Archaeologists Discover a Royal Tomb Dating From the Time of a Female Pharaoh Co-Ruler

During a recent excavation in Egypt, archaeologists unearthed an ancient royal tomb. Located at the Wadi Gabbanat el-Qurud, near Luxor, the 3500-year-old tomb dates from a period when the female pharaoh Hatshepsut co-ruled Egypt alongside Thutmose III.

The Excavation

A team of archaeologists from the New Kingdom Research Foundation mission and the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities discovered the royal ancient Egyptian tomb. The excavation and research project is affiliated with the University of Cambridge’s MacDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. The archaeologist team found the tomb in October 2022 while exploring the Wadi Gabbanat el-Qurud area near the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. The archaeologists revealed that the ceramic evidence and partial inscriptions retrieved from the newfound tomb suggest that it was constructed during the joint reign of pharaoh Thutmose III and female pharaoh Hatshepsut in ancient Egypt.

The Pharaohs

Thutmose was possibly just a two-year-old child when he became the pharaoh around 1479 B.C. His stepmother Hatshepsut acted as the regent pharaoh and later became the co-ruler of the country until her demise around 1458 B.C. During their joint reign, ancient Egypt witnessed several achievements and also the construction of many important architectures, like the temple at Deir el-Bahri. Hatshepsut was clearly a historic female pharaoh ruling ancient Egypt.

The Tomb

In the statement, the archaeologist team also declared that the newly discovered tomb contains several burials. As they said, the architecture indicates that the tomb was modified several times shortly after its first construction. The team isn’t sure about the original person for whom the tomb was built. According to the statement, surviving decorations and the size of few remaining accessible chambers suggest for now that the tomb was likely an important royal burial. Its location nearby the Valley of Kings also indicates that it might be the burial of a great Thutmosid king’s royal wife and several children. The archaeologists are yet to be sure about the exact number of human remains within the tomb.

The Condition

The archaeologist team also revealed in the statement that the tomb was likely heavily damaged by floods during ancient times. According to them, repeated flooding completely filled the tomb’s main axis with hard concrete debris, causing the ceilings to weaken over time and finally collapse. While further excavation on the area and analysis of the remains from the tomb are ongoing, archaeologists assumed that it would need several seasons to clear the internal chambers and make the tomb safe for further explorations.

Ann Druyan — a Reflection Beyond Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV Series

Ann Druyan & Carl Sagan
Ann Druyan — a Reflection Beyond Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV Series

About Ann Druyan

Often identified as “Carl Sagan’s widow,” Ann Druyan is much more than that. Sagan and Druyan met at a dinner party back in 1974, a year after Sagan had become a famous figure with his first book called “The Cosmic Connection.” The couple formed an instant bond and soon collaborated on a science television show for kids. It’s a project that never reached fruition. The two had much greater success on their next collaboration — the Golden Records aboard NASA’s space probes Voyager 1 and 2.

Both Voyagers are currently headed out of the solar system. They are flying into interstellar space, and Sagan came up with the idea of including audio disks that are attached to both probes, carrying messages from Earth off to the stars. The odds that any extraterrestrial life will ever find the records are extremely low. Neither probe is projected to come within a trillion miles of another star system within the next few million years.

About the Show

The Cosmos TV show
Ann Druyan — a Reflection Beyond Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV Series

Druyan worked with Sagan on the Cosmos TV show, on several of his books and their story that begat the movie Contact. Sagan died in 1996, but Druyan remained prolific. She worked with the Planetary Society to create Cosmos 1 — a spacecraft that is designed to sail on sunlight. It launched, but it was destroyed by a rocket malfunction. She’s the owner of Cosmos Studios, and she advises the Breakthrough Starshot projects and Breakthrough Message. She has written the new book Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which is a companion to the current television series.

When asked about the political and scientific changes since the last season of Cosmos in 2014 and how they affect the way she approaches the new version of the TV series, Druyan answered that she did that with a great sense of urgency. She began seeing the consequences of people’s disregard for the environment. She doesn’t want to harangue people and yell at them, but she wants to create a vision of a hopeful future that’s based on the courage and strength of our ancestors.

Ann Druyan wishes that more of us could have more fulfillment and be able to fully understand the beauty of life. When asked if 987 really people worked on the show, she confirmed that it’s in fact true. Everyone who interacted with the show was inspired about working on a TV show that they felt was meaningful.