little respect for their predecessors?

View Postscorpiosonic, on 18 January 2014 - 05:40 AM, said:

It depends on how (un)popular their predecessors were, and how long since their passing. I've never heard of a sarcophagus being reused though.

Cool find, it will help fill in some blanks.

This sort of thing was more common than you might think, and numerous factors are involved. Reuse of royal burial equipment tended to happen more frequently in the intermediate periods, when reigning kings did not possess the wealth, resources, and power of former pharaohs. One of the Tanite kings of the Third Intermediate Period (can't remember which one off the top of my head) reused the lid to the massive sarcophagus of Merneptah, for example.

It was known to happen in more stable times, as well. This largely depended on a king dying prematurely. For instance, the tomb of Tutankhamun contained a number of burial goods not originally made for him. And whoever exactly was buried in the tomb designated KV55 (most likely Smenkhkare, in my opinion) ended up with a hodgepodge of stuff originally belonging to Akhenaten and Tiye, and possibly others.

It's not always a matter of whether a king respected a former king. At essence is the nature of kingship in ancient Egypt. The reigning king exercised absolute power and his word was law (that is, if the reigning king was powerful and lived in a stable time). Every last object in Egypt, from the grandest monuments to the last grain of sand, was physical property of the king. Thus, in most cases, no one would've thought otherwise if a king reused the monuments of former rulers. Ramesses II, one of the greatest kings of dynastic history, probably did this more than any other king, having his name inscribed into the cartouches of former kings' monuments (and this is why archaeologists like to call him "the chiseler").

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#15    scorpiosonic

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 08:24 AM

Thanks for clearing that up....more excavations will help in the fine-tuning of the timeline, and the separate Dynasties. (Have any idea of where to find a up to date timeline that covers ALL  Rulers/Dynasties?)

Many of us were schooled with the single Pharaoh being the 'ruler of 2 lands' thru out AE's history idea, but there is still much to be learned.....the digging continues.

Edited by scorpiosonic, 18 January 2014 - 08:25 AM.

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