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Egypt Opens Tomb of King Tut's Wet Nurse

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

maia kingtutTutankhamun is colloquially referred to as King Tut was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom. He ascended to the throne at the age of nine or ten, taking the throne name Nebkheperure. His wet-nurse was a woman called Maia, known from her tomb at Saqqara. Egypt's antiquities minister has opened the tomb of King Tutankhamun's wet nurse; Maia to the public for the first time since it was discovered in 1996.

The tomb is one of the most beautiful from the New Kingdom. It is a rock-hewn discovered in 1996 by French Egyptologist Alain Zivie in the well-known necropolis of Saqqara, 30 km (20 miles) south of Cairo.

The tomb consists of the cult chambers with three decorated rooms and the underground, mostly undecorated, burial chambers. The first room of the cult chapel of her tomb is dedicated to the life of Maia.

She was the wet nurse of the king, educator of the god's body and the great one of the hareem. Nothing is known about her parents. Tutankhamun is depicted on one of the tomb's reliefs featuring the boy king sitting on Maia's lap and the king is mentioned several times in the tomb's inscriptions.

There is also a badly damaged scene showing Maia in front of the king. The second room is dedicated to the burial rites associated with Maia. Maia is shown in front of offering bearers. She is depicted as a mummy in relation to the opening of the mouth ritual and she is standing before the underworld god Osiris.

The third room is the biggest and has four pillars decorated with the image of Maia.

The back of the room shows a stele carved into the rock with Maia in front of Osiris. In this room there is also a staircase leading down to the burial chamber. Most other walls of this room are undecorated. The tomb was in later times heavily reused.

Source: DW, Ahram

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