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New Ancient Egyptian Human Mummies from the Valley of the Kings, Luxor: Anthropological, Radiological, and Egyptological Investigations.

Rühli F, Ikram S, Bickel S - Biomed Res Int (2015)

Bottom Line: This paper reports on newly discovered ancient Egyptian human mummified remains originating from the field seasons 2010-2012.A total of five human individuals have been examined so far and set into an Egyptological context.This project highlights the importance of ongoing excavation and science efforts even in well-studied areas of Egypt such as the Kings' Valley.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
The Valley of the Kings (arab. Wadi al Muluk; KV) situated on the West Bank near Luxor (Egypt) was the site for royal and elite burials during the New Kingdom (ca. 1500-1100 BC), with many tombs being reused in subsequent periods. In 2009, the scientific project "The University of Basel Kings' Valley Project" was launched. The main purpose of this transdisciplinary project is the clearance and documentation of nonroyal tombs in the surrounding of the tomb of Pharaoh Thutmosis III (ca. 1479-1424 BC; KV 34). This paper reports on newly discovered ancient Egyptian human mummified remains originating from the field seasons 2010-2012. Besides macroscopic assessments, the remains were conventionally X-rayed by a portable X-ray unit in situ inside KV 31. These image data serve as basis for individual sex and age determination and for the study of probable pathologies and embalming techniques. A total of five human individuals have been examined so far and set into an Egyptological context. This project highlights the importance of ongoing excavation and science efforts even in well-studied areas of Egypt such as the Kings' Valley.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Room C of tomb KV 31 with the scattered fragments of mummy parts (survey: T. Alsheimer, University of Basel).
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fig2: Room C of tomb KV 31 with the scattered fragments of mummy parts (survey: T. Alsheimer, University of Basel).

Mentions: Tomb KV 31 lies on a steep slope on the west flank of the lateral valley; it consists of a vertical shaft with a depth of about 5 m, which gives access to a central room B (ca. 470 cm × 370 cm). The main burial chamber (room C, ca. 530 cm × 320 cm, Figure 2) lies to the south of the central room, a less properly cut room D lies to the west. The central room was filled in with a thick layer of desert debris possibly indicating a later reuse of the tomb. Rooms C and D contained the very fragmented remains of several burials, probably five individuals, which can be assigned to the mid-18th dynasty (ca. 1450–1400 BC, from the reign of Thutmose III to that of Amenhotep II) on the basis of a large quantity of pottery and some fragments of canopic jars. The original burials were severely looted in antiquity (21st dynasty, 11th–10th c. BC), some decades before the probable reuse of the tomb, and further damage by modern robbers seems assured. Robbers of all periods sought for valuables, mainly jewellery; ancient looters moreover retrieved all wooden objects for reuse. No wooden coffins remained in KV 31. The mummies of the individuals were stripped of all their bandages and violently disarticulated. Most of the mummies' remains were found clustered in room C (thus labelled 31.C), with one mummy found in room D (31.D). The remaining objects do not reveal the identity of the individuals. However, the quality of the fragmentary burial goods indicates their very high social status. During the mid-18th dynasty, the Kings' Valley was used as burial ground for members of the royal family and the kings' immediate entourage (queens, princesses, princes, wet-nurses, and royal companions, [14]). Future ancient DNA analyses might answer the question whether the individuals of KV 31 were related to each other and whether they belonged to the royal family or not.


New Ancient Egyptian Human Mummies from the Valley of the Kings, Luxor: Anthropological, Radiological, and Egyptological Investigations.

Rühli F, Ikram S, Bickel S - Biomed Res Int (2015)

Room C of tomb KV 31 with the scattered fragments of mummy parts (survey: T. Alsheimer, University of Basel).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4544442&req=5

fig2: Room C of tomb KV 31 with the scattered fragments of mummy parts (survey: T. Alsheimer, University of Basel).
Mentions: Tomb KV 31 lies on a steep slope on the west flank of the lateral valley; it consists of a vertical shaft with a depth of about 5 m, which gives access to a central room B (ca. 470 cm × 370 cm). The main burial chamber (room C, ca. 530 cm × 320 cm, Figure 2) lies to the south of the central room, a less properly cut room D lies to the west. The central room was filled in with a thick layer of desert debris possibly indicating a later reuse of the tomb. Rooms C and D contained the very fragmented remains of several burials, probably five individuals, which can be assigned to the mid-18th dynasty (ca. 1450–1400 BC, from the reign of Thutmose III to that of Amenhotep II) on the basis of a large quantity of pottery and some fragments of canopic jars. The original burials were severely looted in antiquity (21st dynasty, 11th–10th c. BC), some decades before the probable reuse of the tomb, and further damage by modern robbers seems assured. Robbers of all periods sought for valuables, mainly jewellery; ancient looters moreover retrieved all wooden objects for reuse. No wooden coffins remained in KV 31. The mummies of the individuals were stripped of all their bandages and violently disarticulated. Most of the mummies' remains were found clustered in room C (thus labelled 31.C), with one mummy found in room D (31.D). The remaining objects do not reveal the identity of the individuals. However, the quality of the fragmentary burial goods indicates their very high social status. During the mid-18th dynasty, the Kings' Valley was used as burial ground for members of the royal family and the kings' immediate entourage (queens, princesses, princes, wet-nurses, and royal companions, [14]). Future ancient DNA analyses might answer the question whether the individuals of KV 31 were related to each other and whether they belonged to the royal family or not.

Bottom Line: This paper reports on newly discovered ancient Egyptian human mummified remains originating from the field seasons 2010-2012.A total of five human individuals have been examined so far and set into an Egyptological context.This project highlights the importance of ongoing excavation and science efforts even in well-studied areas of Egypt such as the Kings' Valley.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
The Valley of the Kings (arab. Wadi al Muluk; KV) situated on the West Bank near Luxor (Egypt) was the site for royal and elite burials during the New Kingdom (ca. 1500-1100 BC), with many tombs being reused in subsequent periods. In 2009, the scientific project "The University of Basel Kings' Valley Project" was launched. The main purpose of this transdisciplinary project is the clearance and documentation of nonroyal tombs in the surrounding of the tomb of Pharaoh Thutmosis III (ca. 1479-1424 BC; KV 34). This paper reports on newly discovered ancient Egyptian human mummified remains originating from the field seasons 2010-2012. Besides macroscopic assessments, the remains were conventionally X-rayed by a portable X-ray unit in situ inside KV 31. These image data serve as basis for individual sex and age determination and for the study of probable pathologies and embalming techniques. A total of five human individuals have been examined so far and set into an Egyptological context. This project highlights the importance of ongoing excavation and science efforts even in well-studied areas of Egypt such as the Kings' Valley.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus