Antiquities and Archaeology News Egypt

A mummy family reunion

Fifty royal mummies, including unknown princes and princesses, have been found in Luxor

Mummified remains were found among fragments of coffins, cloth and sherds in Tomb KV 40. Photo: Matjaz Kacicnik, University of Basel/Egyptology

A cache of at least 50 royal mummies has been discovered in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor by a joint Swiss-Egyptian team. Inscriptions written on storage jars revealed the names of around 30 of the tomb’s occupants, including eight previously unknown princesses and four princes, all related to the pharaohs Tuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III, who ruled in the 14th century BC. The human remains, which were found spread across four of the tomb’s five chambers, included infants and newborns.

The tomb, designated KV 40, had been known for some time, though never properly excavated. Archaeologists revealed that it had been repeatedly robbed in antiquity, re-used by priests a few centuries after the initial burials, and robbed again in the 19th-century. At some point in history, a fire, perhaps sparked by torches held by looters, also spread through the tomb. Nonetheless, fragments of wooden coffins and textiles, as well as other burial equipment, were discovered in the site.

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