Friday, August 14, 2009

Dig Days: The Search for Queen Mutnodjmet

Originally published for week of August 13 - 19, 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Dr. Zahi Hawass

Below is an excerpt from Dr. Hawass' article at Al-Ahram Weekly Online, where he discusses the life and times of the lesser known Queen Mutnodjmet, wife to Horemheb, and his current scholastic endeavors regarding the noblewoman's mummy. Good luck, Dr. Hawass! I appreciate your efforts.

Queen Mutnodjmet is not one of the famous queens, like Nefertiti or Nefertari, but she married a high official named Horemheb who later became Pharaoh. Horemheb was the leader of the army in the reigns of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Ay. After Ay's death, Horemheb rose to the throne. Prior to his ascension he had constructed for himself a nobleman's tomb at Saqqara. After his ascension, however, this tomb was no longer suitable, so he had a second one carved out in the Valley of the Kings that was more befitting of his rank. His first tomb at Saqqara has, since then, suffered much damage, and some of its blocks have illegally been taken out of the country. Archaeologist Geoffrey Martin has been in charge of re- excavating and restoring the tomb, and has carried out some very impressive work.

I am currently trying to locate the bones of Horemheb's queen, Mutnodjmet, in order to include her remains within our DNA research on the family of King Tutankhamun. Her bones could be an extra piece of the puzzle in helping us to identify more individuals who were related to the Golden Boy.

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