In 1939 a lost Egyptian tomb was discovered and inside was an astonishing treasure trove of riches that have never been seen before.
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French archaeologist Pierre Montet in 1939 was looking for undiscovered ancient Egyptian tombs in Tanis, Egypt and actually found the most extraordinary Egyptian King ever discovered that rivals Tutankhamun’s tomb. Montet had unearthed the lost Royal tomb of Psusennes just before the start of World War II. The excavation team led by Monet revealed an undisturbed royal burial chamber filled with riches that surpass King Tut’s treasures. But because of the threat of Nazi German invaders taking over Europe, the jewelry and any artifacts were immediately shipped to the Cairo Museum for safety. One of the greatest discoveries of all time of finding a lost tomb in Tanis was kept secret and unpublicized that otherwise would have created an international sensation as the world was on the brink of an impending war that dominated the news at that time.
Psusennes was an extraordinary Egyptian king. The Pharaoh was ruler of the Twenty-first dynasty of Egypt and his reign was between 1047 – 1001 BC. When Psusennes took power in Egypt he became a great long-lived ruler and King with great influence. Egyptologist debate on the length of his ruling and give estimates ranging from 46 to 50 years. Psusennes was so powerful in his time that he moved the capital city from one place to the next, built the enclosure walls, and the central part of the Great Temple at Tanis.
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Psusennes also held the title of High Priest of Amun at Tanis giving him great authority over the Theban priest. Psusennes built temples to the Theban deities dedicated to the triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. Psusennes had his daughter married the chief priest Menkhperre to strengthened his relations to the priesthood of Amun. Psusennes name means “The Star Appearing in the City”.
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Psusennes was buried in his tomb at Tanis with his wife Mutnedjmet. Psusennes was laid to rest under a silver hawk-head coffin. The outer sarcophagus was made of pink granite with an inner smaller black granite coffin underneath which held further a solid silver coffin, and beneath that the funeral mask depicts to idolized features of the King made of magnificent gold and lapis lazuli with inlays of black and white glass for the eyes and eyebrows. The burial tomb of Psusennes lay fully intact with funerary treasure rich in gold and silver, 400 ushabtis, and Canopic Jars.
On the Kings cartouche displays his own personal signature symbol the star and bird. Researchers of the tomb were puzzled by the elaborate display of silver. Investigators discovered that in ancient Egypt time silver was called the Bones of the Gods. Psusennes may have chosen silver because it was cheaper than gold, artistically better to work with, and more refined to add greater detail to its surface. Egyptologists summarized that the ancient Pharaoh might have been seeking quality of craftsmanship than the quantity of wealth displayed in his tomb.
The ancient Egyptian King was adorned with elaborate displays of his power and wealth. Psusennes’ cloisonné pectoral, chess ornament, included images of Isis and Nephthys and a winged scarab. The scarab is constructed of lapis lazuli and representing khepri, the Sun God of Morning. Another interesting item found in the tomb were solid gold b`angles weighing 1.8 kg or 4 pounds inscribed with the King’s name and a blessing to guaranteed arrival into the afterlife.
Psusennes’ sarcophagus is one of the greatest and rarest discoveries ever found in Egypt and barely anyone knows about it even today. The ancient King had one of the longest reigns in Egyptian history and his burial tomb some archaeologists would argue was even greater than King Tut’s tomb. Psusennes was a greatly respected and a powerful Pharaoh who was the only Egyptian King with a silver sarcophagus.
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