Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tut Family Mummies Damaged in Egypt Riots?

The mummies of King Tutankhamun’s great-grandparents might have had their heads ripped off as a result of the recent turmoil in Egypt, according to reports beginning to circulate on the Internet.

Dramatic Al Jazeera footage suggests that the two mummies vandalized at the Egyptian museum might be those of Yuya and Tjuya, which recent DNA tests identified as King Tut's great-grandparents.

Indeed, the gilded, open-work cartonnage case shown on Al Jazeera belongs to Tjuya, according to Margaret Maitland, a D.Phil. candidate in Egyptology at the University of Oxford.

“The case was placed directly on Tjuya’s body, so it is doubtful that it could have been removed without damaging her mummy. This suggests that the two mummies mentioned by Dr. Zahi Hawass as being beheaded and severely damaged may be those of Yuya and Tjuya. They are important historical figures, as well as two of the best preserved mummies from ancient Egypt, so it would indeed be tragic if this is true,” Maitland writes in her blog.

The Al Jazeera footage also shows that wooden statues from the tomb of King Tutankhamun have been smashed.

Much destruction appears to have been dealt a wooden boat that Maitland identified as coming from the tomb of Meseti at Asyut.

“It’s one of the largest model boats in existence and it dates to approximately 2000 B.C., so over it’s 4,000 years old. Very sad,” said Maitland.

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