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The antiquities minister believes Maya could be King Tut's sister
Image: Reuters/M. Abd El Ghany

Egypt opens King Tut's wet nurse tomb

December 20, 2015

For the first time since its discovery, Egypt has opened the tomb of King Tutankhamun's wet nurse Maya. The antiquities minister said the boy king's enigmatic wet nurse may have been his sister Princess Mirette Atun.


Egyptian authorities on Sunday opened the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun's wet nurse to the public for the first time since it was discovered in 1996.

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty described the tomb as one of the most beautiful from the New Kingdom era, reported Egypt's state-run al-Ahram news agency.

The enigmatic tomb contains several scenes of the wet nurse, including one in which she is nursing the boy king.

Another scene shows Maya before the underworld god Osiris.

It was discovered by French archaeologist Alain Zivie in 1996 in Saqqara, a necropolis around 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) away from Cairo, which also contains one of the world's oldest complete stone structures.

El-Damaty described the discovery of Maya's tomb as "very important."

Mystery surrounds the identity of King Tutankhamun's wet nurse
Mystery surrounds the identity of King Tutankhamun's wet nurseImage: Reuters/M. Abd El Ghany

During the opening ceremony, the antiquities minister said that the wet nurse was likely to be Tutankhamun's sister Princess Mirette Atun.

Evidence from a relief uncovered in Amarna, an extensive Egyptian archaeological site, shows the princess breastfeeding a child.

"This could be king Tutankhamun," said el-Damaty, reported al-Ahram.

"Through a survey of the Maya tomb, which would take place immediately, and comparing its results with the survey carried out on the boy king tomb, would definitely contribute to uncovering more of Tutankhamun's secrets," el-Damaty added.

ls/jlw (AP)

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