Based on the research of Cynthia May Sheikholeslami, an Egyptologist who studied at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago and is retired from the American University in Cairo, we now understand that the Ohio History Connection mummy was not the original occupant of the coffin in which she now resides.
As a result, we have two separate stories to tell – the story of the coffin and the story of the mummy.
We have given her the name Amunet, Egyptian for "the hidden one," so that she will have a name and need not be referred to as “this woman” or “that mummy”.
Who is the woman in the coffin?
J. Morton Howell, America’s first Ambassador to Egypt, obtained the splendid coffin for his home state, but felt it needed a mummy to go with it. He arranged with French archaeologists working at the site of Deir el-Medina near Thebes to provide him with a mummy. They obliged and shipped it to the University of Chicago’s expedition headquarters in Luxor. Harold Nelson, the project archaeologist, was not pleased when the mummy arrived on his doorstep:
“On looking out the window, I saw the mummy reposing on the ground outside the guards room. Why a mummy asked for by Howell should be sent to me for delivery to you and by you to some museum, I could not see.” Letter from Harold Nelson to James Henry Breasted, the director of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 9 April 1926
Therefore, it is likely that Amunet comes from the site of Deir el-Medina, but this community, which is famous for the artisans, who worked in the tombs in the Valley of the Kings from the 18th through the 20th dynasties (1550-1069 B.C.), was also more or less continuously occupied well into the Christian period. Radiocarbon dating of Amunet’s wrappings indicates she lived sometime between 830 B.C. and 790 B.C. during the 23rd dynasty.
Examine the coffin in more detail.
Discover the results of the CT Scan investigation.
Amunet frequently asked questions.