International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Strouhal E, Vyhnánek L, Gaballah MF, Saunders SR, Woelfli W, Bonani G, Němečková A, 2001: Identification of Royal Skeletal Remains from Egyptian Pyramids. Anthropologie (Brno) 39, 1: 15-23'.
Most pyramids were repeatedly robbed in the past and human remains were found in them only exceptionally. A few bones were discovered in the granite chamber of the Step Pyramid at Saqqara in 1926 and 1934. Our macroscopic and histological re-examination (1988-95) revealed embalming techniques not corresponding with that of the 3rd Dynasty and strikingly well preserved remains of soft tissues. Aspective and histomorphometric investigation proved for single bones different individual ages and 14C determination disclosed their different dating, all but within the common range of 8th-3rd cent. BC. Not a single of them could have belonged to the 3rd Dynasty King Djoser. However, a skull and two bones of an adolescent girl found in another place of the Step Pyramid yielded 14C age range 3532-2878 years BC, even predating the chronological range of the Third Dynasty (2700-2600 years BC) accepted by Egyptology. A coffin with a mummy in the depository of the British Museum were attributed to King Mycerinus. According to our examination in 1990, the Egyptological dating of the coffin was confirmed by 14C date (range 12th-9th cent. BC), while the mummy was found to be a natural one and as late as from 7th-9th cent. AD. In 1998 the mission of the Czech Institute of Egyptology unearthed in the burial chamber of the Unfinished Pyramid of King Neferefra at Abusir fragments of his burial equipment together with a few bones. According to their identical external appearance, similar physical features, perfect articulation of two of them, similar age at death and sex, and the same embalming technique used, they originate from the same individual, a 20-23 year old male. This agrees with the King's reign of mere 2-3 years and his young facial features depicted on statues found in his mortuary temple. Remains of 5th Dynasty King Djedkare Isesi were found in his pyramid at Saqqara South in 1945. Their external appearance, embalming technique, physical features and dating were compared with those of his two daughters found by the Czech mission in separate tombs at Abusir in the late 1970s and 80s. All their 14C data except one were compatible and fell into the range of 2886-2507 years BC, exceeding the Fifth Dynasty range 2500-2350 years BC accepted by Egyptology.
Egypt - Old Kingdom Kings - Identification - Anthropology - Histology - Histomorphometry - Radiocarbon dating - Blood groups

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