Dating old kingdom tombs

An Egyptian archaeological mission led by the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, has discovered an Old Kingdom tomb of a lady called 'Hetpet' who was a top official in the royal palace during the end of the fifth Dynasty.(Fayed El-Geziry/Nur Photo via Getty Images) A 4,400-year-old tomb was discovered in Cairo, Egypt.During this period, sculptors created the earliest known individual portraits as well as the first life-size statues in copper, wood, and stone.

Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA Archaeologists in Egypt say they have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo.

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery on Saturday and said the tomb is likely to have belonged to a high-ranking female official known as Hetpet, who lived during the 5th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

The archaeological mission that found the tomb started excavation work last October.

Just when did Egyptian pharaohs such as King Tut and Rameses II rule? Now a radiocarbon study concludes that much of the assumed chronology was right, though it corrects some controversial dates and may overturn a few pet theories.

Among the fragments were pieces of carinated bowls, fashioned in a style that was typical of the Sixth Dynasty (2278-2184 BCE) reign of King Pepi II.

The Old Kingdom is generally regarded as the time period between the Third Dynasty and Sixth Dynasty (2686–2181 BCE) in the third millennium BCE, when Egypt achieved its first ongoing peak of civilization.

The area is known to be home to tombs from the Old Kingdom.

Archaeologists suspect the tomb belonged to a woman known as Hetpet, who was close to ancient Egyptian royals of the 5th Dynasty.

First, researchers searched museum collections around the world for plant remains directly associated with the reigns of particular kings or periods, often using offerings from pyramids where the kings were buried. Second, the team used a mathematical modeling approach called Bayesian statistics to compare the patterns in the radiocarbon and historical dates and come up with the most likely correlation between them. "I am more than happy to accept" the new results, Spence says, adding that the Old Kingdom dating is "particularly important" because "this is the first time there has been anything firm to which to pin our historical relative chronologies." Yet the new study does not resolve all of the outstanding issues.

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