Mummy of Maatkare Mutemhat

The mummy of Maatkare Mutemhat is plastered and painted with a mixture of yellow ochre and gum, and powdered resins were sprinkled over her face. Hers was the earliest mummy of her period to have been stuffed to present a life-like appearance. The body was internally packed and molded into the shape of the living queen and the face was stuffed with mud and painted with yellow ocher.

Maatkare Mutemhat had dark hair and her nails had been tied with string to prevent them from falling off. Her fingers even show deep grooves from the string once tied around her nails to hold them in place during the desiccation process.

Mummy of Maatkare Mutemhat. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 26200
Mummy of Maatkare Mutemhat. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 26200

Maatkare Mutemhat was the daughter of the high priest Pinedjem I, who seems to have given her the throne name of Queen Hatshepsut; he called his son, Menkheperre, after the great king, Thutmose III.

Related: Mummy of Queen Nodjmet

Her name, Maatkare, translates to “Maat is the soul of Re,” emphasizing her connection to the goddess Maat and the sun god Re. Her mother was Duathathor-Henuttawy, a daughter of Ramesses XI, last ruler of the 20th dynasty.

Maatkare Mutemhat, God’s wife of Amun

The God’s Wife of Amun was a prestigious and influential religious title held by women in ancient Egypt. The God’s Wife of Amun was considered the highest-ranking priestess of the god Amun, one of the most important deities in the Egyptian pantheon.

This position was typically held by a daughter or sister of the king, and she played a crucial role in the religious rituals and ceremonies dedicated to Amun.

The God’s Wife of Amun held significant political and religious power, often acting as a mediator between the divine and mortal realms. She had her own cult and temple dedicated to Amun, and her role was closely associated with the king’s authority.

Throughout different periods of Egyptian history, the influence and prominence of the God’s Wife of Amun varied, but she consistently held a revered position within the religious hierarchy.

Maatkare Mutemhat held the position of “God’s Wife of Amun” so she was considered to be the female head of the priesthood of Amun at Karnak, and therefore had almost the same status as a queen. Her mummy was found with other mummies of members of her family in the Deir el-Bahari Cachette (DB320).

Although she was “God’s Wife of Amun” and was supposed to be a virgin. The early examiners believed that her mummy had been prepared as though she was pregnant, with extra padding in her abdomen.

A small mummy was found in her coffin that they supposed to be a stillborn child. However, x-rays have since shown the small mummy to be that of a baboon.

Third Intermediate Period, 21st Dynasty, ca. 1069-945 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 26200