9781493602162: The Tomb of Queen Tiyi

From the beginning of the chapter titled: A SKETCH OF QUEEN TIYI'S LIFE


First of all it must be clearly understood that the vault discovered by Davis is not a real tomb; it is a rough cell in the rock, which has been used as a secret burying-place for a member of the family of the so-called Hæretic Kings, when the reaction in favour of Amon triumphed. The transfer of the mummy from its original tomb at Thebes, or El-Amarna, was devised and made in order to save it from the wrath of victorious sectarians; if this had not been the case, it would have been destroyed or robbed of its treasures.

Only two Pharaohs are likely to have been actuated by kind feelings for Khuniatonu — those two who were connected with his family, Ai and Tuatankhamanu — it was one of them who planned and executed the operation. That he succeeded in carrying it out secretly is evident from the fact that, while the Tombs of the Kings were desecrated and plundered completely, this place, with its wealth of gold, remained concealed and untouched until last year. The whole furniture was still in it, ready to bear witness as to the name and rank of its owner.

When subsequently tested, its evidence was both obscure and conflicting. Such of the small objects as were inscribed bore the name of Amenothes III and of his wife Tiyi, proving that the set of tiny pots, boxes, tools, fictitious offerings, in enamelled stone or glazed pottery, were the property of the queen. The big catafalque, in which the body had been borne to its resting-place on the day of the burial, belonged to the same lady, and its inscriptions state that King Khuniatonu had "made it for the king's mother, great wife of the king, Tiyi." So far, so good, and there seemed to be no possible ground for doubting that the tomb was Tiyi's; but when we came to examine the mosaic coffin and the sheets of gold in which the mummy was wrapped, we found that their legends asserted the mummy to be no other than Khuniatonu himself. It was very badly preserved, having been soaked in water and partly crushed by a block which had fallen from the roof, so that what remained of it was little more than disconnected bones, with a few shreds of dried skin and flesh adhering to or hanging from them. Dr. Elliot Smith, who studied the skull minutely, pronounced it to be the skull of a man aged about twenty-five or twenty-six years. Whether or not he be right about the age is a matter for anatomists only to decide; there is evidence, however, that the body discovered in Davis's vault is that of a man, and that man Khuniatonu, if we must accept the testimony of the inscriptions.

Such being the facts, how are we to reconcile them and explain satisfactorily the presence of Khuniatonu's body amidst Tiyi's furniture? This paradoxical combination may either have been made on purpose, or be the result of some mistake on the part of the persons who executed the transfer. In the first case, we ought, perhaps, to conjecture that, wishing to prevent any harm being done to the king by some fanatical devotee of Amon, the hiders wanted the people to believe that the body they were burying was Tiyi's: accordingly, they took with it Tiyi's catafalque and Tiyi's small furniture, the only exception being the canopic jars which, from the shape of the face, I assume to have been Khuniatonu's.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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