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Yuya (also known as louiya) was a powerful Egyptian courtier for Amenhotep III during the 18th Dynasty of Egypt (c. 1390). Yuya came from the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmim, where he owned an estate and was a wealthy member of the town's local nobility. He was married to Tuya, an Egyptian noblewoman associated with the royal family, who held high offices in the governmental and religious hierarchies. Their daughter, Tiye, became the wife of Amenhotep III. Yuya also has a son, Anen, who carried the titles Chancellor of Lower Egypt, Second Prophet of Amun, priest of Heliopolis, and Divine Father.
The tomb of Yuya and Tuyu was discovered by James Quibell and Theodore M. Davis in 1905 and was considered one of the most spectacular discoveries in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes, until the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Both the mummies were largely intact and were in an amazing state of preservation. Their faces in particular were relatively un-distorted by the process of mummification, and provide an extraordinary insight into the actual appearance of the deceased while alive. Yuya is believed to have died around 1374BC in his mid 50s.The goods buried with Yuya and Tuyu constituted one of the finest ensemble of high-class New Kingdom furniture, etc., recovered before the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun seventeen years later.
General process of mummification:
- Pull brain out of nose using a hook
- Make a cut on the left side of the body near the tummy
- Remove all internal organs
- Let the internal organs dry
- Place the lungs, intestines, stomach and liver inside canopic jars
- Place the heart back inside the body
- Rinse inside of body with wine and spices
- Cover the corpse with natron (salt) for 70 days
- After 40 days stuff the body with linen or sand to give it a more human shape
- After the 70 days wrap the body from head to toe in bandages
- Place in a sarcophagus
G. E. Smith describes the mummy of Yuya as one of the finest examples of the embalming practices of the 18th Dynasty. The mummy is that of an older man. His thick, wavy hair is a yellowish color, and was probably bleached by the embalming materials rather than being naturally blonde. Smith says the hair was white when Yuya died. His body cavity was packed with balls of linen soaked in resins, and his perineum is thickly coated with resinous material to such an extent that his genitals are completely covered. Yuya's arms were crossed over his chest, with the fingers of the hands extended. His eye sockets were packed with linen and the eyelids had been pulled closed.
The mummy of Yuya was found along with that of his wife, Tuya. When found, Yuya was still in his coffins, but the lids had been removed and the mummy had been rifled by thieves in search of valuables. In spite of this, Yuya's mummy was not substantially damaged, and a few objects remained on the body or in the torn bandages. Quibell noted that Yuya had gold finger-stalls covering his fingers, and X-rays taken by Harris show finger-rings still in place on Yuya's hands.
The mummy of Yuya was one of the few non-royal burials in the Valley, and indicates the high esteem in which Yuya and Tuyu were held by Amenhotep III, their son-in-law.