The Most Notable Mummies Of Egypt

An Egyptian mummy at a British Museum.
An Egyptian mummy at a British Museum.

Mummies are deceased human beings or other organisms whose organs and skin has been preserved either intentionally or unintentionally exposing them to very low humidity, chemicals, the absence of air or extreme cold so that the body does not decay further. Mummies have been discovered on almost every continent either as a result of natural preservation through the use of rare conditions or as cultural artifacts. The Mummies found in Egypt dates back to several centuries because the Egyptians had learned the art and science of mummification.

Why Egyptians Preserved Their Dead as Mummies?

In ancient Egypt, the earliest mummies were created naturally because of the environment in which they were buried. In the era before the 3500 BCE, the Egyptians had no interest in social class, so they buried all their dead in pit graves that were shallow. By burying their dead in shallow graves, it allowed for the hot desert weather and dry sand to dehydrate the dead bodies and give way to natural mummification. Ancient Egyptian religion made the natural preservation of the dead an integral part of their culture and ritual for the dead as early as 3400 BCE. It symbolized an important role of ensuring the dead live well in the afterlife. The more Egyptian acquired prosperity burial practices marked as a symbol of status for the wealthy. In time, this cultural hierarchy saw the creation of sophisticated tombs and methods of embalming. Even though scientists have not been able to adequately describe the process of mummification by the use of modern day technology they have been able to discover new information on the methods employed in mummification. A good example is the series of CT scans that were carried out on a 2,400 years old mummy. In 2008 uncovered a tool that was left inside the cranial cavities of the mummy's skull.


Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled between 1332-1323BC according to the conventional chronology. King Tut was of the 18th dynasty who reigned during the period of the new Kingdom. In 1922, Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered King Tut's nearly intact tomb which received global press coverage. For this reason, the tomb ignited a new public interest in ancient Egypt and Tutankhamun's mask and remains a popular symbol in the Egyptian museum.

Ramesses I

Ramesses I was the founding pharaoh of the 19th dynasty in ancient Egypt. He ruled from 1292 to 1290BC and his short reign marked Egypt's transition from stabilization in the late 18th dynasty to the rule of mighty Pharaohs. The mummy of Ramesses I was discovered in 1817 but later stolen by the Abu-Rasul family of grave robbers. The mummy is believed to have been displayed in a museum in Canada for many years before it was discovered and repatriated back to Egypt.


Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt. Historically, she is confirmed to be the second female pharaoh. Hatshepsut reigned longer than any other female pharaoh and is known to be one of the most successful Pharaohs. The year of discovery of Hatshepsut's tomb remains unknown to this day.

Ramesses II

Ramesses II also known as Ramesses the Great was the third pharaoh of the 19th dynasty of Egypt. Ramesses II is known to have been the greatest and most celebrated pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. The tomb of Ramesses was discovered in 1881 in the Valley of Kings in an unusual location that was previously and periodically damaged by flash floods.

Other Notable Mummies of Pharaohs

More than 53 notable mummies of Egypt most of which were Pharaohs of ancient Egypt have so far been discovered. Throughout history, there have been numerous discoveries of tombs that contain some of the most notable mummies of ancient Egypt. Some Egyptian mummies have been found to be remarkably intact while others have been ravaged by tomb raiders or natural vagaries.

The Most Notable Mummies Of Egypt

RankNameYear of DeathDynastySexYear discovered
1Ahmose (princess)Unknown17thFemale1903-1905
2Ahmose I1525 BC18thMale1881
7Ahmose InhapyUnknown17th/18thFemale1881
8Ahmose SapairUnknown17thMale1881
12Akhenaten1336 or 1334 BC18thMale1907
14Amenemope992 or 984 BC21stMale1940
16Amenhotep I1506 or 1504 BC18thMaleUnknown
17Amenhotep II1401 or 1397 BC18thMale1898
18Amenhotep III1353 or 1351 BC18thMale1898
19Asru700 BCUnknownFemale1825
21Djedptahiufankh943 to 728 BC22ndMale19th Century
23Gebelein predynastic mummies3400 BCPredynasticBoth1895 - 1896
24Hatshepsut1458 BC18thFemaleUnknown
26Henut TauiUnknown21stFemaleUnknown
27Henuttawy CUnknown21stFemale1923-1924
28Hornedjitefc.220 BCPtolemaicMaleUnknown
29Isetemkheb DUnknown21stFemaleUnknown
30Iufaa500 to 525 BC26thMale1996
31Maatkare MutemhatUnknown21stMaleUnknown
33Masaharta1045 BC21stMaleUnknown
34Mayet2010 BC11thFemale1921
35Meresamunc.800 BC23rdFemale1920
36Merneptah1203 BC19thMale1898
37Mutnedjmet1319 or 1332 BC18thFemaleUnknown
40Nehmes BastetUnknown22ndFemale2012
43Nesperennub800 BC23rdMale?Unknown
44Nefrinac.275 BCPtolemaicFemale1930
45Nesyamunc.1100 BCUnknownMale1823
46Nodjmet1064 BC20th/21stFemaleUnknown
47Ramesses I1290 BC19thMale1817
48Ramesses II1213 BC19thMale1881
49Seti I1279 BC19thMale1881
50Thutmose II1479 BC18thMale1881
51Tutankhamun1323 BC18thMale1922
52Tjuyu1375 BC18thFemale1905
53Yuya1374 BC18thMale1905

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