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New Kingdom Tomb Will Open in Saqqara

Monday, December 21, 2015

Maia wet nurse CAIRO, EGYPT—Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Mamdouh El-Damaty announced that a heavily reused tomb discovered in Saqqara in 1996 by French Egyptologist Alain Zivie will be opened to the public for the first time. The New Kingdom tomb first belonged to Maia, King Tutankhamun’s wet nurse, and consists of three decorated cult chambers and underground, undecorated burial chambers. Tutankhamun is shown in one of the tomb’s reliefs sitting on Maia’s lap. Other images depict Maia in front of offering bearers, and as a mummy standing before Osiris, god of the underworld. El-Damaty also said that Maia may have been Tutankhamun’s sister, Mirette Atun. A relief in the tomb of Meket Atun, elder daughter of Akhenaten, at Amarna, shows Mirette Atun holding a child and breastfeeding him. “The child could be king Tutankhamun,” El-Damaty told Ahram Online. “Through a survey on the Maia tomb, which would take place immediately, and comparing its results with the survey carried out on the boy king tomb, would definitely contribute to uncovering more of Tutankhamun’s secrets,” he said. To read more about ancient Egypt, go to "Messengers to the Gods."

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