The Japan Times
March 30, 2000

Old texts discovered

GIZA, Egypt (AFP-Jiji) Intact texts more than 4,000 years old have been discovered inside the ruins of an Egyptian pyramid, archaeologists announced here Tuesday.

They were discovered Sunday in the pyramid of Queen Ankhesen, one of the wives of Pharaoh Pepi I, who ruled Egypt from 2335 to 2285 B.C. She was also the mother of Pepi II, the longest-reigning monarch in history, who came to the throne at the age of 6 and ruled until he died, aged 100 or older.

The discovery was announced at the eighth international congress of Egyptology by Gaballah Ali Gaballah, head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, and Jean Leclant of France, who led the dig in the Saqqara region, southwest of Cairo.

"It is the first time that intact texts and inscriptions of this importance have been recovered in the ruins of a pyramid," said Gaballah.

The texts are carved on the walls of the pyramid. They were ordered by the queen to ensure her husband's immortality and guarantee him a place among the gods.