Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Huh? Hatshepsut mummy found

The true mummy of ancient Egyptian queen Hatshepsut was discovered in the third floor of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Secretary General of Supreme Council for Antiquities Zahi Hawwas revealed on Thursday.

The mummy was missing among thousands of artifacts lying in the museum, he said during his lecture at the New York-based Metropolitan Museum of Arts.

He said for decades archaeologists believed that a mummy found in Luxor was that of the Egyptian queen. It was a streak of luck, he said, to find this mummy.

The Metropolitan is hosting a Hatshepsut exhibition that displays 270 artifacts on the life history of the queen.

The American museum honoured Hawwas and his accompanying delegation in appreciation of their effort to unravel the mysteries of the Egyptian Pharaohnic age.

Andie posted this as well and hasn't found anything else on it either. There has been some speculation that an ummarked mummy found in KV-60, an uninscribed, poorly constructed tomb, was that of Hatchepsut. I did some work on this tomb with Don Ryan and he speculated on the identity of this mummy as H., following someone else whose name escapes me at the moment (email Don and have him tell you the story! He'll hate me for it. . .). Don has two pics of KV-60:

The entrance to the tomb:

And the mummy as found:

So, this should be interesting. (And happy blog-birthday, Andie!)

UPDATE: Dr. Ryan says that Hawass is referring to another mummy (not the one pictured above) that was also found in KV-60 within a coffin marked as belonging to Hatchepsut's royal nurse Sitre.

The KV-60-mummy-as-Hatchepsut (pics above) reasoning goes like this: After she died, Hatchepsut's mummy was removed from whatever tomb she had originally been placed and placed in the tomb of her nurse, Sitre, for protection. The mummy still in KV-60 (pictured above) is of an elderly and obese woman in the royal pose. So you had two mummies in KV-60: One in a coffin denoted as containing 'Sitre' and and unmarked one without a coffin. Hawass is suggesting the one in the coffin in Cairo is, in fact, Hatchepsut, and not Sitre. So, eh, who knows.