Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered a 4,000-year-old wooden head they believe is of Egypt’s 6th dynasty Queen, Ankhnespepy II.
The head was uncovered in an area east of the queen’s main pyramid in the district of Saqqara, near the ancient Pyramids of Giza, by a team of French-Swiss archaeologists at the University of Geneva.
Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said the neck of the statue is almost a foot long in some places, and that the proportions are similar to those of a human.
The statue is in poor condition and will have to be restored, according to Philip Collombert, the head of the French-Swiss mission.
Ankhnespepy II was the influential wife of Pepy I and the mother of Pepy II.When Pepy I died, the queen married his brother, with whom she had Pepy II. She ruled as regent until Pepy II came of age at 6 years old.
“She is probably the first queen to have pyramid texts inscribed into her pyramid, explaining her influence during that time,” Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri, told the ibtimes. “Before her, such inscriptions were only carved on the pyramids of kings. After Ankhnespepy II, some wives of Pepy II did the same.”
The queen’s main burial pyramid was discovered in Saqqara in 1998.
Earlier in their investigation, the Swiss researchers found a granite pyramidion, the very top of a pyramid.
Collombert said the pyramidion was found at the northern side of King Pepi I’s pyramid and near the place where they expect to find a satellite pyramid for the queen, however nothing has else has been found of this pyramid.
They are also looking for the queen’s funerary complex.
Over the past two weeks, the mission also uncovered the upper part of a granite obelisk that may belong to the queen’s funerary temple.
Collombert said that it was carved of red granite and at over 8 feet tall (2.5 meters), it was the largest obelisk fragment from the Old Kingdom ever discovered.
There is an inscription on one side, with what seems to be the beginning of the titles and name of the Queen Ankhnespepy II.