Ancient sarcophagus belonging to singer of god Amun - Luxor

Ancient sarcophagus belonging to singer of god Amun unearthed in Luxor

(Read the article on one page)

A team of Spanish archaeologists have unearthed a sarcophagus during the recent restorations of the tomb of Amenhotep Huy , ruler of Lower Nubia Kush under king Tutankhamun, located at Qurnet Marej in Luxor, Egypt. The sarcophagus is inscribed with hieroglyphics indicating that it belongs to a singer in the temple of Amun.

According to Ahram Online , the sarcophagus is well-preserved and still has the mummy inside. The Director of the team of experts Francisco Martin Valentin told EFE that the discovery is important because it is now rare to find a mummy inside a sarcophagus due to theft and looting.

The sarcophagus dates to the Third Intermediate Period (900 – 100 BC), an era characterized by political instability and marked by division of the state for much of the period, and conquest and rule by foreigners. The coffin is carved from wood and covered with plaster, which is painted with scenes depicting different ancient Egyptian gods, including Thoth, Anubis, Osiris, Isis, and the four sons of Horus. Inside, the mummy is wrapped in linen and the face is covered with a mask. There is also a religious necklace found on the chest and a wig decorated with a flower crown on the head.

“It has a unique style that was common during the reign of the 21th dynasty,” Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online.

The newly-unearthed sarcophagus found in Qurnet Marej in Luxor, Egypt

The newly-unearthed sarcophagus found in Qurnet Marej in Luxor, Egypt. Credit: Ahram Online

Abdel Hakim Karrar antiquities director general in Upper Egypt, told Ahram Online that hieroglyphic text engraved on the sarcophagus identifies the mummy as “Amun’s singer”. This suggests the mummy may be female as it was women that usually held the role of singer within temples, while men played instruments in rituals held outside the temple.

In ‘ The Life of Meresamun: A Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt’ , Emily Teeter writes that “women from elite families, served in the temple, playing music for the god as the priests laid offerings and purifications before the deity.” She adds that such singers were usually trained by their mothers, “and often several generations of women from a single family worked as temple singer”.

Sometimes young children also served as temple singers, as evidenced by the discovery of Tjayasetimu, a seven-year-old girl found in a beautifully decorated sarcophagus that also identified her as a singer in the temple of Amun.  Tjayasetimu had been wrapped in painted bandages, her face covered with a delicate veil and hidden by a golden mask, and she had been placed in a gilded sarcophagus.

The mummy of Tjayasetimu

The mummy of Tjayasetimu. Credit: Trustees of the British Museum.

Although the name of the singer just unearthed in Luxor has not yet been revealed, archaeologists are currently studying the sarcophagus and hieroglyphics for information regarding her name and identity.

Featured image: The newly-unearthed sarcophagus found in Qurnet Marej in Luxor, Egypt. Credit: Ahram Online

By April Holloway


rbflooringinstall's picture

What an incredible. It has been years since they have found a sarcophogus with a mummy inside. Awesome article.

Peace and Love,


Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Ancient Technology

Mammoth in the Royal BC Museum in Victoria (Canada). The display is from 1979, and the fur is musk ox hair.
In Sivershchina, close to the village of Mizyn in Ukraine is one of the oldest and most unique settlements of humans – and it was discovered in a parking lot. The now well-known archaeological site, known plainly as the Mizyn parking lot, dates back 18-20 thousand years.

Ancient Places

The highly-decorated tomb is built in a distinctive ‘L’ shape
A mysterious ancient tomb with “unusual and rare” wall paintings has been discovered in Egypt. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told BBC reporters the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb found during excavation work in Giza’s western cemetery “likely belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth.”

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article