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Gallery I


Gallery I

Gallery II
Including the mummy identified as Queen Hatshepsut.

Gallery III
Including the mummy identified as Queen Tiye.

 Gallery IV
Featuring the controversial KV 55 mummy. Now with a revised reconstruction of ancient events in this perplexing tomb.

Gallery V
Featuring the mummies of Tutankhamen and his children. Still in preparation.


Gallery I 
Now including the
mummy identified as
Ramesses I.


Gallery I


Gallery I

Gallery II

21'st Dynasty Coffins from DB320
  Examine the coffins
of 21'st Dynasty Theban Rulers.

  Unidentified  Mummies

Gallery I
Including the mummy identified as Tutankhamen's mother.

About the Dockets

Inhapi's Tomb

Using this website for research papers


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Biographical Data about William Max Miller

Special Exhibits

The Treasures of Yuya and Tuyu
  View the funerary equipment of Queen Tiye's parents.

 Tomb Raiders of KV 46
How thorough were the robbers who plundered the tomb of Yuya and Tuyu? How many times was the tomb robbed, and what were the thieves after? This study of post interment activity in KV 46 provides some answers.

Special KV 55 Section

Follow the trail of the missing treasures from mysterious KV 55.

KV 55's Lost Objects: Where Are They Today?

The KV 55 Coffin Basin and Gold Foil Sheets

KV 55 Gold Foil at the Metropolitan

Mystery of the Missing Mummy Bands

KV 35 Revisited
See rare photographic plates of a great discovery from Daressy's Fouilles de la Vallee des Rois.

Unknown Man E  
Was he really
buried alive?

The Tomb of Maihirpre
Learn about Victor Loret's important discovery of this nearly intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Special Section:
Tomb Robbers!
Who were the real tomb raiders? What beliefs motivated their actions? A new perspective on the ancient practice of tomb robbing.

Special Section:
Spend a Night
with the Royal Mummies

Read Pierre Loti's eerie account of his nocturnal visit to the Egyptian Museum's Hall of Mummies.

Special Section:
An Audience With Amenophis II
Journey once more with Pierre Loti as he explores the shadowy  chambers of KV 35 in the early 1900's.

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Most of the images on this website have been scanned from books, all of which are given explicit credit and, wherever possible, a link to a dealer where they may be purchased. Some images derive from other websites. These websites are also acknowledged in writing and by being given a link, either to the page or file where the images appear, or to the main page of the source website. Images forwarded to me by individuals who do not supply the original image source are credited to the sender. All written material deriving from other sources is explicitly credited to its author. 
Feel free to use  material from the Theban Royal Mummy Project website. No prior written permission is required. Just please follow the same guidelines which I employ when using the works of other researchers, and give the Theban Royal Mummy Project  proper credit on your own papers, articles, or web pages. 

--Thank You

This website is constantly developing and contributions of data from other researchers are welcomed.
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Background Image:  Wall scene from the tomb of Ramesses II (KV 7.) From Karl Richard Lepsius, Denkmäler (Berlin: 1849-1859.)




Unidentified Mummies
Gallery I

Bakt.jpg (130478 bytes)Bakt? 
18'th Dynasty?
: DB 320
Discovery Date
: 1881
Current Location: Cairo Museum CG 61076

Biographical data: Unknown.

Details: Originally misidentified by Maspero as "Meshenuttimehu" (MR, 554), this mummy was tentatively identified via inscriptional evidence on its coffin as that of a woman named Bakt, whose biographical details are not known. This identification, however, is based on tenuous evidence and is far from certain. Since no corroborating identification dockets are reported as having been found on her wrappings, the reliance on coffin inscriptions alone for identification purposes inspires little confidence, especially in light of the restorer's frequent mistake of placing mummies in the wrong coffins. 
    The mummy had been garlanded with flowers and appeared to be superficially intact. However, thieves had cut the wrappings open, and the mummy itself was little more than a skeleton. Upon examination, the bones were found to be those of a young woman of about 21 years of age. Smith comments that she had been exceedingly slender in life. An odd assemblage of objects had also been wrapped up with the bones. These included a yellow varnished coffin fragment and a mirror handle. Smith states that, providing the wrappings in which her body were found were original to her mummification, the mummy was probably of 18'th Dynasty derivation. Ikram and Dodson speculate that she may have been a princess. 
    The mummy was found in an 18’th Dynasty replacement coffin (CG61015). Reeves comments that the surface had probably been adzed off, indicating that it had once been gilded. He notes that the eye inlays had also been removed. The coffin had been reinscribed for Bakt in black ink. (Source Bibliography: CCR, 17, n. 1; 20, 22; DRN, 201, 207, 212, 254; MiAE, 316; MR, 544, 554; RM, 56f.)

Other Burial Data:
Original Burial
: Unknown.
Restorations and : The location of Bakt’s original burial is unknown. Reeves theorizes that she was removed from her own tomb and placed in the k3y of Inhapi at a date that cannot be established with any degree of certainty. Here she remained until transferred into DB 320 with the other cached mummies at a date sometime after Year 11 of Shoshenq I. (Source: DRN, 254.)
Photo Credit: RM (Cairo, 1912,) pl. XXXIX.
For high resolution photo of see  the University of Chicago's Electronic Open Stacks copy of Smith's Royal Mummies (Cairo, 1912,) Call #: DT57.C2 vol59, plate XXXIX

Source Abbreviation Key

UMCNebseni.jpg (63590 bytes)Unknown Man C  
18'th Dynasty?
: DB 320
Discovery Date
: 1881
Current Location: Cairo Museum CG 61067

Biographical data: Unknown.

Details:  Unknown Man C holds the distinction of being the first mummy found by Brugsch when he entered DB 320. He was discovered in an 18'th Dynasty coffin (CG 61016) which Reeves describes as having had its surface decorations adzed off, indicating that it had once been decorated with gold foil. The coffin (which Smith and Dawson erroneously date to the 20'th Dynasty, cf. EM, 92) had been inscribed for a wcb-priest named Nebseni, and Maspero used this inscriptional evidence to identify the mummy, further claiming that the man had probably been an in-law of Pinudjem I. G. E. Smith, however, confidently dated the mummy to the 18'th Dynasty based on the mummification techniques employed by the embalmers, and, considering the extended position of the arms, narrowed the time frame for its date of origin down to a period predating Tuthmosis II.  Since the coffin in which the mummy was found is of 18'th Dynasty derivation, it would be helpful to know if the particular inscription which attributes its ownership to Nebseni is part of its original decoration or a subsequent addition intended to identify a later re-user. It is interesting that Maspero (who refers to Nebseni's title as "scribe," not "wcb-priest") would so confidently assert that Nebseni was of 21'st Dynasty date in view of the obvious 18'th Dynasty style of the coffin. This would seem to indicate that the Nebseni Nebseni1.jpg inscription had been added later in the 21'st Dynasty so the coffin could be re-employed by a new owner. However, if original to the coffin's decorative scheme, the inscription would then be consistent with the period during which Smith asserts that the coffin's occupant was embalmed. Ikram and Dodson provide a photograph of a section of the coffin (MiAE, p. 209, ill. 268) which, although showing signs of wear, does not appear to have been damaged by an adz. They confidently date the decorations and inscriptions to the 18'th Dynasty. The photograph published by Daressy (at bottom left, from CRR, pl. XI) clearly shows that at least portions of the gilding on the lid had been scraped off. Most accounts of the coffin describe it as having been whitewashed and then painted yellow. From black and white photographs, it is impossible to tell if the yellow paint had been used to cover the adzed sections. If so, this would indicate that at least some of the coffin's decorations had been repaired, probably by 21'st-22'nd Dynasty restorers. 
    When found, Unknown Man C's mummy had been plundered by the Abd el-Rassul's. Consequently, it was difficult to tell if any damage had also been done to the mummy in ancient times. The mummy was fairly intact from an anatomical point of view, and displayed physical traits that differed significantly from other royal mummies of the early 18'th Dynasty. Described by Smith as being "tall and vigorous," Unknown Man C  measured 1m & 739mm in height, prompting Smith to comment that he would have been a giant among the NebseniCoffinPlateXI.jpgother, usually smaller, Egyptians of his time. His facial features, characterized by Smith as "strong...with pronounced features," do not resemble those of any other royal mummy. In fact, because of the many physical differences observed between Unknown Man C and the other cached mummies, Smith commented that he did not appear indigenous, and more closely resembled the "alien, so-called Armenoid group." (see photo at center right, originally from MR1and reprinted in KMT [3:4] 48.
    Smith observed that there were "small perforations" in Unknown Man C's ear-lobes, probably indicating that his ears had been intentionally pierced. His teeth were well-worn, and Smith estimated that he had been well advanced in years when he died. No trace of genitalia could be observed, causing Smith to wonder if the man had been a eunuch. However, Smith balances this view against the fact that the genitalia of Tuthmosis I, Tuthmosis II, and Tuthmosis III, none of whom were eunuchs, had all been treated by the embalmers in a similar fashion. (Source Bibliography: CCR, 20ff; DRN, 200, 207, 213, 254; EM, 91f., and fig. 11; KMT [3:4] 48; MiAE, 209 [ill. 268], 316; MR, 574ff; RM, 31f.)

Other Burial Data:
Original Burial
: Unknown
Reburials: No date can be confidently established for the time at which Unknown Man C was removed from his original tomb. Reeves theorizes that he was cached in the k3y of Inhapi probably because of the location at which he was found in DB 320 (i.e., the first mummy found in the entrance corridor by Brugsch, hence the last mummy to placed in the tomb by the reburial commission, coming right after Inhapi herself, who occupied 2'nd place in the entrance corridor.) He was then moved into DB 320 with the other mummies at some time after Year 11 of Shoshenq I. (Source: DRN, 254.)
Photo Credit: RM (Cairo, 1912,) pl. XXV. For high resolution photo of see  the University of Chicago's Electronic Open Stacks copy of Smith's Royal Mummies (Cairo, 1912,) Call #: DT57.C2 vol59, plates XXV, XXVI, XXVII.

Source Abbreviation Key


Unidentified Boy (Webensenu? Prince Tuthmosis?) (c. 1453?-1419? B.C.)
18'th Dynasty?
: KV 35
Discovery Date
: March 9'th, 1898, by Victor Loret
Current Location: Cairo Museum CG 61071
Unknown Boy.jpg (79059 bytes)

Biographical data: Unknown, although, if the mummy is that of prince Webensenu, he would have been a son of Amenhotep II and a brother of Tuthmosis IV. If the Unidentified Boy is Crown Prince Tuthmosis (cf. below) then he was the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye. Prince Tuthmosis is known to posterity primarily because of the special burial he gave his cat, "Ta-miaut" (literally "She-cat"), which included a limestone sarcophagus inscribed with the names of the Four Sons of Horus and spells for protection in the Afterlife. Carvings of an Osiriform cat mummy appear on the limestone sarcophagus along with a depiction of "Ta-miaut," who faces an offering table laden with food for her journey through eternity. The sarcophagus (CG5003/JE30172) was discovered near Mit Rahineh in 1892, and has long been cited as an example of the devotion that ancient Egyptians felt toward their pet cats. (See photo of cat sarcophagus here.)

Details:  Found by Victor Loret in KV 35 (in side chamber Jc—see KV 35 diagram), this mummified boy, estimated by G. E. Smith as being no older than 11 years of age at the time of his death, has long been a candidate for identification as Webensenu, a prince of Amenhotep II. Since Loret had found shabtis inscribed with Webensenu’s name (FVR, CG24269-73) (perhaps on the steps of Antechamber F which lead down to corridor G and burial chamber J [DRN, 194]), as well as a canopic jar belonging to this prince (FVR, CG5031) he concluded that the mummy of the Unidentified Boy was that of prince Webensenu. G. E. Smith, who examined the mummy, also agreed that it was probably the mummy of this prince. However, there is no hard evidence to support this identification, and Webensenu's remains could equally well be represented by one of the two unidentified skulls found in the tomb (DRN, 210 [no.s 7-8]). John Romer thought that the mummy found in KV 35 Antechamber F could be Webensenu (TVK, p.161) but there are too many questions raised by this identification to make it tenable (cf. The Mummy on the Boat below.)
    Granting that the presence of Webensenu's few funerary objects indicate that KV 35 was his original place of burial, there exists evidence on the Unidentified Boy's mummy that he had originally been buried elsewhere and should not, therefore, be identified as Webensenu. Smith observed a hole in the Unidentified Boy's cranium similar to the holes found in the heads of Merenptah, Seti II, Ramesses IV, V, and VI. He interpreted the cranial wounds to mean that all these mummies had their original wrappings removed by the same group of people, who employed the crude technique of hacking through the bandages at the mummy's heads with an adz (thereby causing the holes in the skulls) so they could "peel" the shrouds from the top downward to reveal the bodies beneath. Reeves argues that the Unidentified Boy was probably handled by the same group of people at approximately the same time as the other royal mummies with skull wounds (DRN, 223 [n. 168.]) This would strongly suggest that he had been removed from some other tomb by restorers, "processed" along with the other mummies that were included in this particular wave of restorations, and then subsequently cached along with them in KV 35. He should not, therefore, be identified as Webensenu, who was in all probability originally interred in his father's sepulcher.

    UnidentifiedBoyKV35 Smith had estimated the boy’s age at death via an examination of his teeth, which revealed that he had permanent and fully-grown canines. He was small of stature, measuring 1 m. 242 mm. in height. Smith noted that both of the boy’s ears had been pierced and found it interesting that he had not yet been circumcised. Both arms were extended, with the hands placed over the pubic area. Smith reports that the left hand was clenched, but that the thumb of this hand was extended (cf. the mummy of the Elder Woman, subsequently identified as Queen Tiye.) In addition to the hole in the skull noted above, plunderers had made a large gash in the left side of the boy’s neck and thorax. Otherwise, the mummy was fairly well preserved.
    When found in chamber Jc, the boy lay between two other 18’th Dynasty mummies. The photograph of these mummies taken in situ by Loret (click here for photo from TVK, 162) shows that they had been unwrapped in antiquity and partly re-covered in a careless fashion in what appear to be the remnants of their bandages. No record of any Linen Dockets that may have been found on these wrappings exists to my knowledge. Thus it is impossible to tell if the wrappings were original to the mummies or later 21’st Dynasty restorations. Had any dockets been found, especially any which would help to identify the mummies, Loret certainly would have recorded them, so it is safe to assume that none were discovered. None of the well preserved Jc mummies possessed a coffin. Perhaps their coffins had been so badly damaged by thieves that they were abandoned in the original tombs of their owners by the ancient restorers. However, the relatively intact state of the mummies themselves argues against this. Perhaps the coffins were appropriated for reuse by other individuals.
    If not Webensenu, then who else might the KV 35 Unidentified Boy be? Oddly, no DNA tests were conducted on the Unidentified Boy when he was examined between 2007-2009 (see color photo above left, which shows the mummy being examined while it remained in KV35.) Due to his close proximity to the mummy later identified as Queen Tiye, it is tempting to accept the suggestion of Dennis Forbes (in Kmt, [2:2] Summer, 1991) and tentatively identify him as Tuthmosis, the son of Amenhotep III and Tiye, who died unexpectedly and thereby made it possible for his younger brother, the revolutionary Amenhotep IV-Akhenaten, to inherit the Double Crown. His position next to Tiye in KV 35 could indicate that he and his mother had been previously buried together in the same as-yet unidentified tomb. It seems likely that the three KV 35 Jc mummies, all of 18'th Dynasty derivation, had been closely associated prior to their caching, possibly in WV22, the tomb of Amenhotep III (Kmt, ibid.)  (Source Bibliography: BIE [3 ser.] 9 [1898], 101, 103f; DRN, 194, 198, 204, 205,210, 222-23 [n.129 & 168], 272; EM, 93 and fig. 16; FVR, CG 24269-71, CG 24273, CG 5031; Kmt, [2:2] Summer, 1991; TVK, 161.)

Other Burial Data:
Original Burial:
 If this mummy is Webensenu, KV 35 is his original burial, for reasons noted above. If the hole in the mummy's skull can be interpreted to mean that it was at some time associated with the mummies of Merenptah, Seti II, and  Ramesses IV (and perhaps also Ramesses V and VI), perhaps in the transitional cache established in KV 14, then it probably is not the mummy of Webensenu, and would have been originally buried in a tomb other than KV 35. The location of such a tomb cannot be determined with any certainty, but some of the evidence suggests that it may have been the Western Valley tomb of Amenhotep III (WV 22.) (cf. above.) The unknown boy's close placement with two other unwrapped and un-coffined 18'th Dynasty mummies, plus the similar adzing of the wrappings on all three mummies, suggests that they may have been buried with him in this unidentified tomb and had been subsequently "processed" by the same group of thieves prior to their removal to the tomb of Amenhotep II. (Sources: BIE [3 ser.] 9 [1898], 106; DRN, 198.)
Restorations and Reburials: Reeves argues that the Jc mummies had entered KV 35 shortly after the the coffined mummies had been placed in side chamber Jb, an event which cannot be dated precisely, but which Reeves states occurred around the same time as the restoration of the mummy of Amenhotep III during Year 12 or 13 of Smendes (see Linen Docket translation in the entry for Amenhotep III.) The discovery of one of the unknown boy's toes in side chamber Jd (BIE [3 ser.] 9 [1898], 106) indicates that it had been placed here before being removed to side chamber Jc. At some unspecified time afterward, the tomb was entered (probably by thieves) and plundered. After this event, the burial was once more reorganized by restorers and the mummy of the Unidentified Boy was moved into side chamber Jc, where he remained with the two other 18'th Dynasty mummies until his discovery by Loret. (Sources: DRN, 197ff.; CVK, 199.)
Photo Credit: black and white photo from RM (Cairo, 1912,) pl. XCVIII; color photo from NG. For high resolution photo of  this mummy
see  the University of Chicago's Electronic Open Stacks copy of Smith's Royal Mummies (Cairo, 1912,) Call #: DT57.C2 vol59, plate XCVIII.

Source Abbreviation Key


Unidentified Woman (Younger Lady)
Sitamun? Iset
? A lesser known wife of Akhenaten or Smenkhkare ?)
(c. 1350?-1334? B.C.)
Late 18'th Dynasty
: KV 35 
Discovery Date
: March 9'th, 1898, by Victor Loret
Current Location: Cairo Museum.  No. CG61072

Biographical data: DNA testing indicates that the Younger Lady was a daughter of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye. These tests also indicated that she was the sister of the KV 55 mummy and the mother of Tutankhamen. Her exact identity has not yet been determined.

Details: Loret discovered the mummy of the Younger Lady in side chamber Jc of KV 35 (see diagram), where she lay along with two other 18’th Dynasty mummies (that of the Unknown Boy, discussed above, and the Elder Woman subsequently identified as Queen Tiye.) He initially identified this unwrapped mummy as that of a man. However, G. E. Smith’s examination quickly revealed that it was the body of a female.  
    Based on an examination of the iliac bones and his observation that the third molar teeth had not erupted, Smith estimated that the Younger Lady had been less than 25 years of age at the time of her death. Her head had been completely shaved, and her bald appearance had probably confused Loret into mistakenly identifying her gender as male. Smith discovered two small perforations in the Younger Lady's left ear lobe, indicating that it had been pierced. Her right ear had been broken off. He described the embalming incision as large and gaping and observed that the abdomen had been filled with balls of linen soaked in resin. He also noted that a large mass of resin had been spread over the whole perineum. Smith reported that the mummy had suffered damage at the hands of thieves. A large opening had been broken into the chest, and the lower left side of the face (the cheek, mouth, and parts of the jaw) had been broken away. The right arm had been snapped off below the shoulder. Smith himself seemed vague about whether this arm still existed or not. He commented that he had examined the mummy of the Younger Lady while it was still in side chamber Jc of KV 35, apparently not under optimal conditions, and refers to the "hasty" notes that he had jotted down at the time. These notes, however, clearly seem to indicate that a right arm (which Smith assumed belonged to the Younger Lady) was present "along with the three mummies" in side chamber Jc. Apparently, this severed arm was somewhere close to the bodies, perhaps concealed by their torn bandages. Smith had described this particular arm as "flexed at the elbow," and noted that "the hand was clasped."
      Like the other two mummies buried with her in Jc, the Younger Lady did not have a coffin, and no identifying Linen Dockets were apparently found among her tattered wrappings which could help identify her. Based on his analysis of the mummification techniques employed to embalm the Younger Lady, Smith dated the mummy to the time of Amenhotep II. Loret believed that all three Jc mummies were close relatives of Amenhotep II and thought that KV35 was their original place of burial. However, as with the mummy of the Unidentified Boy discussed above, the Younger Lady's mummy shows some evidence that it may have first been buried elsewhere and moved into KV35 soon after the other mummies had been placed in side chamber Jb. (See Other Burial Data below.) (Photo Credit: UNESCO.)

YLTorso.jpgLater Developments: Over the past 28 years, the KV 35 Younger Lady has drawn increasing attention and has now attained a controversial status approaching that of the KV 55 mummy. Here are a few of the more interesting stages in her rise to prominence:

Dennis Forbes and Sitamun--In 1991, Dennis Forbes suggested that the Younger Lady may possibly be Princess/Queen Sitamun, the daughter of Tiye and Amenhotep III (Kmt, [2:2] Summer, 1991, p. 72; and [21:2] Summer, 2010, p. 88.) Forbes noted that all three Jc mummies were placed close together and that they had all been unwrapped in the same fashion by thieves who inflicted similar kinds of damage while ransacking them. This indicated that the Jc mummies had all originally been buried together and robbed at the same time by the same group of tomb robbers. Since one of the three mummies (the Elder Lady) was believed to be the 18’th Dynasty Queen Tiye and the other two (the Unidentified Boy and the Younger Lady) could also be dated to the same period, Forbes suggested that (i) the Unidentified Boy could be Prince Tuthmosis, a son of Amenhotep III and Tiye; and (ii) the Younger Lady could be Princess/Queen Sitamun, a daughter of the royal couple. Forbes went on to propose that the original place of burial for these mummies was WV22, the tomb of Amenhotep III in the Western Valley. (In 2018, Forbes revised his view that the Younger Woman could be identified as Sitamun, but the reason he gives for this rests on an assumption that may be questioned. See Possible Identifications below.) (Photo Credit: NG/Kenneth Garrett.)

    Marianne Luban and Nefertiti--In 1999, Marianne Luban proposed the theory that the KV 35 Younger Lady might be Nefertiti. In her online paper Do We Have the Mummy of Nefertiti? she notes that the Younger Lady’s shaved head, the impression of a tight-fitting brow band on the forehead, and the doubly-pierced ear lobe (originally reported by Smith, cf. above) were all features one could expect to find on the mummy of Nefertiti. Luban also compared measurements of the Younger Lady’s head and facial features (as taken and recorded by G. E. Smith) with those she took from a photograph of a “life-size bust of what is thought to be a young Nefertiti” and found the measurements to be suggestively comparable. However, despite its tantalizing suggestiveness, Luban’s evidence does not conclusively prove that the Younger Lady is Nefertiti. Her bald head, head band impression, and doubly pierced ear are features shared by many female royal mummies and are not peculiar to Nefertiti alone, and the similarity of her facial features to those of a bust that cannot with certainty be attributed to the famous Amarna queen proves very little.

    Fletcher.jpg Joanne Fletcher and Nefertiti--In 2003, Joanne Fletcher and the University of York's Mummy Research Group received permission to examine the Younger Lady in side chamber Jc of KV 35. Fletcher, who also theorized that the Younger Lady could be Nefertiti, was excited when one of her team’s members discovered a detached mummified right arm among the torn bandages surrounding the Younger Lady’s legs. This arm, with its clenched hand and flexed elbow, matched the description of the Younger Lady’s missing right arm given by G. E. Smith in his original notes (cf above) and Fletcher (just as Smith himself had done almost a century earlier) concluded that it belonged to the Younger Lady. She also suggested that the flexed position of the elbow indicated that the Younger Lady “had been laid out in the posture and position of a pharaoh.” (SFN, p. 371.) Her other arguments for identifying the Younger Lady as Nefertiti basically focused on all the features mentioned by Luban four years earlier (i.e, the shaved head, the impression of a head band, and the doubly pierced ear lobe), none of which provides conclusive evidence that the mummy is actually Nefertiti. (For a critical review of Joanne Fletcher’s book The Search for Nefertiti: The True Story of an Amazing Discovery, see Mark Rose’s Where’s Nefertiti? on the Archeological Institute of America website.)
   Fletcher’s conclusions about the detached right arm found with the Younger Lady were subsequently disputed (by Barbara Mertz, et al) because other non-royal female mummies exist with similarly bent elbows and clenched hands. Ultimately, the relevance of this arm as a possible clue to the status and identity of the Younger Lady was effectively eliminated by Ashraf Selim of the Egyptian Mummy Project. After examining the detached limb, Selim concluded that it was not the Younger Lady’s missing right arm after all. It apparently belonged to some other mummy, no longer present, that had at some time been broken off and cached in KV35 side chamber Jc with Tiye, the Unidentified Boy, and the Younger Lady. (Photo Credit: Pinterest/Alda Culumaron.)

   The Younger Lady’s Cause of Death-- G. E. Smith had explained the damage to the Younger Lady’s mummy as the work of thieves (cf, above.) The University of York's Mummy Research Group found evidence indicating that some of this damage (especially the damage inflicted upon the left cheek, mouth, and parts of the jaw) could have occurred prior to the Younger Lady’s death. On the basis of CT scan evidence, Ashraf Selim (cf. above) also concluded that the facial injuries occurred prior to the Younger Lady's death and argued that she had been violently murdered. Further analysis of this evidence subsequently confirmed that the Younger Lady’s facial wounds had indeed been premortem and were severe enough to have killed her. Opinions differ regarding what might have caused these fatal injuries. Ashraf Selim argues that they had been intentionally inflicted by an assailant, but Swiss Egyptologist Hermann Schögl theorizes that the injuries could have occurred as the result of a violent accident (perhaps a chariot accident.)

    YLSupine.jpg DNA Testing---Theories about the Amarna Period dating and royal status of the Younger Lady received their most persuasive support from DNA testing conducted between 2007 and 2009 by the Cairo Museum's Family of King Tutankhamun Project. The test results indicated that the Younger Lady was: (i) the daughter of the mummies identified as Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye; (ii) the sister of the KV 55 mummy; and (iii) the mother of Tutankhamen. (Kmt, [21:2], Summer, 2010, p. 21. See also The Journal of the American Medical Association, 02/17/2010, which may be read here.) The DNA results also indicated that the KV 55 mummy was Tutankhamen's father, from which it appears to follow that the Younger Lady was one of his wives. (However, see Possible Identifications below where another possibility is raised.) Since the historical record shows that Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, producers of quasi-historical entertainment extravaganzas (who take for granted that the KV 55 mummy is that of the Great Heretic King) now claim that the DNA evidence “proves” that the Younger Lady is Nefertiti. They tend to neglect the fact that, like all ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Akhenaten had multiple wives and the Younger Lady could be someone other than Nefertiti. They also never mention that the KV 55 mummy could possibly be the elusive Smenkhkare.
   More cautious researchers evaluate the DNA findings of the Family of King Tutankhamun Project within the wider context of archaeological data gathered from many different sources. In a short paper published in Kmt ([29:2] Summer, 2018, p. 28), Ray Johnson, Director of the Epigraphic Survey, argues persuasively that the DNA results actually prove that the Younger Lady cannot possibly be Nefertiti. Since the tests showed the Younger Lady to be the daughter of the mummy identified as Amenhotep III, Johnson contends that this highly significant paternal affiliation would have been frequently mentioned in numerous inscriptions. Since Nefertiti is never referred to as a “King’s Daughter” in the known inscriptional evidence from the Amarna Period, Johnson concludes that the Younger Lady cannot be Nefertiti. (Ray Johnson's Kmt paper is reprinted on the website of the Oriental Institute of Chicago. To see it, click here.) (Photo Credit: Ancient Egypt Wikia.)    

    YLRecontruction.jpg Forensic Facial Reconstruction--In 2017, the producers of the Travel Channel’s documentary series Great Women of Ancient Egypt asked forensic artist Elisabeth Daynes to create a reconstruction of the KV 35 Younger Lady’s face. Daynes (who, in 2005, had fashioned a forensic reconstruction of Tutankhamen’s face and head for The National Geographic Society) accepted this commission. Her model was an acrylic copy of the Younger Lady’s face and head based on laser-scans taken at the Cairo Egyptian Museum by the show’s host, Josh Gates.
    The finished product was revealed on the Travel Channel on February 14’th, 2018. In the words of Dennis Forbes, the editor of Kmt, Daynes portrayed the Younger Lady as “ a ruddy complexioned woman with sad eyes [and] a longish dour face…” (Kmt, [29:2] Summer, 2018, p. 21.) The bust was displayed wearing Nefertiti's iconic flat-topped crown and large beaded necklace. (See photo at left.) Whether this attire had been Daynes’ idea or had been “suggested” to her by the show’s producers remains unknown. However, the choice to augment an allegedly scientific forensic reconstruction with these particular accessories struck some viewers as an unfair attempt to sway the audience in favor of identifying the Younger Lady as Nefertiti. Other viewers were unhappy because the reconstruction did not look exactly like the beautiful bust of Nefertiti still in the Neues Museum in Berlin. However, in spite of the Nefertiti costume and dour expression, Daynes has probably rendered a forensically accurate reconstruction of what the KV 35 Younger Lady originally looked like. (Anand Balaji’s article about the Younger Women’s forensic facial reconstruction on the Ancient Origins website provides a good overview of this controversial subject.) (Photo Credit: The Travel Channel.)

   Possible Identifications--Since DNA evidence indicates that Tiye and Amenhotep III were the parents of the Younger Lady, we can safely rule out the daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti (including Meritaten, who was Smenkhkare’s official wife) as possible candidates for her identity. As we have seen, Ray Johnson rules out Nefertiti as a possible identification for the Younger Lady because Nefertti is never referred to in any known inscriptions as a “King’s Daughter,” a title she almost certainly would have used, proudly and prominently, had Amenhotep III been her father. (cf. Johnson above.) Dennis Forbes also rules out the three youngest daughters of Amenhotep III (Henuttaneb, Nebetiah and Baketaten) on the grounds that they would not have been old enough at the time of Tutankhamen’s birth to be his mother (Kmt, [29:2] Summer, 2018, p. 24.) Although Forbes originally proposed identifying the Younger Lady as Sitamun (the eldest daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye) (cf. above) he recently expressed some doubts about this identification because of Sitamun’s marriage to her father rather late in his reign. (He also rules out identifying the Younger Lady as Iset, another older daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye, for the same reason.) Forbes now argues that “their mutual King’s Great Wife status with their father would have precluded being married to their brother following Amenhotep III’s demise…” (Kmt, ibid.) Joyce Tyldesley gives the same reason for rejecting Sitamun as the possible mother of Tutankhamen, and writes that “widowed queens, in the 18’th Dynasty, did not remarry.” (TSFEK, p.178f.)
   The position taken by Forbes and Tyldesley above may be challenged. Queen Ankhesenamun’s frequently proposed remarriage to king Ay after the death of Tutankhamen would, if proven, completely contradict their argument. But even if Ankhesenamun’s alleged remarriage to Ay is discounted, Sitamun and Iset still remain viable possible identifications for the Younger Lady and the argument ruling them out, as given by Forbes and Tyldesley, rests on a questionable assumption. They both take for granted that Tutankhamen’s mother would have to be married to his father. Yet history and experience both show that unmarried women can still give birth and that men father children with partners other than their official wives. Not a lot is known about the rules governing ancient Egyptian royal marriages (although it is probably safe to assume that codes of marital conduct for royalty would have been somewhat different from those which applied to the non-royal majority.) However, it seems certain that ancient Egyptians, like all other humans, would sometimes be tempted to flaunt accepted moral standards, whatever those standards might have been. It therefore seems entirely possible that a widowed Sitamun or Iset could have had a relationship with a married royal brother that may have fallen outside the boundaries of approved sexual conduct. It is hard to say how the ancient Egyptians might have reacted to this sort of liaison, especially if it produced a son to the ruling Pharaoh at a time when male heirs to the throne were sorely lacking. The Pharaoh involved would, of course, be immune to any censure for indulging in such a union. His female partner (especially if she was a young widow of high royal status) probably would also suffer no serious recriminations for her indiscretion. But her reputation might have become tarnished by such an illicit relationship, and this might explain the highly unusual fact that Tutankhamen’s mother is never mentioned in any of the records of the late 18’th Dynasty or on any of the numerous objects found in her son's tomb. (Source Bibliography: BIE [3 ser.] 9 [1898], 104; DRN, 204, 210; EM, 94, fig. 14-15; Kmt, [29:2] Summer, 2018, pp. 21, 24, 28; [21:2] Summer, 2010, p. 88; and [ 2:2], Summer, 1991, p.72; RM, 40ff.; SFN, pp. 358ff.)

Other Burial Data:
Original Burial
: The Younger Lady's placement in side chamber Jc along with two other 18'th Dynasty mummies, all of whom show signs of having had their bandages hacked off by the same group of individuals who handled the mummies of Merenptah, Seti II, Ramesses IV (and perhaps also V, and VI) suggests that her original place of burial was not in KV 35, but in some as-yet unidentified sepulcher. This is also supported by the presence of a hole in her cranium which is similar to, although smaller than, the holes found in the skulls of these other mummies (and also in the skull of the Unidentified Boy--see above.) 
Restorations and Reburials: Because of her close association with the other mummies in side chamber Jc, the history of the Younger Lady's placement into KV 35 would be similar to theirs (see
Restorations and Reburials for the Unidentified Boy above.) (Sources: DRN, 197ff.; CVK, 199.)
Photo Credit: Credits provided throughout text above
For high resolution photo of  this mummy
see  the University of Chicago's Electronic Open Stacks copy of Smith's The Royal Mummies (Cairo, 1912,) Call #: DT57.C2 vol59, plate XCIX. Click here and here to see a large color photo of the three KV 35/Jc mummies and a close-up color photo of the Younger Lady. Photos sent to me by Bernhard A. Grundl of Nuernberg, Germany.

Source Abbreviation Key

Unknown Woman D (Tawosret? Tiye-Mereniset?) (c. 1187?-1185? B.C.)
Late 19'th or early 20'th Dynasty
: KV 35
Discovery Date
: March 9'th, 1898 by Victor Loret
Current Location: Cairo Museum CG61082


Details: The mummy of Unknown Woman D was discovered in side chamber Jb in KV35 laid out upon the overturned upper lid of a coffin inscribed for Setnakhte. (Setnakhte's coffin basin was also found in side chanber Jb containing the mummy of Merenptah. See CCR, Pl. LXII for a photo of Setnakhte's coffin.) Because of its position on this coffin lid, the mummy of Unknown Woman D was misidentified as Setnakhte until it was unwrapped on July 5'th, 1905 by G. E. Smith (with the assistance of M. Daressy and Howard Carter) and its gender determined to be female. Smith reports that the wrappings had been very carelessly applied by the embalmers who had not even bothered to individually wrap the fingers and toes. Smith noted that the wrappings had also been disarrayed and damaged by tomb robbers. He did not comment regarding whether the wrappings of Unknown Woman D were those originally employed when she was first mummified or from a later restoration. Smith does, however, state that “there was no writing or inscription” on the bandages that could help identify the mummy. This makes Unknown Woman D differ from the other mummies in side chamber Jb, all of which had identifying dockets.
      Beneath the bandages, Smith found a fairly intact mummy except for a gaping hole made in the abdominal region by thieves who had probably been searching for a heart scarab. (MiAE, 327.) The body was that of a frail, emaciated woman with completely atrophied breasts who had probably been elderly at the time of her death. Smith described her hair as well preserved and done up in a series of tightly-rolled curls. He also seemed especially impressed by the size of the head (which measured .190 mm long by .148 mm wide) and described it as "beloid" in shape and unusually large for a female. An interesting detail noted by Smith was that the skin had been removed from the soles of both feet, wrapped in "coarse cloth" along with "a large quantity of natron," and finally placed beneath the right foot. A similar cloth bundle under the mummy's left foot contained "portions of viscera" that had also been mixed with natron.
      Smith dated the mummy to the late XIX'th or early XX'th Dynasties based on the lack of resin on the strips of linen used to pack the abdomen, the absence of artificial eyes, and the position of the embalmer's incision (which in the mummy of Unknown Woman D reverts to an anachronistic XVIII'th Dynasty style that briefly became fashionable again in the late XIX'th and early XX'th Dynasties.) He found the evidence for this dating to be "quite conclusive," and further noted the similar placement for the embalming incisions of Seti II and Siptah, both of the late XIX'th Dynasty. Smith went on to state that "one might be inclined" to place the mummy of Unknown Woman D in the same group with them. He does comment that, unlike the neatly stitched embalming wounds of Seti II and Siptah, Unknown Woman D's wound was left open and gaping. This difference, however, did not deter Smith from concluding that Unknown Woman D was mummified in the late XIX'th Dynasty, was of royal status (because of her placement in KV35 with other mummified rulers), and could possibly be identified as Tawosret, the wife of Seti II and co-ruler with Siptah, (whose mummies were found close to Unknown Woman D in side chamber Jb.) Most sources only name Tawosret as a possible identification for Unknown Woman D. Reeves, however, offers other possible identifications for this mummy and theorizes that it could be the mummy of Tiaa (a wife of Seti II) or Isetnofret (the wife of Merenptah and mother of Seti II.) (Source Bibliography: BIE [3 ser.] 9 [1898], 111f.; DRN, 204, 210, 248; MiAE 327; RM, 81ff; XRA, 4D2-9.)


Other Burial Data: Because of the complete absence of identifying dockets on the mummy of Unknown Woman D or the coffin lid on which she was found, speculations concerning her identity, her original place of interment, and other tombs in which she may have been temporarily cached prior to arriving in KV 35 must be inferentially based on (i) the dating of her mummy to the late XIX'th or early XX'th Dynasties; (ii) evidence gathered from the other late XIX'th--early XX'th Dynasty mummies in KV 35 side chamber Jb with which Unknown Woman D appears to be closely associated; and (iii) evidence in the form of any relevant inscriptions written by restoration crews and found on mummies or tomb walls elsewhere in the Valley of the Kings. Reeves provides information from all three of these data sources on which an account of the interment and post-interment history of Unknown Woman D may be formulated. He implicitly acknowledges the soundness of Smith's dating of Unknown Woman D to the late XIX'th--early XX'th Dynasties and notes that the mummy appears to belong with the grouping of other late XIX'th Dynasty mummies found in close proximity to it in KV 35. He then proposes that she and the other mummies had previously been cached in KV14.
     Reeves cites inscriptional evidence in the form of graffiti and dockets (from Horemheb’s tomb and on the mummies of Seti I and Ramesses II) to show that caching operations had been conducted in the Royal Necropolis at various dates during Year 6 of whm mswt and argues that KV14 should also be included in this series of caching activities. (DRN, 109.) To support this argument, he calls attention to two graffiti from KV14 that are dated to an unspecified Year 6 and which read as follows: (i) "Year 6, 2 3ht 18" (first published by Alan Gardiner, JEA 40, [1954], p, 43); and (ii) "Year 6, 2..." (as translated by KV 14 excavator Hartwig Altenmuller [SAK 11, (1984), pp. 37 ff. & p. 44, note 27.]) Reeves argues that these dates are so close to those given in the Horemheb/Seti I/Ramesses II inscriptions that they must also be referring to the same wave of caching activity carried out during the whm mswt period. He concludes that these two grafiti provide the date on which Unknown Woman D had been temporarily placed in KV14 along with the other XIX’th Dynasty mummies that had later been moved with her into KV35.
      The strongest link between Unknown Woman D and KV 14 is her association with the coffin lid of Setnakhte, who had been the last ruler officially buried in KV 14 after it had been appropriated and retrofitted for his interment by his son, Ramesses III (see Hartwig Altenmuller in VoK, 222 ff.). Other rulers had been buried in this tomb prior to Setnakhte. Seti II and Tawosret had both employed KV 14 as their final resting place and evidence indicates that Tawosret shared the tomb with Seti II (who had been her husband.) Ramesses III had any previous burial (or burials) in KV 14 removed and placed elsewhere when he appropriated the tomb for the use of his father. Hartwig Altenmuller cites evidence that Ramesses III reburied Seti II in KV 15 (SAK 10 [1983], 38 ff) when he had KV 14 cleared out and refurbished. Tawosret's mummy would have also been removed from KV 14 and reinterred at this time, but the location of her reburial is unknown. (Reeves discounts the theory, first proposed by Maspero and taken up again by Hartwig Altenmuller, that views KV 56 as the place of Tawosret’s reburial. [cf. DRN, 131 ff.; 137, note 30.]) The KV 14 cache theory proposed by Reeves would require that the mummies originally buried in KV14 be removed from the secondary burials in which Ramesses III had them placed and returned to KV 14 in Year 6 of whm mswt.
     Unknown Woman D could be given a less circuitous route from KV 14 to KV 35 by provisionally identifying her as Tiye-Mereniset, the Great Royal Wife of Setnakhte and mother of Ramesses III and by assuming that Ramesses III had her interred along with his father Setnakhte in KV 14. Such an identification fits with Smith’s dating of Unknown Woman D to the late XIX’th or early XX'th Dynasties and would explain her close association with Setnakhte as attested by her position on his coffin lid when discovered in KV 35. This could also explain why no docketing information was placed on Unknown Woman D’s wrappings. KV 14 would only have been selected for use as a cache because necropolis officials had determined that it was undisturbed when they inspected tombs in the Royal Valley in Year 6 of whm mswt (as per the chronology proposed by Reeves. cf. above). Therefore, when the reburial workers entered KV 14, they would have found the intact burials of Setnakhte and Tiye-Mereniset together in coffins that clearly identified their occupants and, for this reason, saw no need to add additional identification in the form of dockets. At some time after the reburial gang left, KV 14 was entered by thieves and pillaged, thus necessitating the removal of Setnakhte, Tiye-Mereniset and the other mummies that had earlier been cached there to the safer cache being established in KV 35. (For information concerning the possible placement of Setnakhte’s mummy in KV 35, see the entry below for The Mummy on the Boat.) (Source Bibliography: DRN 109 ff., 131, 248; JEA 40, [1954], 43; SAK 11, (1984), 37 ff., 44, note 27; VoK, 222 ff.).

Original Burial:  Probably in KV 14. However, if Unknown Woman D is Tiye-Mereniset as suggested above, she may have died before her husband Setnakhte. In that case, she would have probably been buried in her own as-yet unidentified tomb and then transferred into KV 14 by her son Ramesses III at the time of Setnakhte's interment.

Reburials: In KV 35 at some time no earlier than Year 12/13 of Smendes. Reeves believes that all the mummies found in side chamber Jb (including the mummy of Unknown Woman D) had been placed there at the same time. That these mummies had been subjected to subsequent pillaging is shown by the opening found in the upper right hand corner of the stone wall built to block the entrance to Jb. Reeves proposes that the mummy of Setnakhte was removed from Jb at this time and plundered. It may also be the case that Unknown Woman D's coffin was badly damaged or destroyed by these thieves, thus necessitating the placement of her mummy on the lid of Setnakhte's coffin by those responsible for the final restoration of KV 35. (DRN, 198-199, 248.)
Coffin Dockets: As noted above, no identifying dockets were found on the wrappings of Unknown Woman D or on the overturned coffin lid upon which she was discovered. 

Photo Credit: RM (Cairo, 1912,) pl. LXVII. For high resolution photos of this mummy see the University of Chicago's Electronic Open Stacks copy of Smith's The Royal Mummies (Cairo, 1912,) Call #: DT57.C2 vol59, plates LXVII and LXVIII.) 

Source Abbreviation Key


The Mummy on the Boat (Setnakhte? Webensenu?)
18'th Dynasty? Early 20'th Dynasty? A later intrusive burial?
: KV 35
Discovery Date
: March 9'th, 1898 by Victor Loret
Current Location: The mummy was badly damaged in 1901, and it's broken remnants are presumably lost.  

Details: The unidentified mummy that became known as “the Mummy on the Boat” was discovered by Victor Loret laid out atop a model funerary boat in Antechamber F of KV 35. This location placed it at some distance from the burial chamber and side chambers where Loret subsequently discovered the remains of Amenhotep II and the other mummies that had been cached with him in his tomb. Loret was startled when he first saw this mummy. He had probably seen the steps cut in the floor of the chamber, which led farther downward into other chambers below, realized he was not yet in the burial chamber, and therefore did not expect to find human remains at this level of the tomb. Loret described the Mummy on the Boat as “a horrible sight…all black and hideous, its grimacing face turning towards me and looking at me…” (Loret, BIE, [Cairo], 1899. Translated by John Romer in TVK, 161.) He described its legs and arms as being “bound” and noted a hole in the sternum and a smaller hole in the skull. Loret did not at first think he was looking at an unwrapped mummy and entertained the possibility that the body on the boat was that of a sacrificial victim or a thief slain by tomb guardians or fellow thieves in a murderous dispute over the division of their loot. Later investigation mitigated Loret's initial hyperbole, and revealed that this body was, indeed, an unwrapped mummy that had obviously been thoroughly pillaged by tomb robbers.
         Several photographs were taken of the "Mummy on the Boat." The best known of these (#1 above) is universally attributed to Loret, who presumably took it soon after the mummy's discovery. The image below it (#2 above) appears credited to Loret by Anand Balaji on the Ancient Origins website. Close examination of this image suggests that it is a photogravure based on a photograph that could have been taken by Loret soon after KV35 was initially entered. The original photograph, however, might conceivably have been taken at a later date by Howard Carter when he returned the mummy to its original position in Antechamber F following its temporary removal to get it out of the way while the other mummies were being taken from the tomb (cf. Christian Orsenigo, Kmt, [23:4], Winter, 2012-2013, pp. 18-31.) The large photo below right is from the Alexandre Varille/Loret Archives, now at the University of Milan, and was virtually unknown until it was published by Dennis Forbes in Kmt, ([23:2], Summer, 2012, p. 35.) (Click on photo for enlargement.) It is the best of the three photos and provides a clear and detailed image of the mummy of a robust looking male with long dark hair (similar in appearance to DB 320’s Unknown Man C, [cf. above]) whose bandages had been almost entirely torn off by thieves. The remaining bandages are tangled around the mummy’s abdomen and upper thighs and explain Loret’s initial impression that the man’s legs and arms had been bound. The left arm has been broken off and the right arm appears to be disconnected but still approximately in place. Dennis Forbes calls attention to “what appears to be the right hand, fingers extended, resting on the right thigh.” The fingers of this hand appear to have been individually wrapped. Forbes also points out that the pulled-off left arm and right foot are visible on the chamber floor near the mummy. (Kmt, ibid.) The remaining skin of the torso and face appears to be thoroughly perforated by tiny holes, probably made by insects. What might be an embalmer's incision appears on the left side of the lower abdomen (in the photo, this possible embalmer's incision is visually divided by a single strand of torn bandaging that is stretched above it.) Of special interest is the small, partly unwrapped bundle on the prow of the model boat above the mummy’s head. I have so far not found any references to this, but the bundle resembles a small mummified monkey or baboon like the one found with the XXI’st Dynasty mummy of Maatkare-Mutemhet (cf. Maatkare’s baboon.) Of course, the bundle's resemblance to a mummified animal could be purely coincidental and it might simply be an accumulation of empty bandages torn off by thieves. However, there also appears to be something protruding beneath the lower left side of the bundle that could be interpreted as the remains of a broken simian skull. (Source Bibliography: BIE, 100f., 111; CCR, 219ff.: DRN, 198f, 204,210,215,248; FVR, CG24269-73, CG5031, CG24737; Kmt, [23:2], Summer, 2012, p. 35; [23:4], Winter, 2012-2013, pp. 18-31; TVK, 161.)


Other Burial Data: Speculations about the identity of the mummy on the boat usually focus on two possible candidates: (i) Prince Webensenu, a son of Amenhotep II (cf. Romer, TVK, 161); and (ii) the Pharaoh Setnakhte, founder of the XX’th Dynasty (cf. Reeves, DRN, 199, 248.) Loret’s discovery of a set of shabtis (FVR, CG24269-73) and a canopic jar (FVR, CG5031) inscribed for Webensenu attest to the burial of this XVIII’th Dynasty prince in KV 35. Convincing evidence for the reburial of Setnakhte in KV 35 also exists, and was found in side chamber Jb where his coffin basin and lid were being reused for (respectively) the mummies of Menenptah and Unknown Woman D (cf. above). Further evidence for the presence of Setnakhte in the tomb came from burial chamber J, where fragments of his inner cartonnage were discovered (DRN, 199; FVR, CG24737.)
         Although Webensenu and Setnakhte can both be placed with some degree of confidence in KV 35, identifying the Mummy on the Boat with either of these individuals raises several questions. Webensenu predeceased his father Amenhotep II, and, if his original interment was in KV35, he most probably would have been placed in one of the four side chambers off the main burial chamber. These chambers could even have been specifically intended for family burials when the tomb was first designed (cf. Wilkinson, OHVK, p. 349.) It is unlikely that he would have been placed in chamber F where his burial would have gotten in the way of subsequent funeral preparations for the interment of his father lower down in the tomb. At his death, Webensenu could, of course, have been buried in another as-yet unidentified location in the vicinity of KV 35 and then moved into KV 35 at the time of his father’s burial. But even then, his final destination in the tomb would most logically have been one of the side chambers of burial chamber J. In Setnakhte’s case, we know that he had probably been placed with the other cached mummies in side chamber Jb when they had all been reburied there at a time established by Reeves as no earlier than Year 12/13 of Smendes. Then why should either of these mummies be found in Antechamber F at a higher level in the tomb? It seems unlikely that members of a restoration and/or reburial gang would carry a mummy up from the burial chamber and deposit it on the boat in chamber F when there would be no obvious need to do so. It also seems improbable that they would carry mummies into KV 35 for caching, separate one of them from the others, and leave it abandoned in chamber F when there would have been ample room in the side chambers adjoining the lower burial chamber in which to place it. The usual explanation given for the puzzling location of the Mummy on the Boat is that tomb robbers removed the mummy from the place where they found it in chamber J, dragged it across the burial chamber, and then up an inclined corridor and a flight of steps into Antechamber F in order to strip it of its wrappings and valuables. But why would thieves go to the trouble of transporting the mummy such a distance when it could more easily have been stripped and looted on the floor of burial chamber J? In fact, the floor of the burial chamber is exactly where Setnakhte's mummy appears to have been looted because that is where fragments of his hacked-off inner cartonnage were found.
         For that matter, why would thieves undertake the unnecessary labor of hauling a mummy all the way up to chamber F only to place it on top of an unsteady model funerary boat in order to strip it and search it? A solid floor would certainly seem like a better place to strip a mummy than the top of an unsteady wooden model. Yet on top of such a model is precisely where the mummy had been placed and subsequently plundered. Its position on the model boat does not appear to be accidental (contra Romer, who wrote that the mummy had been thrown there from across the room [TVK, 161]). The Varille/Loret Archives photograph shows a mummy that seems to have been somewhat carefully positioned. It is possible, then, that the tomb robbers who removed the wrappings had found the mummy already in place on top of the boat in chamber F when they first entered KV 35. They did not remove the mummy from the boat and place it on the floor to strip off its wrappings because, by this time, the oils which impregnated the wrappings had probably already hardened and had securely affixed the mummy to the boat's surface (TVK, 161.) This would have made its removal a time-consuming chore best left undone, so the robbers chose the expedient of stripping the mummy while it remained on the boat. (Source Bibliography: DRN, 199., 248; FVR, CG24269-73, CG5031, CG24737; OHVK, p. 349; TVK, 161.)

Original BurialIntrusively in KV 35. The questions raised above can all be resolved by adopting the hypothesis that the Mummy on the Boat was not Webensenu or Setnakhte or anyone else connected with the other official burials in the tomb, but might have been an intrusive burial of a private individual from a period later than the last official inspection of KV 35. Beginning in the 22'nd Dynasty, various tombs in the Royal Valley had been used for intrusive burials (John H. Taylor, OHVK, 369ff.) and the Mummy on the Boat might have been placed in KV 35 during this period. Since intrusive burials of private individuals were typically placed in subsidiary chambers of the tombs they employed, viewing the Mummy on the Boat as intrusive could explain why he was discovered in chamber F of KV 35 rather than in the burial chamber itself or with the other mummies in the side chambers. It could also help make sense of his unusual positioning on top of the wooden model boat. John H. Taylor states that 22'nd Dynasty intrusive burials in the Valley of the the Kings were typically of lower status individuals who lacked the means to pay for more expensive interments elsewhere (OHVK, 370.) The Mummy on the Boat may not have been able to afford a coffin for his own burial. Perhaps those responsible for placing his mummy in KV 35 decided to use the boat as an impromptu substitute coffin or bier. This would account for the rather well-aligned, linear position of the mummy on the boat. It would also explain the observation that the mummy had been stuck to the boat by the oils and resins poured over it during the funerary rituals (TVK, 161). This showed that the mummy had been put in position on the boat while these materials had still been in a liquid state and indicated that it had been placed there not long after its burial. The fresh condition of these oils and resins causes serious problems for those who advocate identifying the Mummy on the Boat as Webensenu or Setnakhte, both of whom had been buried for many long years before the first incursion of thieves into KV 35 as dated by Reeves. But if the Mummy on the Boat was intrusively buried in chamber F many years after all the other mummies had been cached there, the still-liquid state of his ritual oils poses no problems. These funerary substances would, in that case, have been poured over him when he was first laid on the boat at the time of his intrusive burial.

Post Interment Activity: When considered as a later intrusive deposit, illicit activity involving the Mummy on the Boat probably would have occurred on only two widely separated occasions:
     (i) At some time after the last official inspection of KV 35, thieves entered and plundered the mummy. In attempting to remove him from the boat to which he was now attached by hardened oils and resins, the thieves broke off his left and right arms, his right foot, and his left leg. They completed their rough unwrapping while the mummy’s remaining limbs, torso and head remained on the boat. Afterward, they would have inspected the burials accessible below in the burial chamber and perhaps in side chamber Jb (which, at this time, would have had an opening in the upper right corner of its blocking [DRN, p. 197]). This would have made the intruders aware that most of the mummies who lay in damaged coffins (including that of Amenhotep II) had already been picked clean and rewrapped by necropolis officials and therefore they didn’t bother with them.
     (ii) During the clearance of KV35, the Mummy on the Boat had not been scheduled for removal from the tomb along with the other burials, but had been moved from his original position and placed out of the way when Antechamber F was temporarily used to store the other mummies in their large shipping crates. Carter returned the mummies of Amenhotep II and the three side chamber Jc mummies to their original locations in KV35 and repositioned the Mummy on the Boat back in Antechamber F after the other burials had been transported to Cairo. (cf. Christian Orsenigo, Kmt, [23:4], Winter, 2012-2013, pp. 18-31.) According to John Romer, the Mummy on the Boat briefly became a “prime sight for visitors to the Valley.” (TVK, 161. Romer incorrectly says the mummy was a “prime sight” for “the next ten years or so.” He probably meant for “the next ten months".)
     On November 24, 1901, three years after Loret’s discovery of KV 35, modern thieves broke into the tomb and stole the wooden funerary boat on which the Man on the Boat still rested. Howard Carter, in an account of his inspection of the tomb after the robbery, wrote (in a report dated Nov. 27, 1901) that “the boat in the Antechamber had been stolen; the mummy that was upon it, was lying on the floor, and had been smashed to pieces.” (ASAE, 1902.) Nicholas Reeves and John H. Taylor note that the funerary boat was finally acquired by the Cairo Museum from a local dealer in stolen antiquities (HCBT, 63.) But Carter’s report was the last time anyone documented any direct observations concerning the unfortunate mummy that had reposed upon this boat for so many centuries. Carter’s phrase “smashed to pieces” is very subjective, and fails to precisely indicate the amount of damage the mummy had sustained (although it probably was extensive.) Other mummies have been similarly damaged (most notably the KV55 mummy, which crumbled into dust and bones during its examination) and have yet been preserved, albeit in a fragmentary condition. It is hard to imagine that the fragments of the Mummy on the Boat were simply swept out of KV 35 and thrown away. Conceivably, these fragments may still be hidden in a box in some dark storage room of the Cairo Museum, awaiting rediscovery and a proper examination.
Photo Credit: top left photo #1 from TVK, 160; photo #2 from the Ancient Origins website/Anand Balaji; lower right photo from Kmt (23:2) 35. (The original photographic plate is in the Alexandre Varille/Loret Archives at the University of Milan, Italy.)

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