Dear Readers: After a full summer of tea-partying, tax-revolting, mob-ruling, socialism-slamming agitation, I return now briefly to what was intended to be the main focus of this humble little weblog: current events in Egyptology.
It turns out the Grand Master of Egyptology, Zawi Hawass, is looking for the mummy of Queen Mutnodjmet found in the Saqqara tomb of Horemheb to compare the DNA in the search for Nefertiti. The full details available can be located in Hawass’ article, Dig Days: The search for Queen Mutnodjmet.
I have copied the article in full, below, as I find it very interesting. I think it highlights how much the science of both Egyptology and genetic analysis has come over the years. For example, when the mummy of Queen Mutnodjmet was found, it would not have been of deep, scientific interest to its discoverers. They would have been more interested in artifacts and papyri. Furthermore, only a few years ago, Hawass and other professional Egyptologists were both leery and skeptical of using DNA — there wasn’t the capacity to extract enough material for an adequate analysis, and too much damage would have been done to the mummy in the course of research. However, recent developments in both fields seem to open up the possibility of genetic analysis that might answer some questions as to who’s who among the mummies that have been located.
Queen Mutnodjmet is not one of the famous queens, like Nefertiti or Nefertari, but she married a high official named Horemheb who later became Pharaoh. Horemheb was the leader of the army in the reigns of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Ay. After Ay’s death, Horemheb rose to the throne. Prior to his ascension he had constructed for himself a nobleman’s tomb at Saqqara. After his ascension, however, this tomb was no longer suitable, so he had a second one carved out in the Valley of the Kings that was more befitting of his rank. His first tomb at Saqqara has, since then, suffered much damage, and some of its blocks have illegally been taken out of the country. Archaeologist Geoffrey Martin has been in charge of re- excavating and restoring the tomb, and has carried out some very impressive work.
I am currently trying to locate the bones of Horemheb’s queen, Mutnodjmet, in order to include her remains within our DNA research on the family of King Tutankhamun. Her bones could be an extra piece of the puzzle in helping us to identify more individuals who were related to the Golden Boy.
Some scholars believe that Queen Nefertiti had a sister named Mutbenret who bore the title “Daughter of the King”. She is believed to have been the daughter of Ay. This woman employed, on occasion, the same name and title as Queen Nefertiti. Therefore these women must have had a connection with each other. Some scholars claim that Mutbenret is, in fact, Mutnodjmet.
I have been searching for the bones of Queen Mutnodjmet from among the remains found by Geoffrey Martin. This man spent most of his career re- excavating the tomb of Horemheb at Saqqara. When I questioned him about the location of the queen’s skeletal remains, however, he could not give me an answer. Later on, Strouhal, an anatomist from the Czech Republic who had previously studied the queen’s bones, returned to Egypt to look at them, but could not find them either. Thus, I decided to go on an adventure and seek out the bones of Queen Mutnodjmet.
First I visited her burial shaft located inside Horemheb’s tomb at Saqqara. It was a thrilling feeling descending 28 metres under the rock. I soon reached the burial shaft dug out between two pillars in the rock.
Martin had worked very hard to go down and excavate this shaft. He did not find any inscriptions on the walls, but he did discover the sarcophagus inside the burial chamber, as well as some funerary equipment and other objects that had belonged to the queen. The team unearthed pottery vessels used to store food and wine for the queen in the afterlife, parts of a female royal statue, and remains of an alabaster vase inscribed with the name and titles of the queen; “singer of Amun” and “wife of the king”, Mutnodjmet. As for the canopic jar with the queen’s name found inside the tomb, this is now in the British Museum.
During the re-excavation of the Saqqara tomb, Martin found human remains that were studied by Strouhal, who determined that they belonged to the queen. Strouhal demonstrated that Mutnodjmet lost her teeth at an early age. She had died at the age of 40 while giving birth; the team found a foetus inside the tomb. Both mummies were in very bad condition because of damage by tomb-robbers.
I have high hopes that we will be successful in our search to locate the bones of Queen Mutnodjmet. Among other things, we could push our DNA research that much further and identify the mummy of Queen Nefertiti. We could determine the identity of Tutankhamun’s father and mother, find the mummy of Queen Tiye, and even discover the remains of Tutankhamun’s wife. It was wonderful to descend the tomb shaft at Saqqara — a real adventure. Adventures in archaeology can often help us to reveal the secrets of the Pharaohs.
Interestingly, in my quest for an image of Queen Mutnodjmet, I came across an article about sculpture of Queen Mutnodjmet’s head that is being offered by a Phoenix Ancient Art (in New York and Geneva) for $3 million. The full details, including an image of the piece being sold and details related to the antiquities art market, can be found in the original article: FINANCIAL TIMES Features Phoenix’s Popularity and its Famous Egyptain “Schimmel Head”. Some highlights from the length article:
Queen Mutnodjmet’s face is calm, dignified and relaxed. Befitting an Egyptian monarch, her expression is cool and confident with a girlish beauty. Her skin looks velvety soft.
Unfortunately for the queen, her nose was hacked off and her eyes gouged out, possibly by an opponent of her husband Pharaoh Horemheb’s reign. Other than that, she has weathered the 3,300 years since she was created remarkably well. And, if you have $3m to spare, she can be yours.
So how can buyers avoid the pitfalls when investing in ancient art? “They should buy only from reputable dealers or auction houses and they should always ask about provenance and get it in writing. When possible, they should consult with museum experts or get a second opinion, because you don’t want to rely on one voice,” says Bernheimer. This is crucial as there is plenty of room for confusion over date and origin. The difference in value between a Greek head of Apollo and a much later Roman copy, for example, could be more than $1m.
The most important consideration, though, is whether you love the piece. There would be little point in buying Queen Mutnodjmet if you did not intend to enjoy her for years to come.
I now know what I am going to ask my beloved husband, Horemheb, for Christmas this year! 🙂
UPDATES on some items I have been blogging about.
The Young Prince will NOT be indoctrinated, at least not this year. An email exchange with his teacher indicates she will be too busy. It seems that running through the rules and introductions on the first day back is more vital than listening to President Obama — again! I would like to point out that it was not the speech that was bothersome (beyond the timing on the first day), it was the associated agenda and the subtext. We are lucky, some schools are not allowing teachers to opt-out.
Great YAHOO video on the Aug. 28th March on Sacramento rally, with an awesome clip of Coordinator, Mark Mekler: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5856558/15321653
My beloved Horemheb and I were watching Meet the Press with our Sunday coffee yesterday (he thinks I need to listen to the other side to effectively counter them — I hate it when he gets logical on me). We were in stitches as the panel was essentially blaming the new media for picking on eco-tyrant, race-baiting, communist truther Van Jones, who was forced to resign from his Czar throne in light of incriminating videos distributed by one of our beloved internet friends, Gateway Pundit. Thomas Friedman actually described this a cautionary tale about how everyone’s a potential target in the age of mass media. Hey Tom, I have news for you — you will NOT be a target unless you make yourself one by word and deed. Citizen journalists are now doing the job you just won’t do!
I would like to offer the Meet the Press panel a graphic illustration of the relationship of the Mainstream Media to the New Media:
W.C. Varones has a great round-up of economic news, including an indication that Obama repeating the mistakes of the Great Depression.
Afrocity explains FOOD DESERTS and shows us her pet — a Dalmation. Cute, but not a cat!
I described some of my concerns about the seal colony being allowed to dominate the La Jolla Children’s pool (politicos are ignoring legal statutes to pander to eco-tryants; details are HERE). One of the concerns was that seals attract sharks. It turns out a woman was just attacked off the coast of Carlsbad by a baby great white shark; details can be found HERE.
A woman was attacked by a baby Great White shark off the coast of Carlsbad less than a week ago, suffering bites to her foot and calf.
Lifeguards working along the beach were told of the attack and say it’s very uncommon in our waters.
According to Bethany Edmund, whose account of the experience appears on the Shark Research Committee website, she was taking pictures with her new underwater camera at Terramar, the popular surfing spot around 4:30 p.m. August 25 about 250 to 300 feet from shore.
She writes that she spotted a sea bass jump in front of her while she was in the water. As she tried to take a picture, she felt a sharp pain in her right foot.
Finally, as our Cherished Patroness the Anchoress writes: HAPPY LABOR DAY! GOD BLESS CAPITALISM. Now, buy some Mystic Monk coffee and other items from her advertisers and really piss off Michael Moore!