The jewellery of the lady

The work in the tombs located in the necropolis below the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III starts to bear fruit. The Egyptian-Spanish team 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 the 15th October of this year the seventh campaign of excavating and restoring the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III, located near the modern town of Qurna on the West Bank of Luxor, commenced. One of its objectives is the cleaning and preservation of the tombs that had been previously localized by employing the technology of exploration by geo-radar. And 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, which in turn 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 have not been false.
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 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 cylindric amulet made of semiprecious stones and gold plates, and with a pendant in the form of a finely wrought golden shell. Furthermore, she carried two golden bangles on her arms, each formed by two pieces of twisted wire, connected to each other 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 located an elite necropolis, in which wealthy and important individuals of the Middle Kingdom and their families were buried.
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 reused in later times, preserved the bones of seventeen different individuals and, among other artefacts, fragments of wooden models, canopic jars and small figurines, among which about twenty fragments of so-called magical wands manufactured from ivory are especially important, which transmit important information about the beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians.