3,200-Year-Old Ancient Egyptian Mummy Discovered in Great Shape in Luxor
A Spanish mission has just announced an exciting new discovery of a 3,200-year-old mummy in a highly decorated sarcophagus at Thutmose III's temple in Luxor, a city on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt. The discovery was from the tomb of the servant of King Thutmose III’s house. The Spanish Mission stated that the mummy cartonnage is in an extremely good state of preservation.
Thutmose III’s Reign and the Temple Project
Thutmose III’s tomb was discovered by Victor Loret in 1898, in the Valley of the Kings. He was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty and his reign lasted from 1479 to 1426 BC. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most dominant kings of ancient Egypt, which is the reason why many archaeologists and historians often refer to him as the Egyptian "Napoleon". He is described as a very skilled warrior who brought the Egyptian empire to the zenith of its power by conquering all of Syria, crossing the Euphrates to defeat the Mitannians, and invading south along the Nile River to Napata in the Sudan. When Thutmose III died, he was buried in the Valley of the Kings as were the rest of the kings from this period in Egypt, also called the "mansions of millions of years" by the Egyptians. The excavation, restoration and enhancement project of these royal tombs was orchestrated by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the Academy of Fine Arts Santa Isabel of Hungary of Seville and began in 2008. The team is led by Dr. Myriam Seco Álvarez, who coordinates researches in the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III.
Temple of Millions of Years in Luxor. Credit: Thutmose III Temple Project
Millennia-Old Mummy Found in Egyptian Tomb
The ninth archaeological field season, which only launched a few weeks ago, is already considered successful after the joint Spanish-Egyptian mission discovered the tomb of the servant of the king’s house, Amenrenef, near a temple from the era of the great warrior king Thutmose III at Al-Deir Al-Bahari on Luxor's west bank. The mummy had been bound with linen stuck together with plaster and placed in an ornate, colored wooden sarcophagus.
The newly-discovered mummy and sarcophagus in Luxor. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities
Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities told Ahram Online that the tomb was uncovered at the southern enclosure wall of the temple and is in an excellent state of conservation. A deteriorated wooden coffin was found inside the tomb, he continued, but inside a beautiful and well-preserved mummy cartonnage was found.
Entrance to the tomb where the mummy was found. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities
The archaeological team’s head, Myriam Seco Alvarez, said that the mummy was decorated with "many colorful decorations recalling religious symbols from ancient Egypt, such as the goddesses Isis and Nephtys displaying their wings, and the four sons of Horus". She also added that the cartonnage includes its almost complete polychrome painted decoration and inscriptions with some of the most characteristic symbols and elements of the ancient Egyptian religion.
Credit: Ministry of Antiquities
Luxor, a city of nearly half a million people, has been battered by political instability and jihadi violence since the 2011 revolution that toppled the longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak. However, many archaeologists are being optimistic and consider Luxor a city of treasures that only small part have been discovered and more is waiting to be discovered.
Top image: The newly-discovered mummy and sarcophagus in Luxor. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities
By Theodoros II