An ancient tomb in Egypt that was recently excavated along the Nile River is believed to date back some 3,300 years and have been part of a pyramid.
Discovered in Abydos, one of Ancient Egypt's oldest cities, the tomb consisted of a series of vaulted burial chambers, inside which there was a finely crafted sandstone sarcophagus that was painted red. The red sarcophagus, which contained no skeletal remains, was created for a scribe named Horemheb, Live Science reported.
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Kevin Cahail, a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, and an archeological team made the discovery.
"Originally, all you probably would have seen would have been the pyramid and maybe a little wall around the structure just to enclose everything," Cahail told Live Science.
When it was first built, the tomb was likely located just below the surface and was surrounded by a thick wall to prevent thieves from raiding the tomb for the deceased's possessions. However, the tomb was reportedly raided at least twice over the years.
The pyramid "probably would have had a small mortuary chapel inside of it that may have held a statue or a stela giving the names and titles of the individuals buried underneath," Cahail added.
In addition to the empty red sarcophagus, archeologists also found the skeletal remains of three or four men, 10 to 12 women and at least two children inside the tomb. Though it is unclear who the bones belonged to, Cahail said the tomb could have acted as a family plot of sorts for the relatives of the person for whom the tomb was built.
With the exception of remnants of the thick walls that once comprised the base of the pyramid, little remains of the Ancient Egyptian tomb, which was excavated in the summer and winter months of 2013, Live Science noted.
The tomb likely belonged to a member of an elite family in Ancient Egypt, according to Cahail, who added that relatively small pyramids were not uncommon for the wealthy during that time.
The complete findings from the Abydos tomb will be presented April 4th to April 6th in Portland, Ore., at the annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt.
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