The contents of KV55 offer some clues to who the mystery mummy might have been. Although the tomb had been badly damaged over the centuries by floods that periodically inundate the
Valley of the Kings, many intriguing artifacts were found inside. Apart from the coffin containing the mysterious mummy, the most spectacular objects were panels from a gilded wooden shrine that had been built to protect the sarcophagus of Queen Tiye, the mother of Akhenaten. Originally, the shrine had borne the name and image of Akhenaten along with that of the queen, but these were erased in ancient times.
Other objects from KV55 included small clay sealings bearing the name of Tiye’s husband Amenhotep III, and Tutankhamun, who may have been her grandson. There were also vessels of stone, glass and pottery, along with a few pieces of jewelry, inscribed with the names of Tiye, Amenhotep III and one of Amenhotep III’s daughters, Princess Sitamun. Four ‘magical bricks’ made of mud were also found in the tomb, stamped with the name of Akhenaten himself. A beautiful set of calcite canopic jars made for Akhenaten’s secondary wife Kiya rested in a niche carved into the southern wall of the burial chamber.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Mystery of the mummy from KV55
Thanks to Huib Benne for sending me the link to this page. It is Zahi Hawass's take on this particular issue, with some detailed background information about the Amarna period and a description of some of the key contents of KV55.