Hello, mummy!


The mummy of Pinudjem II (Source: The Theban Royal Mummy Project).

Another instalment of ‘Hello, mummy!’ and this time the focus is not on a pharaoh, but a priest. In fact, it’s the High Priest of Amun, Pinudjem II.

Pinudjem II was the High Priest of Amun at Thebes during the 21st Dynasty, a period which saw Egypt ruled by Libyan kings. He was married to Isetemkheb and Nesikhons, and with them had seven children including the future pharaoh, Psusennes II.

Pinudjem II performing his role as High Priest of Amun in Thebes (Source: Wikipedia).

Usually, the king was the only person depicted performing the activities associated with the religious cult of Amun. The role of the High Priest of Amun was to fulfil the cultic duties at Thebes while the king was ruling in Lower Egypt.  It was a very important role in ancient Egypt and, at times, the High Priest’s power rivalled that of the king’s. During the Twenty-first Dynasty, the High Priests essentially ruled Upper Egypt while the pharaoh ruled from the North.

The mummy of Pinudjem II (Source: Smith 1912, Plate LXXXI).

Upon his death, Pinudjem II was laid to rest in his tomb (DB320) at Deir el-Bahri. He had this tomb prepared for himself and his family but also brought royal mummies from earlier dynasties to the tomb. This tomb was a royal mummy cache, a safe place for the mummies to rest away from tomb robbers in this period of unrest. Pinudjem II’s body was wrapped in an Osiris shroud and some of the wrappings had been replaced and repaired. The wrappings contained a number of amulets and jewellery, including two bracelets (below).


Two bracelets which adorned the mummy of Pinudjem II (Source: The Theban Royal Mummy Project).

 The body was coloured with ochre and the body cavity was packed with linen packets, some containing sawdust but others containing mummified organs. The arms of the mummy had been packed with mud to retain a lifelike appearance.
The body was found in an intact coffin set (made up of an inner and outer coffin) complete with a mummy board. The tomb goods included a shabti box (only three shabti of Pinudjem II are known at present), a figure of the god Osiris, and a piece of papyrus.


The inner and outer coffin lids (Source: The Theban Royal Mummy Project).

The mummy of Pinudjem II currently rests in the Cairo Egyptian Museum.

Clayton, P. 1994. Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames & Hudson Ltd.
The Theban Royal Mummy Project http://anubis4_2000.tripod.com/mummypages1/21A.htm


NEWS: Six Late Period tombs found in Aswan (Ministry of Antiquities Press Release)

(Source: The Ministry of Antiquities).

“Egypt’s Antiquities Minister, Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty declared the discovery of SIX Late Period tombs (26th Dynasty) at the Aga Khan Mausoleum perimeter, west of Aswan. 

This magnificent discovery came within the framework of the excavation works performed by the Egyptian Mission in Aswan and Nubia.

Eldamaty clarified that a group of stone and wooden sarcophagi containing the mummies of their owners as well as fiance statues representing the four sons of Horus, a group of amulets and small wooden statues of Horus the Falcon were also discovered.


(Source: The Ministry of Antiquities).

Eldamaty further added that this discovery is extremely important because it is the first Late Period discovery at the ancient Cemetery in Aswan. The previously discovered tombs at this areadate back to the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms.

On the other hand, General Director of Aswan and Nubia Archaeological Area, Nasr Salama said that most of the discovered tombs begin with a 30 steps stair leading to the tomb’s main entrance. Each tomb is divided inside into three or four rooms with no inscriptions. Salama also pointed out that the technique used in digging the newly discovered tombs is completely different from the tombs of the same area.


(Source: The Ministry of Antiquities).

Head of the Egyptian Mission working at the area, Mostafa Khalil finally added that this discovery will help in recognizing the architectural style of that period pointing out that the area was subjected to illegal digging lately and some burials were unearthed by thieves at the area” – via The EEF.

You can find more images here.

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NEWS: New Kingdom Egyptian army headquarters discovered in the Sinai


(Source: Luxor Times).

Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty announced the discovery of the remains of the eastern gate of the Tjaru fortress in Sinai which served as the Egyptian army headquarters in the New Kingdom.

The discovery was made by the Egyptian team working at Tell Habwa in the east bank of the Suez Canal.

The discovery also includes a mud brick royal warehouse belong to “Ramses II and Thutmoses III” and a 26th Dynasty cemetery – most of the graves are mud brick and group tombs containing human remains showing battles injuries. 

(Source: Luxor Times).


The discovered part of the eastern gate of the Tjaru fortress comprises three fragments of limestone with inscriptions of Ramses II of 3 meters length and 1 meter width. The fort is on the famous Horus military road which was the way to secure the eastern Egyptian borders” – via Luxor Times.
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NEWS: Rare old Kingdom statue discovered in Aswan


The lower part of a royal statue showing the name of the pharaoh Sahure (Source: Luxor Times).

Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, Minister of Antiquities, has announced the discovery of lower part of a royal statue showing the name of King “Sahure”, second King of the 5th Dynasty in the Old Kingdom.

The statue block was unearthed during the excavations of the Belgian mission at El-Kab (15km north of Edfu) in the Aswan governorate. The mission is directed by Dr. Dirk Huyge (Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels).

Dr. Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Egyptian Antiquities department, said ” The discovered limestone statue base measures 21.7cm in height and is probably part of a 70cm high statue.”

The minister emphasised the importance of the discover as there are only two statues of King Sahure, one of which is on display at the Metropolitan Museum in the USA  and the other at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir” – via Luxor Times.


NEWS: British archaeologists discover Old Kingdom mastaba in Delta


(Source: Luxor Times).

“The Egypt Exploration Society mission has unearthed King Khaba of 3rd Dynasty’s (ruled for 6 years) mastaba in Quesna, Minufiya governorate in the Delta.

Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, Minister of Antiquities said “It is the first time to discover an Old Kingdom tomb in Quesna which is known for Roman period antiquities.”

(Source: Luxor Times).


Dr. Joanne Rowland, director of the mission (EES Delta Survey) said “In 2010, a mud brick structure was discovered to the north of the site which the team suggested was a mastaba and then the excavations continued until in 2014, a seal with the King’s name was found and confirmed it was his tomb.” – via Luxor Times.
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NEWS: Russian archaeologists unearth ‘white walls’ of ancient Memphis


The Head of the Russian archeological expedition Galina Belova expressed hope that “other archeological witnesses of this early period of Ancient Egypt’s history dated back to nearly 3200 B.C.” will be discovered (Source: Sputnik News).

A team of Russian archeologists working in Saqqara near Egypt’s Cairo discovered the remains of the so-called “The White Wall” of the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis. Its Ancient Egyptian name was Inbu-Hedj which is translated as “The White Walls.”

According to Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati, the finding of the great historic site was made near the town of Mit Rahina, 20 kilometers south of Cairo and near Saqqara which was the necropolis of Memphis.

In addition to the parts of the wall, well-preserved remains of stoves and bronzes were found.

“We hope this finding will enhance our knowledge of one the most important cities of Ancient Egypt. Memphis played a significant political, religious and economic role in the history of the country. One of its names was Inbu-Hedj, or the White Walls,” the minister said.

The Head of the Russian archeological expedition Galina Belova, in her turn, explained that now scientists are finishing excavation on the site and will search for other parts of the wall in the coming days. She also expressed hope that “other archeological witnesses of this early period of Ancient Egypt’s history dated back to nearly 3200 B.C.” will be discovered.

Egyptian authorities are taking efforts to maintain free and secure conditions for Russian archeologists on the site. The tourist police and Giza security office have boosted security measures. The administration is helping clear the excavation site of modern constructions.

Memphis holds a special place in the history of Ancient Egypt and is believed to the oldest capital of Egypt. The city was founded more than 5,200 years ago by the pharaoh Menes. Memphis was capital of Egypt during the period of the Old Kingdom. Now it is listed as a world historic heritage site. Located south of Cairo, Saqqara and Mit Rahina have already delivered several important archeological findings. Among them are the stepped pyramid of Djoser and the famous statue of Ramses. Meanwhile, Egyptian and foreign archeological teams continue their work in the area in a bid to uncover new unique monuments” – via Sputnik News.

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NEWS: Royal chapel discovered in Heliopolis

(Source: Luxor Times).

“Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, Minister of Antiquities, announced on 14th April 2015 that the Egyptian-German mission working at Heliopolis temple discovered the lower part of a chapel dated back to the reign of Nectanebo I, 30th Dynasty. 

The chapel lower part is a group of inscribed basalt stone blocks beside a part of a royal statue bears the cartouch of King Nectanebo I.
“This discovery is important because it is the first time to find a chapel within the temple. Lowering the underground water levels is ongoing at the moment to resume the excavations in one of the biggest and most important temples in ancient Egypt.” Minister said.

Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian team of the mission, said “The part of the unearthed statue depicting King Merneptah of 19th Dynasty while making an offering to goddesses. The excavations showed layers of settlements including pottery and other archaeological elements dated back to predynastic periods.


(Source: Luxor Times).

Dr. Dietrich Raue, head of the mission, said that it is expected to discover the remains of the chapel during the next excavations seasons. Dr. Raue also pointed out that the temple mud brick wall of 15meters width was discovered and hope to find more elements in the temple area in the future” – via Luxor Times.


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