This week we are not meeting a king but an Egyptian noble with royal connections – Yuya.
Yuya was an influential member of the Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian court during the reign of Thutmose IV and Amenhotep III. He was married to a noblewoman named Tjuyu and they were the parents of Queen Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III. They had another son, Anen, who held many important titles including Chancellor of Lower Egypt.
There is some speculation about whether Yuya was the father of Ay; however, this is not known for certain. The question of Yuya’s origin has also been widely debated. Many Egyptologists believe that he was not Egyptian.
The mummy of Yuya was discovered in a private tomb in the Valley of the Kings, KV46, by James E. Quibell in 1905. It is one of the rare few non-royal tombs found in the valley. Yuya was laid to rest with his wife Tjuyu and their tomb contained many treasures that could rival even those of Tutankhamun. Both mummies were adorned with beautiful mummy masks (above).
Yuya had three coffins which fitted one inside the other. The outer coffin and sarcophagus were made from wood, covered in pitch, and adorned with gold (above and below). When the tomb was discovered, Yuya’s mummy was still in the coffins and, although the lids had been removed by thieves searching for valuables, there was no substantial damage.
The mummy of Yuya now rests in the Cairo Egyptian Museum.
Bibliography and further reading:
Tour Egypt – The Private Tomb of Yuya and Tjuyu in the Valley of the Kings: http://m.touregypt.net/featurestories/yuyat.htm#ixzz3hxHqYO61
The Theban Royal Mummy Project – Yuya: http://anubis4_2000.tripod.com/mummypages1/18B.htm
The Theban Royal Mummy Project – The Treasures of Yuya and Tuyu: http://anubis4_2000.tripod.com/SpecialExhibits/YuyaTuyu.htm