New ancient Egyptian human mummies from the valley of the kings, Luxor: Anthropological, radiological, and Egyptological investigations

  • Rühli F
  • Ikram S
  • Bickel S
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The Valley of the Kings (arab. Wadi al Muluk; KV) situated on the West Bank near Luxor (Egypt) was the site for royal and elite burials during the New Kingdom (ca. 1500-1100 BC), with many tombs being reused in subsequent periods. In 2009, the scientific project "The University of Basel Kings' Valley Project" was launched. The main purpose of this transdisciplinary project is the clearance and documentation of nonroyal tombs in the surrounding of the tomb of Pharaoh Thutmosis III (ca. 1479-1424 BC; KV 34). This paper reports on newly discovered ancient Egyptian human mummified remains originating from the field seasons 2010-2012. Besides macroscopic assessments, the remains were conventionally X-rayed by a portable X-ray unit in situ inside KV 31. These image data serve as basis for individual sex and age determination and for the study of probable pathologies and embalming techniques. A total of five human individuals have been examined so far and set into an Egyptological context. This project highlights the importance of ongoing excavation and science efforts even in well-studied areas of Egypt such as the Kings' Valley.

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  • Frank Rühli

  • Salima Ikram

  • Susanne Bickel

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