Although robbers ripped apart Senebkay's mummy, Wegner's team was able to recover and reassemble the pharaoh's skeleton. Preliminary examination indicates he was about 1.75 m (5'10) tall. He died in his mid to late 40s.
Senebkay's name may have appeared in a broken section of the Turin King List, a papyrus dating to the reign of Ramesses II (about 1200 B.C.), which is believed to contain the most extensive list of kings compiled by the Egyptians.
"Two kings with the throne name 'Woser...re' are recorded at the head of a group of more than a dozen kings, most of whose names are entirely lost," the Penn Museum said in a statement.
According to the archaeologists, the badly decayed remains of Senebkay's canopic chest provide important insights into the economic situation of the Abydos Kingdom, which lay in the southern part of Middle Egypt between the larger kingdoms of Thebes (Dynasties 16–17) and the Hyksos (Dynasty 15) in northern Egypt.
"This chest was made of cedar wood that had been reused from the nearby tomb of Sobekhotep I and still bore the name of that earlier king, covered over by gilding," the archaeologists said.
Such reuse of objects reveals the rather limited resources and isolated economic situation of the kingdom, whose pharaohs ended up being completely forgotten to history.
"Continued work in the royal tombs of the Abydos Dynasty promises to shed new light on the political history and society of an important but poorly understood era of Ancient Egypt," Wegner, said.