EGYPTIAN authorities have discovered the long-lost mummy of Queen Hatshepsut, billed as the most important find since King Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Historic discovery…the long-lost mummy of Queen Hatshepsut.
EGYPT announced today the discovery of the long-lost mummy of Queen Hatshepsut, its most famous female pharaoh, billed as the most important find since the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told a packed news conference in Cairo that one of two mummies found in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor about a century ago had been identified as Hatshepsut.
Hatshepsut, who ruled for 21 years from 1479 to 1458 BC, was one of the most powerful female monarchs of the ancient world, who declared herself pharaoh after the death of her husband-brother Tuthmosis II.
The fabled queen, known for sporting a false beard, was identified thanks to a broken tooth, following scientific examinations of four mummies from the New Empire, the antiquities department said.
The US-based Discovery Channel had quoted Hawass before today’s news conference describing the mummy as “the most important find in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings since the discovery of Tutankhamun” in 1922.
In 1903, archaeologist Howard Carter – who went on to become famous for his discovery of Tutankhamun– had discovered two sarcophogi in a tomb known as KV60 in the Theban necropolis, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
One apparently contained the mummy of Hatshepsut’s wet nurse Sitre-In and the other of an unknown female.
Later in 1920, he found the tomb of Queen Hatshepsut but the two sarcophogi it contained were empty.
Discovery Channel, which is to air a documentary about the find next month, said Hawass was able to narrow the search for Hatshepsut down to the two mummies discovered by Carter in 1903.
He used CT scans to produce detailed 3D images and link distinct physical traits of one of the mummies to that of her ancestors.
According to the channel, a box that contained the tooth was inscribed with the female pharaoh’s name and a scan of the box found that the tooth “matched within a fraction of a millimetre the space of the missing molar in the mouth of the mummy.”