Mummy of Maatkare Mutemhat

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. 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). 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. She had dark hair and her nails had been tied with string to prevent them from falling off.

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

Although she was “God’s Wife of Amun” and was supposed to be a virgin, 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

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