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Just Discovered: Strange 3,000 year old Sarcophagus of an Amun Priestess

In Egypt, a 3,000-year-old, strange and well-preserved sarcophagus, belonging to a female singer of Amun, was recently discovered by a team of Spanish archaeologists. 

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The mysterious,ancient coffin, consisting of carved wood and covered with plaster, is reported to be in excellent condition and still containing its original occupant. The outside of the burial casket was noted to have many hieroglyphs and illustrations, portraying the ancient Egyptian gods Anubis, Osiris, Isis, Thoth and several others. The mummy that was sealed inside was also completely intact and remained untouched for thousands of years. The team of Spanish archaeologists had discovered many interesting relics and artifacts encased in the sarcophagus, along with the corpse, that included a wig, a ceremonial crown of flowers and a religious necklace around its neck, resting on the mummy’s chest. As of yet, the identity of the subject is still unknown, but along with the other historical finds, the mummy was found to have been dressed in a funeral mask, creating speculation of the mummy’s social rank in ancient Egyptian society.

The discovery had occurred while a team of archaeologists continued to excavate the tomb of Amenhotep Huy, located on the west bank of the Luxor river. It is believed that this priestess was buried approximately 200 years after the tomb was constructed.

The specialists are referring to the woman as a “Singer of Amun”, due to the etched hieroglyphs found on the side of the sarcophagus, stating that the woman was a devout priestess, belonging to the temple of Amun.

It is believed that the coffin was constructed during the 21st dynasty, around the years of 1069 through 664 BC, which is an estimated 200 years after the tomb was created, presumably around 1292 BC.

A singer of Amun was a subordinate to the higher ranking title of Wife of Amun, both groups belonging to the temple of Amun in ancient Egypt. A singer of Amun was believed to work in a similar format to our modern part-time jobs, implying that the singer, often a woman, would only work for a short period of time, then return to working a few months later for another period of time, possibly a month. Her duties as a ‘Singer of Amun’ would be to sing, while men performed music for the gods as high priests presented offerings.

The unknown woman who was mummified and laid to rest inside the elaborate sarcophagus, was believed to be from a middle to upper class social standing. This conclusion is based on her employment as a singer of Amun, as well as the extensive measures that was taken  to preserve her body and decorate her coffin.

 

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