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.
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.
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).
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 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