Pages Navigation Menu

Spanish arachnologists have found an intact tomb of a Pharaonic noble

The tomb belonged to the brother of governor Sarenput II, also called Nubkaurenakht was an ancient Egyptian monarch during the reign of pharaohs Senusret II and Senusret III of the 12th Dynasty

The leading archaeologist Alejandro Jiménez, professor at Jaén University, affirmed they had uncovered ‘an intact well, with chamber complete and in the interior is buried the brother of governor Sarenput II’ one of the most powerful officials during the golden age of the XII dynasty.


Quubet el-Hawa – Jaén Univeristy

The tomb, is some 3,800 years old, located in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa, is a site of a big dune on the western bank of the Nile, opposite Aswan, in the south of Egypt, where the Spanish team have been excavating since 2008.

The chief of the Egyptology Department of the Antiquities Ministry, Mahmud Afifi, qualified the discovery as ‘important’ in a press release. As well as the richness of the tomb, Afifi wanted to throw light on the lives of upper class individuals ‘under the shadows of power’, which until now little was known.

The cadaver, identified as Shemai, was buried in two tombs. The ‘exterior was stained by termites’ while the interior ‘remained in a preserved condition’ as the Spanish team were able to read the letters ‘of his name and his parents’ and his own identity, indicated Jiménez.

In the words of the Spanish Egyptologist ‘this is the first time a burial site of these characteristics has been seen 70 years, for the status of the pharaoh’

The importance of this discovery is, until now, nobody knew about the brothers of the governors – the ‘secondary’ and this is a great opportunity to know ‘what honours or titles they held, and the role they played in society’ underlined Jiménez.

Also, inside the second chamber they found ‘models of boats and the representation of a mommy’. The discovery was found on March 6, but was only released yesterday; it has been fully documented with photographic measurement, photography, drawings and video, among other techniques, before the team close the chamber after two months of work in their ninth edition.

However, currently more interest has been generated by the brother of the emir of Elephantine next year, as the chamber was sealed on March 7 and ‘the team are excited about the year ahead’

This year the Spanish mission was composed with a multi-disciplined team formed by 30 researchers from Jaén University and others from Spain, Great Britain, Belgium and the Czech Republic, with the financing from the IDI project from the Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness, which has allowed this mission to be the most important developed by Spain regarding Egypt.