Since we’re talking about mortuary and funerary contexts in class, I thought it would be interesting to post this recent news article about the discovery of a tomb that potentially could belong to an Ancient Egyptian princess. It’s suggested that the tomb is from 4500 years ago (5th dynasty) and belongs to Shert Nebti, who was the daughter of King Men Salbo. In addition to Shert Nebti, tombs of four other officials were also found.
In terms of context, the burial context is near Saqqara, in the Abu Sir complex. Archaeologists determined that the tomb belonged to Shert Nebti by looking at the limestone pillars buried around the tomb. In addition, there is hieroglyphics – which is how I assumed they determined that the tomb did, in fact, belong to Shert Nebti. As of yet, they have not found the tombs of her father, mother, or any siblings, but they are hoping that they might be found somewhere near Shert Nebti’s burial place.
This article got me thinking about the vast number of people that must be buried somewhere in Egypt. Taking this example, Shert Nebti was a princess from 4500 years ago. Knowing that the Egyptian Empire lasted until 50 B.C. (ish) we are looking at around 2500 years of burials. We have found many skeletal remains, whom are now part of osteological collections studied around the world. But this begs the question: Are we ever going to run out of skeletal remains to excavate? (Hopefully not during my lifetime).
As a final note, this excavation was completed by Czech archaeologists from Charles University in Prague. It’s a continuous wonder why Egyptian archaeologists and Egyptian universities are not leading these excavations. Is it because the Egyptian government does not trust the Egyptian people? Or is it because the Egyptian people are not concerned with Ancient Egyptian history? Or is it because of the current political unrest?