Discovery at the temple of Thutmosis III in Luxor

The work in the tombs located in the necropolis below the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmosis III starts to bear fruit. The Egyptian-Spanish team under the direction of Dr. Myriam Seco Álvarez has discovered two tombs from the Middle Kingdom (2137-1781 BC), which brought to light very interesting material dating from a relatively obscure period of the Theban region.

On 15 October 2014 began the seventh campaign to excavate and restore the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III, located near the modern town of Qurna on the West Bank of Luxor. One of its objectives was the cleaning and preservation of the tombs that had been previously located by employing the geo-radar exploration technology. One of them has yielded truly exceptional results.

Once the cleaning of the funerary shaft of the tomb no. XIV, which already had been looted in antiquity, was finished, the excavators could determine that in one of the chambers part of the roof had already collapsed before the desecration by ancient tomb robbers. This nourished hopes that this certain part of the sepulchre had not been plundered in the past. As the cleaning of the debris went on, it became clearer and clearer that indeed these hopes had not been unfounded.

A large boulder, which had fallen down before the tomb was looted, had crushed and buried a previously untouched coffin with all its contents. Thus, the raiding of the valuable artefacts attached to the mummy inside was prevented. Removing the aforementioned boulder, the excavators discovered vestiges of a wooden coffin completely destroyed and an utterly destroyed female mummy, which, however, still wore the marvellous jewellery attached to it during the process of mummification and subsequent burial. A preliminary analysis of the pottery found in the tomb allows for a reliable dating of the ensemble to the Middle Kingdom.

The female owner of the tomb was buried with a cylindrical amulet made of semiprecious stones and gold plates, and a pendant in the form of a finely wrought golden shell weighing over 20 grams. Furthermore, she carried two golden bangles on her arms, each formed by two pieces of twisted wire, connected to each other with a reef knot and silver bracelets on both ankles. The golden shell and the two golden bangles were found in a perfect state of preservation, while the silver ankle bracelets suffered from heavy damage. These spectacular findings confirm that under the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III there is an elite necropolis, where wealthy and important individuals of the Middle Kingdom and their families were buried.


© Thutmosis III Temple Project


In fact, at the end of the campaign of 2013 another tomb, no. XI, was unearthed, containing the, unfortunately badly preserved, funerary equipment and fragments of a wooden coffin belonging to a person named Ikery. The tomb, that had been looted and re-used in later times, preserved the bones of seventeen different individuals and, among other artefacts, fragments of wooden models, canopic jars and small figurines. Among these, there are about twenty fragments of so-called magical wands manufactured from ivory, which are particularly important as they provide information about the beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians.

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Source: Thutmosis III Temple Project


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