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Second mummy chamber opens at the Egyptian Museum

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:49 am    Post subject: Second mummy chamber opens at the Egyptian Museum Reply with quote


Cairo - The Egyptian Museum opened a second mummy chamber Sunday where the mummies of 11 royal figures from the 20th dynasty of the New Kingdom were put on display.

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Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a really nice article here at Al-Ahram Weekly:

There is a well-written recap of some of the history and of the discovery of these mummies.

The second gallery is designed like a royal tomb, with a vaulted ceiling and low, indirect lighting. It displays 11 mummies that are exhibited inside special showcases, each supplied with a small electronic device to observe and control the humidity level around the mummy minute by minute. The mummies belong to royal individuals of the 20th Dynasty such as Pharaoh Ramses III, and to priests of Amun who ruled the southern half of Egypt as priest-kings. These priest-kings proclaimed Thebes as Egypt's religious capital and founded the 21st Dynasty. Among them was Pinudjem II, an important ruler of the Third Intermediate Period, who moved the earlier royal mummies to one of the caches. This room also displays three mummies of queens, including that of Maatkare.

The mummies exhibited in both galleries were among those discovered in 1881 in the first mummy cache at Deir Al-Bahari (DB 320) on Luxor's west bank, and in 1898 in the second cache in Pharaoh Amenhotep II's tomb (KV 35) in the Valley of the Kings. Both caches included the mummies of famous kings of the New Kingdom, including Tuthmosis III, Amenhotep III, and the last warrior Pharaoh Ramses II, as well as mummies of well-known queens and high priests of Amun.

Must be quite interesting to see the mortal remains of these ancient rulers and their relatives.
Interesting idea to structure the second room like a tomb. That must add something to the ambience.

I liked this description from the article as well Very Happy

The first mummy one sees is that of Ramses III, the founder of the funerary temple of Madinet Habu on Luxor's west bank. Ramses III was known as the last of the influential Ramesside Pharaohs. He succeeded in repelling the invasions of the sea people during his long reign, which lasted from 1185 to 1152 BC. The second mummy belongs to his son, Ramses IV, whose reign was dissimilar to that of his father in every way. While Egypt under Ramses III was marked by its stability, Ramses IV's reign witnessed weak government under constant threat from internal rebels, which dropped a sorry curtain on the glorious Ramesside period in Upper Egypt and provided an opportunity for the rise of the new royal priesthood. It was Ramses IX who finally handed over all authority when his daughter Nejmet married Hrihor, the high priest of Amun. This opened the way to the 21st Dynasty of priest-kings and the Third Intermediate Period.

Visitors are guided past the mummy of Queen Henettawy, which is wrapped in linen decorated with the image of Osiris alongside some lines of hieroglyphs written in red ink. This queen was married to the High Priest Pinudjem I, father of Pinudjem II, whose mummy is also exhibited next to his wife, Queen Istemkheb.

One mummy, that of Nesikhonsu wears a splendid wig. Some mummies hold their majesty despite affliction. Ramses V's body was pitted with variola. The mummy of Maatkare has stirred the curiosity of experts from the moment of its discovery as it was accompanied by another small mummy. Experts believed that this was that of a baby, but examination revealed that it was the mummy of a small baboon which was apparently her beloved pet. The most beautiful mummy exhibited is that of Prince Djedptahiufankh, which is in a state of perfect preservation. It differs from the others in the galleries in that this prince had no importance in history, but his mummy was found wearing seven gold rings on his hands and another two on his left foot.

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