A group of 22 mummies of kings and queens of the New Empire (XVI – XI centuries BC) take to the streets for the first time since they were discovered to be transferred this Saturday from the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo to the Museum of Civilization, located on the outskirts of the city, in a grand parade with specially adapted vehicles and horse-drawn carriages of the Pharaonic era.
The Egyptian authorities have prepared a big night event, reason why the traffic has been cut off in the center of the capital, while lights, music and a spectacular decoration have accompanied the mummies in their journey, baptized as “golden parade”.
Security has also been reinforced in recent days in Tahrir Square, where the mummies have passed from the Egyptian Museum, located north of the square, until their triumphal exit through a large arch, which has led them to the banks of the Nile.
The director general of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, arrived Friday in Egypt to attend the event, which, according to a statement, “marks the end of much work to improve the conservation and exhibition” of the mummies, which will have a special gallery in the newly rehabilitated and modern National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, in the town of Fustat.
Most of the mummies belong to the XVIII Dynasty (1550-1295 B.C.), including that of Hatshepsut, queen and first de facto ruler, since in Pharaonic times women could not assume power, but she did so on behalf of her husband’s son Thutmose II, who was still a child and could not reign.
Both her father, Thutmose I, and her husband and stepson, Thutmose III, have also accompanied her, as well as three other queens of the same dynasty: Tiy, Meritamun and Ahmose-Nefertari.
In addition, there have been five mummies from the XIX Dynasty (1295-1186 BC), including that of the well-known King Ramses II; in addition to Ramses III, IV, V, VI and IX, all rulers of the XX Dynasty (1186-1069 BC).
The 22 mummies were found at the end of the 19th century A.D. in the necropolis of Deir al Bahari and in the Valley of the Kings, both located in the monumental town of Luxor, in the south of Egypt, where most of the burials and treasures of the pharaohs have been discovered.