“All the archaeological evidence suggest that the body in the tomb belongs to Khuwy. The tomb’s architecture, including the mural scenes and inscriptions, all belong to the Old Kingdom.”
“Archaeological evidence that dated the cemetery back to the Old Kingdom included canopic jars from the Old Kingdom era,” said Hashesh. She explained that these jars were used to preserve the internal organs extracted from the abdominal cavity during the mummification process. “This confirms that the buried body was embalmed,” she added.
All the mummified remains found inside the burial chamber belonged to one individual, said another research team member, Ahmed Gabr, a bioarcheologist specializing in human remains.
Gabr told Al-Fanar Media: “The techniques used in the mummification in this tomb, from the large amount of oils and the high quality linen found in abundance, are consistent with the mummification methods used in the New Kingdom era and beyond.”
Mummification was rare in the Old Kingdom, Gabr said, and its methods were different. The older burial technique method used bandages and plaster which were molded onto the body in a natural shape.
The importance of the discovery of Khuwy’s tomb becomes even more significant if the team confirms that the remains date back to the ancient royal family, Ikram said.
“If it turns out that the mummy dates back to the Old Kingdom, we have to review what we know about mummification at that time,” she explained. “This will extend our project, to understand why this mummy is distinguished, compared to all other mummies, which were processed in a completely different way.”
Gabr agrees. “Proving the association of the mummified remains with the Old Kingdom will change our understanding of mummification, and push us to rewrite its history again,” he said. “This means that the methods of embalming that we usually connect to the New Kingdom were known a thousand years earlier.”