The Qurneh Burial

Contributed by National Museums Scotland

The Qurneh royal burial is the only intact Ancient Egyptian burial anywhere outside EgyptThe archaeologist Flinders Petrie found this burial group in 1908. It is the most spectacular discovery from Egypt to come to Scotland, and the only intact royal burial shown anywhere outside Cairo. It belongs to a queen who died in the 16th century BC, aged about 20, and a 3-year old child, presumably her own. Their names are now lost. However, along with their coffins, they were buried with the very best of everything, including gold and ivory jewellery, and other things that tell us about who they were, such as furniture, pottery and food. This is an Egyptian burial, but the woman also had links with Nubia, a neighbouring country often at war with Egypt at this time. Perhaps she was a Nubian married into the royal family of Egypt for diplomatic reasons, or the child of such a marriage. Flinders sold the burial collection to the Royal Scottish Museum (now the National Museum of Scotland) for £100 because he was determined to see the group of objects kept intact.

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