American team identifies tomb of obscure Egyptian king
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American team identifies tomb of obscure Egyptian king

University of Pennsylvania scholars find name of Sobekhotep I, founder of 13th Dynasty, on giant pink quartzite sarcophagus

A royal bust of an Egyptian king believed to be Sobekhotep I, founder of the 13th Dynasty. (photo credit: CC BY-SA Juan R. Lázaro, Wikimedia Commons)
A royal bust of an Egyptian king believed to be Sobekhotep I, founder of the 13th Dynasty. (photo credit: CC BY-SA Juan R. Lázaro, Wikimedia Commons)

A team of American archaeologists this week identified the tomb of a hitherto obscure Egyptian king, Sobekhotep I, believed to be the founder of the 13th Dynasty.

The 60-ton pink quartzite sarcophagus was unearthed last year, but the University of Pennsylvania team only managed to decipher the royal inscription on the stone at the beginning of 2014. Little is known about the 13th Dynasty’s rulers.

Egypt’s minister of antiquities said on the tomb of king Sobekhotep is located near one-time ancient Egyptian cultic center of Abydos — near the modern city of Sohag — in Upper Egypt.

According to AFP, the researchers also found canopic jars, used for storing mummified internal organs, and golden royal objects in the tomb.

Sobekhotep I is believed by scholars to have founded Egypt’s 13th Dynasty, a line of kings who ruled the Nile for approximately 150 years in the early second millennium BCE. The end of the 13th Dynasty marked the beginning of a period of fragmented power in Egypt known as the Second Intermediate Period which lasted several generations. During this period, a foreign, “Asiatic” people from the Levant known as the Hyksos ruled Egypt. 

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