The mummified remains of a teenage girl who died 3,500 years ago have been found in an 'abandoned coffin' near Luxor in Egypt. She was lying in a coffin carved from a sycamore tree trunk and wearing two spiral earrings coated in copper leaf in one ear, two rings on her fingers, and four necklaces draped around her neck.
The girl is believed to have lived between 1580 BC to 1550 BC during the 17th dynasty. Aside from her pieces of jewelry, the team of scientists has also found a "remarkably well-preserved sandals."
A girl found
Ahead of a new construction project near the tomb of an 18th dynasty general, archaeologists were excavating an open courtyard near the area when they found the wooden coffin carved from a sycamore tree.
Inside the 5'7" wooden coffin was the mummified remains of a 15 or 16-year-old girl wrapped in a cotton sheet. The team of archaeologists said that her remains were in a poor state of conservation when they found it.
According to the research team, compared to the girl's remains, the coffin was in a good state of repair. They believe that the coffin came from a period when Lower Egypt was ruled by the Hyksos people when pharaohs were only ruling the region around Thebes.
Additionally, the researchers said that during the time of her death, her coffin would have been whitewashed and painted in red. The girl was lying on her right side in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis in the West Bank of Luxor.
Bejeweled remains of the teenage girl
Though the remains of the girl had deteriorated, the jewelry she was wearing was pristine. The girl's jewelry may have been her trousseau, which is a bridal dowry for a girl when she gets married.
She was wearing rings, and necklaces draped around her neck. One of the rings was fashioned out of bone while the other one was made of metal and had a blue glass bead embedded inside it. The four necklaces she was wearing were tired together with a glazed ceramic clip, and each one of them was unique, which has sizes ranging from 27.5 inches to 24 inches long.
One of the necklaces had green and beads, another was unusually spectacular, and one was made of round beads that alternated between dark and light blue. The spectacular necklace was 24 inches long and had 74 pieces on it including carnelian, amethyst, amber, blue glass and quartz beads, and also two scarabs with one depicting Horus.
According to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, the fourth necklace has several strings of beads that were tied together at both ends with a ring.
The archaeologists also found a miniature mud-made coffin next to the teenager's coffin, which contains a wooden funerary figurine known as an ushabti wrapped in linen. Not only that, but the team also found a pair of sandals and leather balls tied together with a string, which was part of a game among young girls during that time.
José Galán, director of the archaeological mission, said that the sandals are in good condition of preservation despite being 3,500 years old. It had been dyed red and engraved with images of the god named Bes, the goddess Taweret, a pair of cats, an ibex and a rosette.
According to Galán, those things found were likely to belong to a woman who used them for sports or as part of a dance. The valuables in the coffin were 'perplexing' as the wealth of the bridal dowry for a young person with a relatively modest coffin is surprising.
To date, dozens of other coffins were found unprotected in the area, which is unusual, said Galán.