One archaeologist believes that artifacts gleaned from the recently discovered tomb of Egyptian queen Khentkaus III may foreshadow an impending cycle of doom and destruction for people today.
Professor Miroslav Barta, project leader for the Czech Institute of Egyptology's archaeological analysis of Khentkaus III's tomb, indicated that the artifacts recovered from the previously unknown queen's tomb may shed significant light upon "a black patch in the history of the Old Kingdom."
"You can find many paths to our modern world, which is also facing many internal and external challenges," Barta told CNN. "By studying the past you can learn much more about the present. We're not different [from them]. People always think 'this time it's different,' and that 'we're different.' We are not."
Khentkaus III, the hitherto unknown "Queen Mother" and wife of Pharoah Neferefre (known also as Reneferef), ruled sometime during the Old Kingdom era of Egypt (2649 - 2150 BC). Her tomb, which was unearthed in a necropolis in Abusir, Egypt, lay 650 feet from her husband's tomb. In addition to her own remains, archaeologists discovered pottery, woodwork, copper, animal bones, and other artifacts that Barta believes will provide vital information and new clues to Egyptologists.
"The scientific potential is rather huge," Barta told CNN.
Barta noted that during and after the queen's lifetime, the rise of democracy and the impacts of nepotism and political interest groups appeared to coincide with climate change and a severe drought when the Nile no longer flooded. These events, he said, contributed to the Old Kingdom's demise, as well as further catastrophes in the Middle East and Western Europe.
"[This] contributed to the disintegration of the era of the pyramid builders," Barta told CNN. "Without reasonable floods, there were no reasonable harvests and therefore very bad taxes; without appropriate taxes there were no sufficient means to finance the state apparatus and maintain the ideology and integrity of the state."
Barta believes that the artifacts and clues contained within the tomb offer modern society sobering warnings.
"If we accept collapse as a fact, we will understand collapses as being a part of the natural course of things, and one of the needed steps in the process leading towards 'resurrection,'" Barta said, according to CNN. "Then, we shall be able to do something about it."
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