Nehmes Bastet was a temple singer in Ancient Egypt. She lived during Egypt's 22nd Dynasty and based upon inscriptions in her tomb archaeologists believe she lived approximately 945 – 712 BC. Her tomb was discovered in the Valley of Kings in 2012 by a team from University of Basel in Switzerland. Nehmes was the daughter of the high priest of Amun. The upper edge of the tomb was found on 25 January 2011. The discovery of her tomb was shocking because it was the first time a tomb in the Valley of the Kings had been discovered containing a woman that wasn’t in some way related to royalty.
The archaeologists who accidentally discovered the tomb in 2012 found a coffin with an intact mummy from about 3,000 years ago. According to an Egyptian official in the Luxor antiquities ministry, Nehmes' tomb was remarkably well preserved. After its discovery, it was opened by Swiss and Egyptian archaeologists, who found Nehmes' mummified remains and a “cartonnage mask” which is made from layers of linen and plaster placed over the face of the deceased.
Nehmes Bastet died a natural death.
Nehmes Bastet, was the daughter of the high priest of Amon and a temple singer during Egypt's 22nd Dynasty (approximately 945 - 712BC). According to an inscription in the tomb, it was not built for the female singer, but was re-used for her 400 years after the original burial. It was believed by archaeologists that Nehmes was a very popular singer considering she sang publicly at the Karnak Temple, an important site at the time. Furthermore, the surname “Bastet” indicates that she was under protection of the female cat goddess of the same name.
The discovery of Nehmes' mummy was the first time a tomb has been discovered containing a woman that wasn’t related to a royal family. It has been speculated that Theben high priests, who were independent of the Libyan kings that ruled Egypt at the time, saw Nehmes as so important that they allowed her body to be mummified and placed in the tomb of a royal family.
BBC. (2012, January16). Egyptian tomb holds singer Nehmes Bastet’s remains. Retrieved March 09, 2017.
Eddy, M. (2012, January 16). Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Tomb of Female Singer in Egypt, First Non-Royal Female. Retrieved March 09, 2017.
"Nehmes Bastet." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Mar. 2017. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehmes_Bastet