A 3,800-year-old ancient Egyptian mummy has been discovered in a necropolis and may have been one of the most important figures in the civilisation`s history.
Archaeologists unearthed the tomb in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in southeastern Egypt and believe it belonged to a woman called `Lady Sattjeni`, a key figure in the Middle Kingdom.
They say the body was found in extremely good condition, wrapped in linen and deposited inside two wooden coffins.
He said the inner coffin was in such good condition that the researchers will even be able to tell the year in which the tree that was used to make it was cut.
Additionally, remains of the delicate cartonnage funerary mask – made from layers of linen or papyrus covered in plaster – were also found covering the face of the mummy.
Dr Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano, a researcher at Jaén University in Spain who helped conduct the excavation, said: `Lady Sattjeni was a key figure of the local dynasty.
`She was the daughter of the nomarch Sarenput II and, after the death of all the male members of her family, she was the unique holder of the dynastic rights in the government of Elephantine.`
Archaeologists have been trying to piece together the genealogy of Elephantine rulers, and officials said that the discovery of Sattjeni`s mummy would help.
Sattjeni`s family ruled Elephantine sometime around 1800 BC, and ranked just below the family of the ruling pharaoh.
The team has been working in Qubbet el-Hawa since 2008 and since then, has discovered several intact burials, including Lady Sattjeni’s son Heqaib III.