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Egyptian noblewoman's 3,000-year-old tomb unearthed

Latest update : 2009-03-04

Japanese archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed a 3,000-year-old pharaonic tomb in the necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo. The tomb might belong to Isisnofret, a granddaughter of Pharaoh Ramses II, according to the Japanese team.

AFP - Japanese archaeologists have unearthed an Egyptian noblewoman's 3,000 year-old tomb in the necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo, the antiquities department said on Tuesday.

The Japanese team believes the tomb belongs to Isisnofret, a granddaughter of Ramses II, the famed 19th Dynasty pharaoh who reigned over Egypt for about 68 years from 1304 to 1237 BC, and who is said to have lived to the age of 90.

The tomb contained a broken limestone sarcophagus bearing the name of Isisnofret and the title "noble woman", three mummies and fragments of funerary objects, the department said in a statement.

Isisnofret's last resting place is in an area of Saqqara where a team from Waseda University were excavating the tomb of Prince Khaemwaset, a son of Ramses II, it quoted Japanese team leader Sakuji Yoshimura as saying.

"Prince Khaemwaset had a daughter named Isisnofret (and) because of the proximity of the newly discovered tomb to that of the prince, it is possible that the owner of the sarcophagus is the daughter of Khaemwaset," he said.

However, Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told AFP he believes the tomb dates from the 18th dynasty instead of the 19th, because of the style of construction.

Hawass also dismissed the "similarities in the names" saying that there were many women called Isisnofret in ancient Egypt.

Date created : 2009-03-03