Symbolic tomb of Osiris found in Luxor as lost queen’s final resting place uncovered

HE was the king of kings, the god of gods. Now archaeologists believe they have found the “tomb” of the Egyptian supreme deity, Osiris.
Egyptian media is reporting two new tombs were announced at the weekend, one of which belonged to a previously unknown queen.
But it the ominous blackened ‘tomb’ of Osiris — the god of the afterlife and reincarnation — which has attracted the most attention. It is not actually a tomb: Instead, it is a symbolic burial site used in rituals to link the god’s immortal powers to those of the ruling Pharaohs.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-DamAcaty said the 25th Dynasty structure (from about 700BC) at the Al-Gorna necropolis on Luxor’s west bank was modelled on a real royal tomb, with multiple shafts and chambers.It’s main feature is a large hall propped up by five pillars. A staircase leads down to a funerary complex which contains a carving of the dead god. An adjoining room contains reliefs of demons holding knives — which the archaeologist in charge of the Spanish-Italian excavators describes as being guardians. A 9m deep shaft then leads to a central chamber, beneath which another 6m shaft leads to two more as-yet unexplored, debris-filled rooms.The ‘tomb’ is believed to be modelled on the more ancient Osirion tomb/temple complex in Abydos, Sohag.
It is not the first time the tomb has been discovered.
The Egyptian Department of Antiquities says that part of the structure was uncovered in the 1880s by archaeologist Philippe Virey. Despite some attempts to map it, the significance and nature of the site remained unknown until now. Legend has it the god Osiris was killed by his rival Set, who wanted his title as king of the gods. Osiris was tricked into laying in a sarcophagus made to his size, and he was cast into the river Nile. Later, Set found Osiris’ coffin and cut the body of the god into 14 parts which he then had scattered across Egypt.
The winged goddess Isis tracked down and found 13 of the 14 pieces (she had his penis replaced by a gold representation), and sang a life-giving song to have the god restored.

Ancient Queen uncovered
Archaeologists have also unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4500 years ago, officials in Egypt said last night.
The tomb was discovered in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis southwest of Cairo where there are several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre.The name of his wife had not been known before the find, the Antiquities Minister said in a statement.
He identified her as Khentakawess, saying that for the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb”.
That would make her Khentakawess III, as two previous queens with the same name have already been identified. Her name and rank had been inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb, probably by the builders, Damaty said.
“This discovery will help us shed light on certain unknown aspects of the Fifth Dynasty, which along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids,” he added. Miroslav Barta, who heads the Czech Institute of Egyptology mission who made the discovery, said the tomb was found in Neferefre’s funeral complex.
“This makes us believe that the queen was his wife,” Barta said, according to the statement. An official at the antiquities ministry said the tomb dated from the middle of the Fifth Dynasty (2994-2345 BC). Archaeologists also found around 30 utensils, 24 made of limestone and four of copper, the statement added.

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Posted by on Jan 12 2015. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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