For over a century, Egyptologists have studied the necropolis of Meidum as an exclusively Old Kingdom (27-22nd centuries B.C.E.) burial site, but new investigations by Polish researcher Teodozja Rzeuska suggest the site was used well into the late New Kingdom period (16- 11th centuries B.C.E.), extending its history by over 1,500 years. Meidum is located at the southern border of the extraordinary Memphite necropolis about 20 miles south of Cairo. While the site is not as visited as Giza or Saqqara, its step pyramid, elaborate mastaba (an Old Kingdom Egyptian flat-roofed tomb structure), geese reliefs and statuary are some of the “most recognizable in Egypt,” according to Dr. Rzeuska.
After early publications by pioneering archaeologist William Matthew Flinders Petrie and others, Rzeuska says that it became “dogma that in Meidum the dead had been buried only in the early reign of the fourth dynasty.” Her research re-analyzed the pottery, other artifacts and dated excavation reports to completely reshape the chronology of the site. This new study calls for a reexamination of the many reports based on the old chronology, which were uncritically dated to the early Old Kingdom.