Sunday, February 10, 2013

Queen Meryetamun

Meryetamun was an Egyptian Queen of the early Eighteenth Dynasty. It is not clear which Pharaoh she was married to. Herbert Winlock, who found her tomb in 1929, suggested that she was married to Amenhotep II.

The Queen's coffins were made in the rishi style that was used for royalty throughout the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Dynasties.

The first of her coffins had originally been covered with sheet gold that was removed either by tomb robbers or by the officials who restored the tomb in the Twenty-First Dynasty. The original decoration seems to have consisted of two wings wrapped around the deceased and crossing at about the knee level of the coffin. Earlier rishi coffins had the wings running along the sides of the lid with an inscription running down from the waist area to the feet, but this coffin does not seem to have had an inscription on it. Above the wings of Meryetamun's coffin was a pattern of small feathers that were "covered" by a broad collar worn around the queen's neck.

The second of Meryetamun's coffins was immense, being over nine feet in length. The arm and breast area of the coffin have numerous carved depressions that contain small amounts of plaster that would have held inlaid "glass" decoration. From the arms down to the feet the coffin seems to have been covered with gold that was decorated with a father-work pattern

The Queen seems to have had a third coffin, even larger than the second one, but only fragments of it survived the attentions of the ancient tomb robbers.

Source: Winlock, Herbert. The Tomb of Queen Meryet-Amun at Thebes, New York: Arno Press, 1973 (a reprint of the original volume published in 1932).    

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