Mummy of Djedptahiufankh

The mummy of Djedptahiufankh is in very good condition and examination has shown that the priest died at a very young age. He was buried in Deir el-Bahari Cachette (DB320), West Thebes.

Djedptahiufankh held the position of “Second Prophet of Amun” during the reign of Shoshenq I of the 22nd Dynasty. This very prominent position during the dynasty was not a religious post but a title that was used by Libyan generals to control the Theban region in Upper Egypt.

Mummy of Djedptahiufankh. Photo taken in 1886.
Mummy of Djedptahiufankh. Photo taken in 1886

Meanwhile, Lower Egypt was ruled by other kings in Tanis. There were relationships of marriage between the two houses, which were necessary to maintain the peace in Egypt, as it seems that neither was powerful enough to control the whole country.

Djedptahiufankh is only known from his burial and mummy. He held the title of District Governor as well as “King’s Son of Ramesses” and “King’s Son of the Lord of the Two Lands”. The latter may suggest that he was related to the royal family of possibly the 21st Dynasty or 22nd Dynasty.

It has been conjectured that Djedptahiufankh was the husband of Nesitanebetashru (A) (who was a daughter of Pinedjem II and Neskhons). This theory is based purely on the fact that Djedptahiufankh was buried next to Nesitanebetashru in (DB320).

He died around the middle of Shoshenq I’s reign according to inscriptions found written on the bandages of his mummy and coffin. He was buried in Deir El-Bahari Tomb 320 or DB320, which actually served as the family tomb of the 21st Dynasty High Priest of Amun Pinedjem I.

Embalmers of this period were interested in making the deceased look alive. The mummy of Djedptahiuefankh has incredibly realistic-looking eyes, made of white stone with a circle of black, inserted under half-closed lids. Egyptologists have suggested that this new treatment of the eyes was meant to represent the embalmed body as if it were a funerary statue, aware and ready to interact with the world.

By placing realistic artificial eyes into empty sockets, craftsmen were in fact making the mummy look awake, a critical shift from previous dynasties, when the custom was to present the embalmed individual as if asleep, with closed eyes.

Mummy of Djedptahiufankh
Mummy of Djedptahiufankh

Deir el-Bahari Royal Cachette

DB320 was discovered in the 19th century and quickly became famous for containing a cache of many of the most significant New Kingdom royal mummies including the mortal remains of Amenhotep I, Ramesses II, Ramesses III, Ramesses IX, and Thutmose I, Thutmose II and Thutmose III.

Three separate mummy bandages dating to Years 5, 10 and 11 of Shoshenq I were found on Djedptahiufankh’s body. Djedptahiufankh’s burial was found intact and undisturbed, and his mummy was unwrapped by Gaston Maspero in 1886. Some of the jewelry, in the form of gold rings, amulets and a uraeus, among other items, which were found on his body.

Third Intermediate Period, 22nd Dynasty, reign of Shoshenq I, ca. 943-922 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 26201