Spanish archaeologists have discovered the 3,800-year-old mummy of Lady Sattjeni, a leading figure from the Middle Kingdom, authorities at the Ministry of Antiquities announced on Tuesday.
Sattjeni's family was just below pharaoh Amenemhat III (1800-1775 B.C.) in the hierarchy of Elephantine, an island in the center of the Nile at Aswan. Her sons Heqaib III and Ameny-Seneb ruled there at the end of the Twelfth Dynasty.
According to Mahmoud Afify, head of the Ancient Egyptian archaeology division the Ministry of Antiquities, the discovery is historic as it helps reconstruct the family tree of the governors of Elephantine.
Building for Egypt's First Female Pharaoh Discovered
Sattjeni's mummy was found in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa, near the modern city of Aswan, by a team of Jaén University, Spain, led by Egyptologist Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano.
"The body was originally wrapped in linen and deposited in two wooden coffins made of Lebanon cedar," Nasr Salama, general director of Aswan and Nubia areas, said.
Over Sattjeni's face, the archaeologists also found remains of her cartonnage mask.
Photos: Mystery Mummies: Who Are They?
"The inner coffin was in extremely good condition. This will even allow us to date the year in which the tree was cut," the ministry said in a statement.
Jiménez explained that Lady Sattjeni was the daughter of the nomarch Sarenput II, the owner of the finest and largest tomb at Qubbet el-Hawa. After the death of all the male members of her family, she held the dynastic rights in the government of Elephantine.
The Spanish researchers, who have been digging in the necropolis since 2008, had previously brought to light several other burials, including that of Sattjeni's eldest son Heqaib III.
Video: How Different Cultures Made Their Mummies