4000 year old wooden head discovered in Egypt
- Written by Red Sea Bulletin
- Category: Heritage, History, Discovery
A 4,000-year-old wooden head uncovered in Egypt thought to be of the 6th Dynasty Queen Ankhnespepy II
A wooden head, probably of the sixth dynasty queen Ankhnespepy II, has been unearthed in the area located to the east of her Pyramid in Saqqara necropolis during excavation work carried out by a French-Swiss team from the Geneva University. Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities explains that the head is almost human proportions with a small part of the neck which reached 30 cm tall.
The ears are decorated with wooden earrings. Professor, Philip Collombert, Head of the French-Swiss mission said that the head was found in a disturbed layer to the east of the queen's pyramid near the area where the pyramidion was uncovered earlier. The mission, he went on, has uncovered a large upper part of a granite obelisk that may belongs to the queen's funerary temple. "It is a promising area that could reveal more of its secrets soon," said Dr. Waziri. He added that the mission is to continue its excavations in an attempt to discover the queen's satellite pyramid and the rest of its funerary complex and collection.
The discovery of the upper part of an Old Kingdom obelisk, during the excavation work at the funerary complex of Queen Ankhnespepy II at Saqqara necropolis was announced at the beginning of October. The obelisk belongs to Queen “Ankhnespepy II” one of the most important queens of the 6th dynasty and mother of King Pepy II one of the 6th dynasty’s kings. She was the wife of King Pepy I and when he died, she married to his son from her sister Ankhnespepy I, Merenre, with whom she had the future King Pepy II. Merenre died and his son Pepy II inherited the throne when he was 6 years old and effective ruler of the country. It is probably why her pyramid is big and the first Queen to have Pyramid texts inscribed into her pyramid.
The part of the obelisk found is in granite and measures 2,50 m. It is the biggest fragment of obelisk of the Old Kingdom found yet, which indicates that its full height was around 5 m and on the top of the obelisk is a small deflection that indicates that the pyramidion was covered with metal slabs, probably copper or golden foil, to make the obelisk glitter in the sun. There is an inscription on one side, with what seems to be the beginning of the titles and name of the Queen Ankhnespepy II. The obelisk found was probably removed a little bit far from its original location at the entrance of the funerary complex of Ankhnespepy II. Maybe it was dragged away by the stonecutters of later period as most of the necropolis was used as a quarry during New Kingdom and Late Period.
Alaa El-Shahat, Deputy of the Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the ministry said that this discovery will add to the work list of the mission which was working in the site from more than 50 years ago. The main goal of the Mission is to study the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom.