What is important to me is that I have the great good fortune to spend my days doing something I love, and being given the opportunity to make a difference in the world.

— Zahi Hawass

Press Release - Burial Chamber of Queen Behenu Discovered

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), announced today that the French mission working at Saqqara has found the burial chamber of Queen Behenu. As of yet, it is unclear if this queen was the wife of Pepi I or Pepi II, who ruled during the 6th Dynasty. The burial chamber was revealed while the team was cleaning the sand from Behenu's pyramid in the area of el-Shawaf in South Saqqara, west of the pyramid of King Pepi I.

Hawass added that the burial chamber is badly destroyed with the exception of two inner walls on which were found engraved Pyramid Texts. Pyramid Texts were widely in use in royal tombs during the 5th and 6th Dynasties (circa. 2465-2150 BC). They were first discovered inside the burial chamber of King Unas's pyramid at Saqqara, the last king of Dynasty 5.
Pyramid Texts are religious texts composed of spells primarily concerned with protecting the king's remains, reanimating his body after death, and helping him ascend to the heavens. The spells delineate all of the ways the king could travel through the afterlife, including ramps, stairs, ladders, and most importantly flight. The spells could also be used to call on the gods for help, even threatening them if they did not comply.
Dr. Philippe Collombert, head of the mission, said that further excavation inside the burial chamber led the team to the queen's sarcophagus. He stated that: "It is a well-preserved granite sarcophagus engraved with the queen's different titles, but says nothing about the identity of her husband".
The French mission has been working within the necropolis of Pepi I at Saqqara where they discovered the 25 meter long pyramid of Behenu and Pyramid Text fragments since 2007. They have located a total of seven queen pyramids dating to the reigns of Pepi I and Pepi II since the beginning of their project in 1989. The pyramids have been attributed to Queens Inenek, Nubunet, Meretites II, Ankhespepy III, Miha, and a yet unidentified queen.
Further information: 
A Visit to Saqqara


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Beni Hassan Tomb
A Guardian in the tomb chapel of the High Priest of Thoth, Petosiris, at Tuna el-Gebel
Hatshepsut Statue
Zahi Hawass and Friends at Naguib Mahfouz Cafe
Dendera Temple at Night
Dr. Hawass with the Lack Family
Detail of a Still-Wrapped Mummy Found near the Temple of Taposiris Magna
Shabtis from Bahariya