Floor 1, Room 7 (Tomb of Kha and Merit)

The Tomb of Kha

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On February 1906, in a valley next to the village of Deir el-Medina, a shaft was found which led to an underground tomb. This shaft led down to a passage, at the end of which was a large wooden door. Behind was an intact chamber containing all the burial goods of two individuals.

Kha was a “director of works” and his wife was called Merit.

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Middle Coffin of Kha, Wood, Pistacia resin, Gold and wood.

Kha had three coffins, nested one inside the other: the outer one is shaped as a shrine and contained two mummy shaped coffins. The innermost one held the mummy.

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Inner Coffin of Kha, Stucco Gold, Bronze.

Coffin and Shrine of Merit

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The inner coffin of Merit is the only one of its kind. It merges the two different types of coffins found on the middle and inner coffins of Kha. Merits did not have a middle coffin but her head and upper chest were covered by a wonderful funerary mask, made of cartonnage, gilded and decorated with semi-precious stones and glass.

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The Wig of Merit and Beauty Cases

A remarkable artifact that had belonged to Merit, was her wig, made with real locks of hair sewn together and braided.

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Beds and Chairs

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Kha’s work tools

Also found in the tomb were some of Kha’s work tools, including a scribes palette with pens and wells for colours, a waxed writing table tablet and papyrus smoothers.

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An amazing folding cubit rod (middle photo), measuring instrument with a leather case to be slung on the belt. Below is a gold cubit wooden rod, which was given to Kha by the Pharaoh Amenhotep II.

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Kha’s tunic and underwear

Textiles were present in large quantities in elite tombs. They were used to both clothe the mummy and for use in the afterlife. Seventeen short-sleeved tunics were found as well as underwear made of triangular sheets of linen. <any of the items were embroidered with the monogram of Kha.

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A pantry for the Afterlife

When discovered there were many small wooden tables within the tomb, containing all manner of foods, which would be required in the afterlife as a funerary banquet. There were many different breads, fruit & vegetables, pulses and beans. Meat and Fish, was dried and smoked, roasted or cured. There was also a large amount of spices and aromas and blocks of salt, flour and fats.

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Kha’s Book of the Dead

Found in the middle coffin and folded up was Kha’s book of the dead, a papyrus measuring 14 metres and containing 33 magical spells, many of them illustrated.

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Other Artifacts:

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Floor 1, Room 8 (The Coffin Gallery)

Probably my favorite room.

The Coffin Gallery

This room provides you with an overview of the typological and decorative evolution of coffins Turin Nov 2015 731between the 3rd Intermediate Period and the Late Period.

The 21st Dynasty Coffins are from the Drovetti collection excavated from the Valley of the Queens in Thebes (Modern day Luxor).

A Standard coffin set of the 21st Dynasty comprised of three main elements, an outer coffin, an inner coffin – each consisting of a box and a lid – and a false lid or mummy board. Wooden feet, false beard and faces were carved separately.

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The Coffins of Butehamon

A royal scribe, 21st Dynasty (1076 – 1050BC) 3rd Intermediate Period, Deir el-Medina.

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The Coffins of Taba-Kenkhonsu

She was a singer of Amun, 21st Dynasty, 3rd Intermediate Period (1076 – 943BC) Thebes Necropolis.

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The Coffins of Tamutmutef

Also a singer of Amun, 21st Dynasty, 3rd Intermediate Period (1000 – 944BC) Thebes

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The Coffins of Pahoreniset

A Pastry Cook working for the priesthood of the Temple of Amun at Karnak, 21st Dynasty (1000 -944BC) Thebes.

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The Coffins of Tadiaset and Harwi

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Other Coffins

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Floor 1, Room 9 (The Papyri Collection)

Just off from the Coffin Corridor is Turin’s papyri collection, which comes from the Drovetti collection. They were used by Jean-Francois Champollion during his attempts to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.

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Being expensive papyrus was only used by the wealthiest classes, as a medium for sacred texts of official documents.

Book of the Dead of Aanen

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Cyperus Papyrus, 3rd Intermediate Period (1076 – 943BC) Thebes C.1771.

During the 21st Dynasty the amount of spells on the Book of the Dead is often reduced in favour of decorative elements, here the vignettes prevail over the text, another book became widespread in this period, namely, the Book of the Amuduat, formerly reserved for Kings.

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Floor 1, Room 10 (Valley of the Queens)

Room 10 adjoins the Coffin Gallery in Room 8 and Room 9, the papyri room is adjacent to it.

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The Valley of the Queens, lies at the southern end of the Theban Necropolis and houses the burials of Egypts Queens, Princes and Princesses as well as some of the important dignitaries and courtiers of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties.

QV66 is in my opinion, the most important and most beautiful of tombs in the Valley of the Queens. It was the burial place of Queen Nefertari, who’s husband was the Pharoah and ruler know as Ramesses the Great (Rameses II, 1279 – 2213BC).

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Access to the tomb was discovered in 1904 and Schiaparelli commissioned a detailed and accurate tomb plan, to be built as a model, by Francesca Bellerini. seen above.

Queen Nefertari’s Sarcophagus Lid, 19th Dynasty

(1279 – 1213BC Ramesses II reign)

When Schiaperelli first entered the tomb it was clear it had been robbed in antiquity, however, in the funerary chamber a few fragments of the Queens Sarcophagus lid remained.

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At the Queens head is the Goddess Nut with outstretched wings above the heiroglyph for gold. Isis is at ther feet, and in the middle further spells asks Nut to protect the Queen. There are further prayers inscribed around the sides of the lid with a few traces of the painting that originally decorated the entire coffin.

34 Shabtis, two coffer lids, other furniture, an incomplete statuette of an ibis, a pair of sandals, and a djed amulet (pillar in blue and gold) were also found.

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Other items in room 10:

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Floor 1, Room 11 (The Late Period)

The Late Period

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Between the 8th and 4th Century BC, Egypt was ruled by indiginous dynasties with periods of occupation by Nubians, Assyrians and Persians.  The Late Period concluded around 332BC with the conquest by Alexander the Great.

The repercussions of the political instability, brought Egyptian art, literatue and funerary customs to be revived and the prestigious models of their past, especially from the Old and Middle Kingdoms and the 18th Dynasty, came to the for again.

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During the Late period burial equipment evolved and statuettes of the deity Ptah-Sokar-Osiris were produced, canopic jars were still used and false canopic jars used when the viscera were returned to the mummy.

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401 Shabtis were still placed in tombs but the boxes they were placed in rarely survive as they were made of cartonnage (linen and papyrus pressed together)

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Animal Cults in the Late Period.

Egyptian gods manifested themselves in many forms but many were associated with different animals. Bulls and rams were mummified on thier death but cats, dogs, birds and fish were raised in temples to be killed then mummified.

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Late Period Sarcophagi and sculptures

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Two large stone sarcophagi bear witness to the ability of the sculptures artisitic abilities during this period.

Sarcophagus of the Vizier Gemenefherbak, 26th Dynasty (664 – 525BC)

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Below, Sarcophagus of Ibi, 26th Dynasty (664 -610BC)

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The Coffins of the three sisters

The mummies of 3 sisters, Tapeni, Tamit and Renpetnefret, daughters of Ankh-Khonsu were placed in anthropoid coffins contained in square outer coffins. 25th Dynasty (722 -655BC)

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Stela of the Late period

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Amulets

Amulets are attested in Egypt ever since the Predynastic Period, however they become particularly abundant in the Late Period. They were tucked into the mummy bandages, along with pectorals and figured plaques, to preserve the integrity of the body and allow passage into the underworld.

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Papyri found in burials often told where the Amulets should be placed and from what materials they should be made from.

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Floor 1, Room 12 (Ptolemaic Period)

The Ptolemaic Period

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Following Alexander the Great’s conquest in 332BC, Egypt became part of the great Hellenistic empire forged by the king of Macedonia. After his death the empire was divided up amongst his generals.

One of them Ptolemy, son of Lagos, proclaimed himself king in 306BC, and thus started the 300 year rule of the Ptolemies who ruled until the death of Queen Cleopatra.

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Left above is the Statue of a Ptolemaic King in Regalia, Ptolemaic Period (332 – 3Turin Nov 2015 11160BC) Tebtynis, Temple of Soknebtynis.

Right is a High relief of Isis , white marble, with bovine crown and Termuthis, both depicted as snakes. Ptolemaic – Roman Period (332BC – AD395)

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Below situated left, is the statue of Ptolemy II as a Pharaoh, Greywacke, Ptolemaic Period during the reign of Ptolemy II (284 – 246BC). Right statue is the Head of Ptolemy II as a Hellenistic King, Granodiorite, Ptolemaic Period during the reign of Ptolemy II (284 – 246BC)

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The Sarcophagus of Shepmin

Lid of the sarcophagus of the royal scribe Shepmin, Basalt, Ptolemaic Period (4th century BC), Thebes, Khokha Tomb of Djehutymes.

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Cartonnage

Mummies are often covered by masks and protective elements made of cartonnage, a low-cost material used to replace wood. Made from layers of linen and papyrus soaked in a natural glue and gypsum. Below is a fragment of a mummy decorated with a mummification scene.

In the capital, the tombs of the rich were catacombs and hypogea (underground tombs) with several rooms and many burial niches, graced with paintings in a mixed Egyptian-Greek style.

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Religious traditions

The Ptolemaic kings were well disposed towards the cults of Upper Egypt and restored and expanded many temples. Religious rituals continued but Egyptian Gods were merged with Greek ones.

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Floor 1, Room 13 (Roman & Late Antique Period)

Last room on this floor, 13 which is the Roman & Antique Period.

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Rome’s conquest of Egypt in 30BC deprived the country of it’s independence. The Emporer Octavian ruled by installing a prefect who was under the direct authority of the Senate.

Egypt was a strategic economic resource being the major supplier of grain, textiles, gold and glass. The Romans imposed their own laws and coinage and the country worshipped Greek-Roman Gods, however, the cults of the Egyptian gods and traditional funerary beliefs still endured.

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To the right is a Portrait of a man wearing a tunic, Roman in style with two purple bands.

(Encaustic painting on wood, Mid 2nd Century AD)

Below is the burial of the child Petamenophis, who belonged to a rich family. His rectangular coffin is made of cedar wood with four corner posts and the image of the goddess Nut has been painted on the bottom to symbolise immortality and divinization.

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The mummy is wrapped in several layers of bandages, some red and intertwined to form a Rhomb pattern. Around the head is a gilded laurel leafed wreath.

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Above is a womans mask.

Made of Gilded cartonnage, Roman Period (2nd Century AD) Fayum, Hawara

The spread of syncretistic gods emerged and temples dedicated to them sprung up all over the Roman Empire.

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