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ARC2EGY Essay: The Process of Identification: Can Mummy KV60-A be Positively Identified as Hatshepsut?

by Caroline Seawright
Year 2 Essay for The World of the Pharaohs: The Archaeology of Ancient Egypt at LaTrobe University, Oct 2012.


In June 2007, Dr. Zahi Hawass, the former Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced to the world that he had identified mummy KV60-A as the body of Pharaoh Maatkara Khnemetamen-Hatshepsut ('Truth is the Soul of Ra', 'She who embraces Amen - the Foremost of Women'), an early New Kingdom queen who became king of Egypt. The whereabouts of this queen-turned-pharaoh had been one of Egyptology's mysteries, as her body was not in her tomb, nor part of the royal mummy cache discovered in 1881. One item found in the cache had been owned by her - a small box containing a mummified internal organ. This organ may have belonged to Hatshepsut, or to her namesake, a princess of a later Dynasty. Two unidentified female mummies were ultimately selected as potentially being the female pharaoh, due to their connection with a coffin belonging to a royal nurse, possibly Hatshepsut's wet-nurse. They were both CT scanned but, although one of the mummies was more likely to be related to Hatshepsut's male relatives based on a morphological study, neither mummy could be identified as being the female pharaoh. However, the box containing the mummified organ contained a clue - a molar tooth which, according to the Egyptologists, matched the mouth of one of the two mummies. The identification of mummy KV60-A as Hatshepsut is hinged on this tooth, yet there are serious questions raised about the tooth itself - the lack of the third root of the supposed upper back molar. There are also problems surrounding the DNA test conducted to prove a familial relationship between KV60-A, and the mummies of Hatshepsut's male relatives. Unfortunately, until these issues are resolved, mummy KV60-A cannot be positively identified as Pharaoh Hatshepsut.

The Process of Identification: Can Mummy KV60-A be Positively Identified as Hatshepsut?.

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Seawright, C , The Process of Identification: Can Mummy KV60-A be Positively Identified as Hatshepsut?, Articles by Caroline Seawright, < kunoichi/themestream/ ARC2EGY.html>.

© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2012 - present

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