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Tomb of Mystery Queen Khentakawess III Found in Egypt

Image: Egyptian tomb
The tomb of Khentakawess III, a previously unknown Egyptian queen, was unearthed by Czech archaeologists in the Old Kingdom necropolis of Abu Sir, southwest of the capital Cairo. Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AFP - Getty Images

Czech archaeologists have excavated an Egyptian tomb and artifacts that they link to a previously unknown queen who lived 4,500 years ago, named Khentakawess III.

The revelation was made Sunday by Egypt's antiquities ministry, and comes on the heels of another discovery from the age of the pharaohs, involving a replica of the mythical god Osiris' tomb.

Khentakawess III is thought to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre, also known as Raneferef, who ruled Egypt during the Fifth Dynasty. The queen's name and rank were found inscribed on the walls of the tomb, the ministry said.

Image: Tomb of Pharaoh Neferefre
A photo provided by the Czech Institute of Egyptology shows vessels found at the tomb of a previously unknown queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre, in Abu Sir, southwest of Cairo, Egypt. Czech Institute of Egyptology / EPA

"This is the first time we have discovered the name of this queen, who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb," Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement.

The tomb is part of Neferefre's burial complex in the Abu Sir necropolis, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Cairo on the Nile's western bank. The Czech excavation team, currently led by Miroslav Barta of the Czech Institute of Egyptology, has been working in Abu Sir since 1976.

In its statement, the ministry said statuettes, limestone vessels and copper utensils were found inside the tomb.