A photograph showing Saqqara and the new Pyramid. Zahi Hawass.

Archaeologists Find New Ancient Egyptian Pyramid

The pyramid belonged to a queen called Neith. What's peculiar is that she is completely missing from the historical records.


The archaeological site of Saqqara continues to reveal its secrets. The site is home to what is believed to be the oldest pyramid in Egypt. The Step Pyramid of Djoser was built during the Third Dynasty. But it is also home to many other ancient structures, like the Serapeum, home to massive stone boxes. Now, archaeologists have unearthed a never-before-known pyramid of an ancient Egyptian queen. They also have come across a cache of coffins, mummies, and artifacts, as well as a series of interconnected tunnels. The archaeological site of Saqqara, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Cairo, has been the focus of archaeologists’ efforts for the past two years. Coffins and mummies recently discovered may have belonged to some of King Tut’s closest advisors and generals during his reign (1333 B.C.-1323 B.C.).

Teti and the New Kingdom

In addition, archaeologists analyzed a nearby pyramid that belonged to Teti, the first Egyptian king of the Sixth Dynasty. “During the New Kingdom, people wanted to be buried near Teti since he was worshipped as a god,” said in an email to LiveScience Zahi Hawass, an Egyptologist and former Egyptian minister of antiquities. Saqqara, however, has predominantly known burials from either the Old Kingdom or the Late Period. A total of 22 [interconnected] shafts, ranging in depth from 30 to 60 feet [9 to 18 meters], have been found, all with burials from the New Kingdom. “300 beautiful coffins from the New Kingdom period” were buried within these shafts along with a “huge limestone sarcophagus,” Hawass said.


Ancient mummies

This is the first New Kingdom burial found in the area, so it is entirely unique,” said Hawass. There are unique faces on the coffins, distinguishing men from women, and they are decorated with scenes from the Book of the Dead [an ancient Egyptian funerary text]. The deceased’s name is also placed on each coffin. The Four Sons of Horus often appear to protect the deceased’s organs.” It was even more shocking when the researchers lifted the lids of the coffins to discover that the mummies were still in good condition after all these years. Hawass said that mummification had reached its peak during the New Kingdom. There are certain coffins that have two lids, and one has a solid gold mask of a woman on top.”

A pyramid and an unknown queen

According to him, various artifacts have been found inside the coffins and shafts of the tombs, including ancient games such as Senet, shabtis [which essentially are small figurines], statues of Ptah-Sokar, and even an army soldier’s metal axe.” But more importantly, the archeologists also found a pyramid dedicated to an unknown queen. As Hawass revealed, the pyramid belonged to a queen by the name of Neith. What’s peculiar is that she is completely missing from the historical records. So this discovery will rewrite what we know about ancient Egyptian history, adding a previously-unknown queen to the record.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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