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The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial

The Tomb presented the story of one extraordinary tomb, built around 1290BC and reused for over 1000 years.
Exhibition information


31 March - 3 September 2017


National Museum of Scotland, Exhibition Gallery 2, Level 3

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The Tomb was constructed in the great city of Thebes shortly after the reign of Tutankhamun for the Chief of Police and his wife. It was looted and reused several times, leaving behind a collection of beautiful objects from various eras. These are displayed alongside objects found in nearby tombs, giving a sense of how burial in ancient Egypt changed over time.

The Tomb’s final use occurred shortly after the Roman conquest of Egypt, when it was sealed intact with the remarkable burials of an entire family. The exhibition came ahead of the new Ancient Egypt gallery, which opened at the National Museum of Scotland in 2019.

  • The shroud is conserved. Copyright National Museums Scotland (3) crop.jpg

    Mummy shroud for the previously unknown son of the Roman-era high-official Montsuef and his wife Tanuat, named Aaemka, c. 9BC.

  • A.1956.113 (2).jpg

    Box of cedar wood with ebony veneers and ivory inlays and gilding depicting the god Bes and bearing the cartouches of Amenhotep II: Ancient Egyptian, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c.1427-1400 BC.

  • A.1956.143 (8) crop.jpg

    Pair statue in fine yellow sandstone of a Chief of the Police and his wife seated side by side, wearing long pleated robes, collars and heavy wigs: Ancient Egyptian, excavated at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, 19th Dynasty, c.1291-1188BC.

  • A.1956.191.jpg (2)

    Mummy-mask of gilded and painted linen and plaster cartonnage, depicting Montsuef wearing a lappet-wig: Ancient Egyptian, c.9BC

  • A.1956.147.jpg (1)

    Stela of wood covered with gesso and painted, showing the Lady of the House Ta-kai worshipping Ra-Horakhty as a falcon-headed god seated on a throne: Ancient Egyptian, from Thebes, 22nd Dynasty, Third Intermediate Period, c.945-715BC.

  • A.1956.286.jpg (1)

    Shabti box and contents in white painted wood, of rectangular shape with a funerary prayer to Ra-Horakhty: Ancient Egyptian, 25th Dynasty, Third Intermediate Period, c.945-715BC.

  • A.1956.181.jpg (1)

    Statuette of a jackal in wood, painted black, with eyes and brows outlined in red, probably originally from the lid of a qrsw-coffin: Ancient Egyptian, excavated at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, 25th-26th Dynasty, Third Intermediate Period, c.747-525BC.

  • A.1956.353.jpg

    Canopy of sycamore-fig wood painted in red, black, blue, yellow and white in the shape of a shrine, with an arched roof and corner-posts : Ancient Egyptian, excavated at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, c.9BC.

  • Crown.jpg

    Wreath of twelve gold-foil leaves attached to a ring of copper, found on the mummy of Montsuef: Ancient Egyptian, excavated at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, c.9BC

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