A lavishly adorned female mummy, who archaeologists
are affectionately calling “Lady of the Jewels
,” was unearthed by a
Spanish research team at the site of Pharaoh Thutmosis III’s Temple on
the west bank of the river Nile near Luxor, Egypt.
stylish woman lived 4,000 years ago during the time of Egypt’s Middle
Kingdom (2000 BC to 1700 BC) and was likely an aristocrat.
the mummy and sarcophagus were badly damaged, according to
Discovery.com, the jewelry remained largely intact. Among the items she
was wearing were a large, shell-shaped golden pendant weighing 20 grams,
-plated necklace inlaid with lapis lazuli, two twisted-wire
and two silver anklets. The silver items are the only
ones that showed deterioration after 4,000 years underground. The gold
and gem items looked virtually new.
still wore the marvelous jewelry that was attached during the process
of mummification," Thutmosis III Temple Project director Myriam Seco
said in a statement. "These spectacular findings confirm that an elite
necropolis is located under the mortuary temple of Thutmosis III.
Wealthy and important individuals of the Middle Kingdom and their
families were buried there."
researchers at the Thutmosis III Temple Project, a collaboration
between Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and the Academy of
Fine Arts in Seville, Spain, the woman was likely in her 30s when she
Archaeologists expected that the tomb and its
valuable contents would have been plundered by tomb robbers centuries
ago, but this wooden sarcophagus remained sealed and untouched. It turns
out that robbers couldn’t get to it because it had been crushed and
buried under the massive stones of the tomb’s collapsed roof.
III lived from 1490 BC to 1436 BC and is sometimes referred to as the
Napoleon of Ancient Egypt. He ruled for 40 years during a prosperous
time of Egypt’s history. The excavation, restoration and conservation of
his temple began in 2008 and is scheduled to end in early 2015.Jewelry images: Twitter/Discovery Channel UK; Screen capture: thutmosisiiitempleproject.org