First Non-Royal Female Mummy Discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings

January 20, 2012
Blog Image

The Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt, has long-been known as the final resting place of Egypt’s rulers, and is where famed Pharaoh Tutankhamen was unearthed in 1922. Now another remarkable discovery has been made in the valley. The Associated Press reports that Swiss and Egyptian archeologists discovered the tomb of female singer Nehmes Bastet, who may have been some what of a pop star during her time. Mansour Boraiq, one of the top officials of Luxor's Antiquities Ministry, told the AP that "it is the only tomb of a woman not related to the ancient Egyptian royal families ever found in the Valley of the Kings."

The inscription on Nehmes Bastet's tomb indicates that she was a temple singer during the 22nd Dynasty (945-712 B.C.). Hers is not the only non-royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings, but the others in the region belong to notable males from Egyptian history. This discovery reveals that in the later years of pharaonic Egypt, those other than royalty were given elaborate burials as well, although Bastet's tomb was far less decorated and ornate than those of pharaohs.

This discovery is a prime example of how little we know about ancient Egypt, and new artifacts are being unearthed all the time. Travelers on IE’s Wings Over the Nile tour get a firsthand look at the Valley of the Kings during their Egypt tour.

For the latest travel trends and exciting discoveries, visit our Nile Cruise section.