Archaeology Magazine

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Forgotten Dynasty Discovered in Abydos

Thursday, January 16, 2014

(Jennifer Wegner, Penn Museum)PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA—The name of the pharaoh Woseribre Senebkay, who lived some 3,650 years ago, has been found inscribed on the wall of his plundered, four-chambered tomb in Abydos. Fragments of his name had been seen on one list of Egyptian kings and queens, but was otherwise previously unknown to Egyptologists. “We discovered an unknown king plus a lost dynasty. It looks likely that all of the 16 kings are all buried there. …We now have the tomb for first or second king of this Abydos dynasty. There should be a whole series of the others,” said Josef Wegner of the University of Pennsylvania. Senebkay’s body had been mummified, but was pulled apart by tomb robbers. Much of his skeleton was recovered from the tomb, which contained reused materials from the adjacent tomb of an earlier pharaoh, Sobekhotep I. “It suggests that the king had economic challenges, which has to do with the period of struggle and fragmentation of kingdom,” Wegner added.