Monday, June 07, 2010

Gilded coffin and funerary mask of Tjuya

Art Museum Journal (Stan Parchin)

With photos.

Yuya and Tjuya were the parents of Queen Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Amenhotep III (r. 1390-1353 B.C.) and the grandmother of Tutankhamun (r. 1332-1323 B.C.). Commoners of high social rank from Akhmim, they were possibly foreigners by birth. Yuya's titles included Master of the Horse, Commander of Chariotry and Overseer of the Cattle of Min, the Egyptian goddess of fertility. Tjuya was Chief Lady of the Harem and a priestess of Amun, Hathor and Min. Because of the couple's royal alliance, they were buried in the Valley of the Kings. Partially plundered in antiquity, the tomb was discovered with their well-preserved mummies by archaeologist James Quibell in 1905. His find yielded Tjuya's magnificent Gilded Coffin and Funerary Mask (both ca. 1390-1352 B.C.) as well as other works on display in Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. The ritual objects' elaborate designs attest to Yuya and Tjuya's importance at Amenhotep III's flourishing imperial court.

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