Mummy of Neskhon

At the time of her unwrapping, when surveying the mummy of Neskhon; plumpness of her physique and well-endowed bust seemed to indicate pregnancy or motherhood to archaeologists, and to this day it is widely believed she was either pregnant or had died during childbirth.

Neskhon (“She Belongs to Khons [Khonsu, the Egyptian God of the Moon]”), was a noble woman in the 21st Dynasty of Ancient Egypt who died around 969 B.C. She was a fairly young woman at the time of her death and was married to Pinedjem II, a high Priest of Amun at Thebes.

Mummy of Neskhon
Mummy of Neskhon

Neskhon was mummified and covered with an Osiris shroud and a few funerary objects such as vases and a canopic jar chest still exist for her mummy to this day. A heart scarab amulet belonging to her was robbed from her body by the Abdel Rassul family of Qurna, but was later recovered and today resides in the British Museum (EA25584).

Related: Mummy of Lady Rai

However, despite the lack of goods and plundered funerary objects, buried alongside Neskhon was a peculiar object; an oracular decree with a prayer to Amun, pleading with the God to not let the spirit of Neskhon seek harm upon her widowed husband, Pinedjem II. Why this is we cannot be sure, but it has sparked the imagination of Egyptologists for over a century.

Tablet showcasing Neskhon before Osiris. Petrie Museum, UC14226.
Tablet showcasing Neskhon before Osiris.
Petrie Museum, UC14226.