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Mummy of female pharaoh uncovered

Zahi Hawass and other excavators attend to sarcophagus
The discovery of such an old mummy is extremely rare, Egyptologists say

Egyptologists have discovered the remains of a mummy thought to belong to a queen who ruled 4,300 years ago, Egypt's antiquities chief has said.

The body of Queen Seshestet was found in a recently-discovered pyramid in Saqqara, Zahi Hawass announced.

She was mother of King Teti, founder of the Sixth Dynasty of pharaonic Egypt. Her name was not found but "all the signs indicate that she is Seshestet".

Such old royal mummies are rare. Most date from dynasties after 1800 BC.

Historians believe Queen Seshestet ruled Egypt for 11 years - making her one of a small number of women pharaohs.

It took five hours to lift the lid of a sarcophagus, according to a statement by Mr Hawass.

It contained a skull, legs, pelvis, other body parts wrapped in linen, pottery and gold finger wrappings.

The burial chamber was raided in antiquity by grave robbers who stole everything, including most valuables from inside the sarcophagus.

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