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Did Ancient Egypt Suffer from Climate Change?

New details have emerged of a previously unknown queen of ancient Egypt -- and if the professor behind the find is correct, it could be bad news for the rest of us.

Reports surfaced in November of the tomb of Khentkaus III, a queen in the era of the Old Kingdom (2649--2150 BC). Discovered in a necropolis in Abusir, southwest of Cairo, she lay 650 feet away from her husband, Pharaoh Neferefre (also known as Reneferef), who ruled some 4,500 years ago.

The find helps color what project leader Professor Miroslav Barta calls "a black patch in the history of the Old Kingdom." Despite holding the epithet "Queen Mother" -- known thanks to graffiti scrawled on the wall of her final resting place -- Neferefre's principal wife was hitherto unknown.

As the team from the Czech Institute of Egyptology begin the long process of analyzing the contents of the tomb, Barta believes it may offer insights into a time not dissimilar from our own -- and from which disaster struck and ruin ensued.

David Merrigan

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