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King Sobekhotep I's Tomb Identified In Egypt (PHOTOS)

01/08/2014 02:32 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
SCA / AFP / Getty Images

The impressive tomb of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh has been identified at the Abydos archaeological site near Sohag, Egypt.

State Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim announced the identification of King Sobekhotep I's tomb on Jan. 6, according to a government press release.

A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania worked together with the country's Antiquities Ministry to identify the site.

A positive identification of the sarcophagus, which weighed close to 60 tons, was made after researchers found and interpreted pieces of stone slab inscribed with the pharaoh's name, the Agence France Press reports.

King Sobekhotep I is believed to be the founder of the 13th Pharaonic dynasty, the Agence France-Presse reports. Previous to this discovery, little information about the important leader's rule had been unearthed -- a factor that lends particular significance to the breakthrough in Abydos. Ayman El-Damarani, a ministry official, noted that Sobekhotep's nearly five-year rule was "the longest rule at this time," the outlet notes.

Located in Upper Egypt west of the Nile River, the sacred city of Abydos has been the site of many important archaeological discoveries. Once a royal cemetery for early Egyptian royalty, the location later became a popular pilgrimage site for worship of the god Osiris, according to Britannica.

The University of Pennsylvania has sent teams of researchers to Abydos for three decades, according to the school's website. Successful digs in the region have uncovered everything from temples and royal boat pits to the resting places of kings.

sobekhotep

Workers keep busy at the site of the 3,800-year-old tomb of pharaoh Sobekhotep I in Upper Egypt.

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