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Iufaa
Human Mummy
Iufaa sit
Biographical Information
Name(s) Iufaa or Iuffa
Age 25-35
Sex Male
Status Egyptian Preist
Height Unknown
Source
Culture Ancient Egypt
Date(s) 500BC
Site Abusir, Egypt
Current Location
Location Unknown
Catalog # Unknown

Iufaa was a high-ranking Egyptian priest and palace administer who lived around 500 BC. His mummy was discovered in an unmolested tomb by Czech archaeologists in February 1998. The mummy was in a state of advanced decomposition due to the proximity of the water table, however many of the tomb's artifacts were in good condition.

Excavation

In 1996 an archaeological team from the Czech Institute of Egyptology at Charles University in Prague found a chamber at the bottom of a shaft, about 80 feet below the desert floor. The team built a roof of reinforced concrete over the chamber to prevent a collapse. The tomb was intact, making it the first unrobbed tomb found in Egypt since 1941.

Inside the chamber was a limestone sarcophagus with 408 faience ushabtis (servants for the next world) around the base. Other artifacts in the chamber induced wooden furniture, pottery and papyrus scrolls. The walls of the tomb and sarcophagus were covered with texts from the Book of the Dead.

In February 1998, the sarcophagus lid was finally lifted. Inside was a smaller inner sarcophagus of black-green rock, decorated with a man's face. Inside was a deteriorated wood coffin covered with blue beaded cloth. Beyond that was the mummy of Iufaa, whose face was covered with a gilded stucco death mask.

Studies

The team of researchers opened the sarcophagus of Iufaa in February 1998. The sarcophagus contained a black-grayish basalt mummiform sarcophagus. Inside this was a wooden coffin which contained the mummified remains of Iufaa, covered in a net of blue beads. The chamber was located almost at groundwater level, which resulted in high humidity. The humidity had caused the soft tissue and wrappings on the mummy to disintegrate, leaving only a preserved skeleton, which was "more or less complete". The papyri scrolls were also in poor condition.

In 2001, the team investigated east of Iufaa's tomb and found two smaller shafts, with a sanctuary between them. Three bodies were buried in those two shafts. According to inscriptions, the other mummies were of Imakhetkherresnet, Nekawar, and Padihor. Tests showed that Imakhetkerresnet, who was between 35 and 45 at her death, and Nekawar, aged 55 to 65 at his death, were biologically related to Iufaa. It is likely that Imakhetkerresnet was Iufaa's sister, as inscriptions in both tombs identified them as having a mother named Ankhtisi, and Nekawer is probably either Iufaa's father or his brother. The other man, Padihor, aged 28–32 at death, was not biologically related to the others.

Pathology

Examination of Iufaa's skeleton revealed that he was 25 - 35 years old at his death. He had very serious tooth decay and "advanced fusion of cranial sutures". His skeleton also showed severe biparietal thinning, a rare condition that today occurs in Europe in only 0.4–1.3% of people. Iufaa also had slight arthritis and suffered from severe osteoporosis. The team speculated that Iufaa "suffered from some unknown long-lasting disease" which caused the osteoporosis and led directly to his death.

External Links

An Unplundered Tomb. (1998, September 1). Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://discovermagazine.com/1998/sep/anunplunderedtom1505

Brock, L., & Krejci, J. (1998, May 27). Czech Egyptologists Open Shaft Tomb, Identify Royal Burial at Abusir. Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://archive.archaeology.org/online/news/egypt2.html

Iufaa. (n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iufaa

Source: http://archive.archaeology.org/online/news/egypt2.html

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