Archaeologists from Basel University working in Egypt have stumbled upon the burial chamber of almost 60 mummies purported to belong to ancient Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. This is one of Egypt’s more well known dynasties, claiming the likes of Ahmose (credited with ousting the Hyksos from Lower Egypt), the imperial expansionist Thutmose III, the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV), and his son, the modern celebrity, Tutankhamun.
The mummies discovered are specifically from the time of father and son, Thutmose IV and Amenhotep III.
The official press release from the University of Basel, which conducted the excavations, states:
The scientists discovered mummified remains of at least 50 people in the center chamber and in three side chambers. Based on inscriptions on storage jars, Egyptologists were able to identify and name over 30 people during this year’s field season. Titles such as “Prince” and “Princess” distinguish the buried as members of the families of the two pharaohs Thutmosis IV and Amenhotep III who are also buried in the Valley of Kings. Both pharaohs belonged to the 18th dynasty (New Kingdom) and ruled in the 14th century BC.
This is a remarkable find. Eric Cline (George Washington University) is hoping that among the mummies might be found some of Amenhotep III’s Mitannian and Babylonian wives. We’ll have to wait and see. But in any case, we have here not only a valuable insight into this period of Egyptian history, but also the actual remains of people who once lived and walked in this incredible part of the earth so long ago.
Ahram Online also has a brief new article about the find.