This week we are meeting the wife of Yuya, the lady Tjuyu.
Tjuyu was the mother of Queen Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III. She was also the grandmother of Akhenaten and the great-grandmother of Tutankhamun. There is some speculation that she was the mother of the controversial figure, Ay.
Tjuyu was of Egyptian origin and this discovery enabled the discussion of Queen Tiye’s ethnicity to be laid to rest. Tjuyu held the titles of Chantress of Hathor and Leader of the Harem of Amun.
Tjuyu was embalmed later than her husband indicating that she outlived him. She was quite old when she died and was almost bald. There are a number of unusual features possessed by her mummy including the fact that the embalming incision is almost vertical and has been sewn up with string. The material packing the cavity beneath her eyelids has been painted to give the impression of eyes – this is unusual as it is a feature that was not used until much later.
The mummy was laid to rest in KV46 along with that of Yuya. Both mummies were placed in a nest of coffins and wore beautiful funerary masks (above). Tjuyu’s outer coffin (above) is unusual as it is entirely gilded unlike her husband’s which was covered with pitch and then decorated with gilded bands and images.
Tjuyu’s mummy now rests in the Cairo Egyptian Museum.
Bibliography and further reading:
The Theban Royal Mummy Project – Tuyu: 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
Tour Egypt – The Private Tomb of Yuya and Tjuyu in the Valley of the Kings: http://m.touregypt.net/featurestories/yuyat.htm#ixzz3hxHqYO61