Thursday, 14. November 2019, 17:30

Mortuary cult in the extended royal family

Susanne Bickel (Universität Basel)

The exploration of tomb KV 40 in the Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt has revealed a large burial structure for part of the royal family and court society from the time of Amenhotep III (1390–1353 BC). In the absence of wall decoration and external cult structures, the question arises of where, by whom and in what context the mortuary and ancestor cults for these deceased royal daughters, sons, and “royal ornaments” were carried out. For this mainly feminine social group, the need to display status was largely dispensed with. The great mobility of the royal family has also to be taken into account in the question of the place of worship for deceased relatives. The findings from KV 40 provide some insight into the performance of specific burial rituals. For the practices of the cult of the dead and the cult of memory it can be assumed that these – as with the general population – were predominantly staged in the living areas. They were little institutionalized and practiced within the extended royal family.