The skeleton was uncovered at Sputh Abydos in Egypt’s Sohag province, roughly 500 km south of Cairo, by a University of Pennsylvania expedition that is working with the Egyptian government. The Egyptian Antiquities Ministry confirmed that the remains belonged to a previously unknown pharaoh, King Senebaky, who is believed to have reigned more than 3,600 years ago.
King Senebaky’s name, which has never been heard of before in Egyptian history, was found inscribed in hieroglyphics inside the royal cartouche. A royal insignia of an oval with a horizontal line at one end confirmed that the remains were of a royal lineage. Images released by the ministry show the pharaoh’s skeleton laid out on a white sheet with what appears to be heavily damaged sarcophagus in a burial chamber that has no roof.
The chamber’s stone walls were decorated with painted images. “He was originally mummified but his body was pulled apart by ancient tomb robbers,” the ministry said in the statement. “No funerary furniture was found in the tomb, confirming it had been robbed in the ancient pharaonic ages,” the statement quoting Ali al-Asfar, an antiquities ministry official, read.
Jospeh Wegner, head of the expedition that uncovered the pharaoh’s remains added:”The modesty of the size of the tomb points to the decline of economic conditions in this period”. Dating back to 1650 BC, little is known of the time of King Senebaky’s rule during the second intermediate period.
According to historians the period was marred by the collapse of central authority, with small kingdoms springing up after the end of the Middle kingdom and the beginning of the new Kingdom.