Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Tjayasetimu, Djayasetimu, The Child Star
Age 7
Sex Female
Status Member of the royal choir
Height 4 Feet
Culture Ancient Egyptian Religion
Date(s) c.800 BCE
Site Thebes or Fayum Region, Egypt
Current Location
Location The British Museum, London, UK
Catalog # NA
Tjayasetimu is the name of a little girl who was a star singer in ancient Egypt. Nearly three thousand years ago, she was a member of the royal choir and sang for the pharaohs in temples on the Nile. Tjayasetimu was recently featured in an exhibition at the British Museum called ‘Ancient Lives: New Discoveries’, which explored the lives and deaths of eight mummies.Hieroglyphics and paintings on the sarcophagus of Tjayasetimu, whose name means “the goddess Isis shall seize them”, reveal that she was “singer of the interior” in the temple for the god Amun, an elite role within the temple choir


Tjayasetimu's role as the "singer of the interior" was important enough to merit a mummification, a proccess typically for elite families and Egyptian royalty. According to The Telegraph, which had a preview of the exhibition, Tjayasetimu had been wrapped in painted bandages, her face covered with a delicate veil and hidden by a golden mask, and she had been placed in a gilded sarcophagus.


Tjayasetomu's remains were sent to an NHS hospital in Manchester for a CT scan. The computerized tomography scanner took X-rays, then, using computer software, the museum's experts created three-dimensional images, revealing what lies beneath Tjayasetimu's bandages. Scientists found that Tjayasetimy was well preserved and still had a head full of shoulder-length hair, with her face still in good condition. They also found her milk teeth pushing through her gums.


Scientists believe she died as a result of a short illness, such as cholera, and she was younger than 10 years old at death.


Temple singers, dancers, and other performers have frequently been depicted in engravings in ancient Egypt. Singers are often seen playing an instrument called a sistrum, a kind of rattle, a harp, or bone “clappers”, all of which Tjayasetimu may have also used.


Ancient Origins. Retrieved November 7th, 2015.

The Telegraph. Retrieved November 7th, 2015.

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