January 16, 2012 in Nation/World

Tomb is rare discovery

Aya Batrawy Associated Press
 

CAIRO – Egyptian and Swiss archaeologists have unearthed a roughly 1,100-year-old tomb of a female singer in the Valley of the Kings, an antiquities official said Sunday.

It is the only tomb of a woman not related to the ancient Egyptian royal families ever found in the Valley of the Kings, said Mansour Boraiq, the top government official for the Antiquities Ministry in the city of Luxor,

The Valley of the Kings in Luxor is a major tourist attraction. In 1922, archaeologists there unearthed the gold funerary mask of Tutankhamen and other stunning items in the tomb of the king who ruled more than 3,000 years ago.

Boraiq said that when the coffin is opened this week, archaeologists will likely find a mummy and a cartonnage mask molded to her face and made from layers of linen and plaster.

The singer’s name, Nehmes Bastet, means she was believed to be protected by the feline deity Bastet.

Archaeologists concluded from artifacts that she sang in Karnak Temple, one of the most famous and largest open-air sites from the Pharaonic era, according to evidence at the site.

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