Egyptian pharaoh's tomb is not a tomb

March 15, 2006 at 2:36 PM

CAIRO, March 15 (UPI) -- Archaeologists say a chamber they found last month in Egypt's Valley of the Kings was not a tomb, as first thought, but a room used to mummify pharaohs.

The chamber, discovered by a team from the University of Memphis, dates from the 18th Pharaonic Dynasty that ruled between 1539 B.C. and 1292 B.C. It contained seven wooden coffins and a number of sealed jars that subsequently were found to contain materials used in the mummification process, the BBC reported Wednesday.

At the time, Egypt's head of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, speculated the coffins belonged "to royals or nobles" moved from "original graves to protect them from grave robbers." Further examination revealed the chamber was actually an embalming workshop.

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