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Rare Ancient Egyptian Jewellery Found

Egyptian Tomb

<![CDATA[Archaeologists have recently unearthed a female mummy still wearing her jewels. The Spanish team were excavating the necropolis below the temple of Pharaoh Thutmosis III, who ruled Egypt between 1490-1436 BCE, when they found the remains. It has already been ascertained that the mummy is from the Middle Kingdom, 2137 - 1781 BCE. The discovery of a fully-furnished tomb is of particular importance as it is incredibly rare to find a mummy with all their burial accompaniments. Excavations at the temple of Thutmosis III, located on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, have already turned up some spectacular finds. Although a large amount of items have, unfortunately, been looted by grave robbers. The 'Lady of the Jewels,' as the mummy has been nicknamed, was hidden from tomb raiders for nearly four millennia, her sarcophagus protected from robbers beneath a collapsed roof. The team, led by Egyptologist Myriam Seco, had been restoring several tombs in the necropolis when they noticed that one of the chambers of tomb XIV had collapsed before robbers could enter it. "A large boulder, which had fallen down before the tomb was looted, had crushed and buried a previously untouched coffin with all its content," Seco said in a statement. As the team removed the stones and debris, they uncovered a wooden sarcophagus and a severely damaged female mummy. Her jewellery, however, remained intact. The collapse which destroyed the mummified remains had protected the jewels against thieves. From the lavish ornaments she was buried with, it is obvious the woman belonged to a high social class. She was buried with a necklace of alternating semiprecious stones and gold plates. A pendant in the form of a finely-wrought golden shell, weighing over 20 grams, was attached to the ornate necklace. "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," Seco said. Most of the jewellery was in perfect condition, but the silver ankle bracelets appeared very worn. They are possibly items the woman, believed to have been in her thirties, wore in her everyday life. Since archaeological work began at the site in 2008, the mortuary beneath the temple of Thutmosis III has been thought to house the dead of the upper ranks of ancient Egyptian society. It was clear from the outset that all the individuals interred in the necropolis were wealthy; mummification was an elaborate process which most Egyptians could not have afforded. As most of the tombs had been looted of their precious burial goods however, it was unclear precisely how affluent the inhabitants were. "These spectacular findings confirm that an elite necropolis is located under the mortuary temple of Thutmosis III," Seco said. "Wealthy and important individuals of the Middle Kingdom and their families were buried there." Excavations at the temple are continuing, with Seco and her team hoping to find further ornate artefacts. Image coutesy of: Fæ]]>

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