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King's Tomb III at Tanis

In 1939 Pierre Montet discovered, within the Amun temple precinct at Tanis, the tombs of kings of the XXIst and XXIInd Dynasties, some of which were undisturbed and contained burial of King Psusennes I, his consort - Mutnedjemet, their son - Ankhefenmut, also Sheshonq II and Wendjebwaendjed - commander of bowmen. They consists of crypts entered via an entrance shaft or ramp and with an antechamber and longish tomb chamber. They were potentially threatened  by sub-soil water and so were not very deeply sunk below the paving of the court. There are three tomb chambers (with a large number  of re-used blocks). Their superstructures, which may have been like those of the tombs of the kings of Sais, have completely disappeared. Only 4 out probably 17 tombs of this kind of the XXIst-XXIInd Dynasties have been found.



1 - Psusennes I
2 - Queen Mutnedjemet
3 - Sheshonq II
4 - Prince Ankhefenmut

5 - Wendjebwaendjed - commander of bowmen
6 - antechamber
7 - entrance shaft


The rich tomb of Psusennes  was found intact, the only pharaonic grave ever discovered thus. A large carved red granite sarcophagus enclosed a black granite anthropoid coffin, which in turn held a silver inner coffin. Over the face of the mummy lay a gold face mask, but the mummy had been substantially destroyed by the poor conditions. The large sarcophagus  had originally been used 170 years earlier for the burial of Merenptah in the Valley of the Kings.

Psusennes' gold face mask. Cairo Museum The solid silver coffin pf Psusennes. Cairo Museum

Copyright 2000-2013 Dariusz Sitek, Czestochowa - Chicago - Ann Arbor