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Coffin of Neskhons, a 21st Dynasty Theban Queen

Neskhons (ca. 1003-973 BC), the niece of Pinodjem II, High Priest of Amun at Thebes (990-969 BC) became his second, and apparently favorite wife.  It was for her that the tomb DB-320 in Deir el-Bahri,  later to contain the famous "Cache of the Royal Mummies", was originally created.  

Originally, Neskhons was placed in the end chamber "F" of the tomb. According to a written identification tag or docket found in the tomb (a standard ancient procedure), Neskhons was buried in Year 5 of the reign of Siamun (978-959 BC), a 21st Dynastry king whose capital was at Tanis in the Nile Delta.

"Year 5, 4 smw 21 of Siamun: Day of burial of the chief of ladies Neskhons, by the god's father of Amun.... The seals which are upon this place: the seal of the overseer of the treasury Djedkhonsiufankh; the seal of the scribe of the treasury Nes..." (DRN, 237, #36)

Pinodjem II died in 969 and was also buried in Tomb DB-320. About 65-70 years later, during the reign of king Shoshenq I (945-922 BC; 22nd Dynasty), the remains and some of the funerary equipment of about 40 more royal burials were relocated to tomb DB-320. These included other members of the 21st Dynasty High Priesthood, as well as a number of important earlier rulers from the 17th-20th Dynasties, moved for safe keeping  from tombs in the Valley of the Kings. 

At this point, apparently, Neskhons' remains were moved to chamber "J" of the tomb; and her larger, outer coffin was appropriated for storing the mummy of Ramesses IX, which had been moved by the Theban high priests from a plundered tomb (KV55) in the Valley of the Kings.


Fig.1: Outer coffin of Neskhons (originally made for Isiemkheb) showing elaborate painted decoration (photo: CESRAS).

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