Archaeologists uncovered a rare tomb in Egypt that was used to house a female singer more than three thousand years ago.
The tomb is the only one known found in the Valley of the Kings that was occupied by a woman who was not related to the ancient Egyptian royal families, Mansour Boraiq, a top government official for the Antiquities’ Ministry in the city of Luxor, told AP.
The Valley of the Kings in Luxor attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world each year. It is known for an archeological discovery in 1922 of a gold funerary mask of Tutankhamun as well as other precious items.
Boraiq told AP the female singer’s coffin is almost completely intact. He explained that when the coffin is opened archaeologists will most likely uncover a mummy and a cartonnage mask, which is used to preserve the body and was made from linen and plaster.
The tomb was discovered by mere chance explained Elena Pauline-Grothe, field director for excavation at the Valley of the Kings with Switzerland’s University of Basel.
“We were not looking for new tombs. It was close to another tomb that was discovered 100 years ago,” Pauline-Grothe told AP.
Pauline-Grothe said the tomb was not originally built for the female singer, but that was reused for her about 400 years later. Archaeologists do not know who the tomb was originally intended for.
The coffin of the singer belonged to the daughter of a high priest during the 22nd Dynasty. The singer’s name, Nehmes Bastet, means she was believed to be protected by the feline deity Bastet, according to archaeologists.
When she died, high priests from Thebes, which now encompasses the city of Luxor, were sovereign which allowed them to use the royal cemetery, according to Boraiq.
This is the 64th tomb to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings.