Women Crush Wednesday: Paule Posener-Krieger

This week let me introduce y’all to a French Egyptologist who excavated a 5th dynasty pyramid. Meet Paule Posener-Krieger!

Early Life

Paule was born in Paris on April 18th, 1925. Her family was of Alsatian origin and her father was an engineer. In 1946, she took a full year of medical courses and in 1951 she received a “license es-lettres,” which is the French equivalent of a Bachelors of Arts.

Egyptology Career

Paule then took an Egyptology course within the framework of the Louvre School. She continued to take more courses at the École pratique des Hautes études, an elite research institution in Paris. She took courses under other French Egyptologists such as Georges Posener, Jacques Jean Clere, and Michel Malinie. Her main research areas were hieratic and diplomatic paleography of the Old Kingdom, technical vocabulary and administrative practices of the Old Kingdom, and museum studies.

Paule’s greatest accomplishment was excavating the pyramid complex of Neferefre in Abusir. This is a 5th dynasty pyramid complex for Pharaoh Neferefre. Here Paule discovered the Abusir papyri, which is a significant ensemble of documents dating to his reign. She would later translate and publish these. The excavations also found several statues of the Pharoah, which are some of the best examples of royal statuary from the 5th dynasty.

Paule would later become the director of the Institut Francais d’Archaeologie Orientale from 1981 to 1989.

Married Life

In 1960 she married her former professor, Georges Posener. He was born on September 12, 1906 and graduated from the École pratique des hautes études in 1933. He was a resident of the Institut Francais d’Archaeologie Orientale in Cairo from 1931 to 1935. He was then in charge of it until the beginning of WWII. He also wrote about 100 Egyptology books.

He died in 1988 and Paule died in 1996.


  • – P. Posener-Kriéger, J.-L. de Cenival, The Abu Sir Papyri. Edited, together with Complementary Texts in other collections (Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum 5th Series), London, 1968.
  • – P. Posener-Kriéger, Sara Demichelis, The archives of the funerary temple of Néferirkarê-Kakaï (The papyri of Abousir). Translation and commentary (BdÉ 65 / 1-2), Cairo, 1976.
  • – P. Posener-Kriéger, I papiri di Gebelein . Scavi G. Farina 1935 , Torino, 2004.
  • – P. Posener-Kriéger, Catalog of the France-Egypt exhibition, Paris, 1949.
  • – P. Posener-Kriéger, Catalog of the collection of the municipal museum of Limoges , 1958.
  • – “The papyri of the Old Kingdom”, in Texts and languages ​​of Pharaonic Egypt II (Study Library 64/2), Cairo, IFAO, 1973, p. 25-35.
  • – “The papyri of Abousir and the economy of the funerary temples of the Old Kingdom”, in State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East (Orientalia Lovanensia Analecta 5), ​​Louvain, 1979, p. 133-151.
  • – “Decrees sent to the funeral temple of Rêneferef”, in Mélanges Gamal Eddin Mokhtar I (Study Library 97/1), Cairo, IFAO, 1985, p. 195-210.
  • – “Old Kingdom papyri: external features”, in ML Bierbrier (ed.), Papyrus: Structure and Usage (British Museum Occasional Papers 60), London, 1986, p. 25-41.
  • – “Economic aspects of the Abousir papyri”, in Akten des vierten Internationalen Ägyptologen Kongresses München 1985 (BSAK 4), München, 1990, p. 167-176.
  • – “To the pleasure of paleographers. Papyrus Caire JE 52003 ”, in P. der Manuelian (ed.), Studies in Honor of William Kelly Simpson, Boston 1996, p. 655-664.
  • – H. Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods ( Kingship and the Gods ), 1951.
  • – S. Schott, The Love Songs of Ancient Egypt ( Die altägyptischen Liebeslieder ), 1956.

You can also check out some more of her works here!






Image Sources

Pyramid – https://www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com/episode-12-i-make-the-soul-beautiful/

Her photo – https://prosopo.ephe.psl.eu/paule-posener-kri%C3%A9ger

Her works – Abe Books and Meretseger Books Georges – http://nephicode.blogspot.com/2014/01/more-comments-answered-part-ii.html


Women Crush Wednesday: Tiye

For this week’s Women Crush Wednesday we are going to talk about Amenhotep III’s Great Royal Wife, Tiye. She was quite influential during the rule of her husband and her son Akhenaten.

Her Life

Tiye was born sometimes around 1398 B.C.E. to Yuya and Tjuyu. Her father was a wealthy landowner from the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmin. He served as a priest, superintendent of oxen, and commander of the chariotry. It has been speculated that he may be of foreign origins because his name has various spellings and could be originally non-Egyptian. Her mother Tiuyu was involved in many religious cults as the singer of Hathor and chief entertainers of both Amun and Min. These titles suggest that she may have been part of the royal family in some way, but this is not clear. Tiye also had a brother named Anen, who was the second prophet of Amun. Pharaoh Ay, who was pharaoh after her grandson King Tutankhamun, may have also been her brother as he was also from Akhmin and he inherited most of the titles Yuya held while in the court of Amenhotep III.

Tiye was most likely married to Amenhotep III in the second year of his reign. She could have been either 11 or 12 when she married. Their marriage was a unique case as Egyptian pharaohs usually married their sisters or half-sisters to keep the power in the family. As Amenhotep III was born to a minor wife of Thutmose IV, he may have needed a stronger tie to a royal lineage, which is why some scholars think that Tjuyu may have been of royal blood.

In the 11th year of Amenhotep III’s reign, he released several commemorative scarabs, including one that has been dubbed the marriage scarab. Here he announced that she was elevated to Great Royal Wife, which meant that she technically had a higher rank than Amenhotep III’s mother. On these scarabs, her name is actually written within a cartouche, which was a long oval with one line on the side. These cartouches are usually only reserved for the king’s name. Here is the text on the back of the Marriage Scarab:

Scarab Commemorating the King’s Marriage to Queen Tiye, ca. 1390–1352 B.C. Egyptian, New Kingdom Glazed steatite; L. 8 cm (3 1/8 in.); W. 5.4 cm (2 1/8 in.); H. 2 cm (13/16 in.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910 (10.130.1643) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/548625

“Year 11 The Living Horus Strong Bull Appearing in Truth. He of the Two Goddesses Establishing Laws, Pacifying the Two Lands. The Golden Horus, Great of Valour, Smiting the Asiatics. King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Neb-Maat-Re  Son of Re, Amenhotep Ruler of Thebes, given life. The Great Royal Wife Tiye, may she live. The name of her father is Yuya, the name of her mother is Tuya. She is the wife of the mighty king whose southern boundary is as far as Karoy, whose northern is as far as Naharin.”

Her Children

She and Amenhotep III had several surviving children. Her eldest daughter Sitamun was elevated to the position of Great Royal Wife by her father around the 30th year of his reign. She had her own apartments in the royal city of Malqata, across the hall from her father. She also may have intended to be buried in Amenhotep III’s tomb, but it not clear if she was ever buried there. Another daughter Isis or Iset was also a Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III. Two more daughters are known named Henuttaneb and Nebetah, although the latter may have been renamed Baketaten during her brother’s reign. Baketaten is frequently seen seated next to Tiye in Amarna reliefs so it is not clear if this was a daughter, granddaughter, or someone else. Finally, the “Younger Lady of KV35” who was found with the body of Tiye, has been identified through DNA to be the daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye and the mother of King Tutankhamun. Presumably, the body is of one of the already known daughters, but as the body was not labeled, we may never know which daughter she was.

Tiye and Amenhotep III had at least two sons. Crown Prince Thutmose was a High Priest of Ptah before he predeceased his father. Their second son was originally known as Amenhotep IV. After his father’s death and when he took the throne, he changed his name to Akhenaten and moved the capital city to a new site in Middle Egypt, which was also called Akhenaten. Tiye and Amenhotep III may have had another son named Smenkhkare, who was the successor of Akhenaten, but this is just one of the many theories about the identity of Smenkhkare.

Famous Monuments and Depictions

Queen Tiye pictured as two sphinx at her temple in Segeinga, Nubia

Throughout his rule, Amenhotep III built various structures for his Queen Tiye. He devoted several of his shrines to her and also constructed a temple dedicated to her in Segeinga, Nubia. Here she was worshipped as the goddess Hathor Tefnut and she was also displayed as a sphinx. Her temple was the female counterpart to the larger temple of Amenhotep III.

Most importantly, Amenhotep III gifted her a pleasure lake at the city of Djaruka, which supposedly was near Akhmin. Her husband sent out another commemorative scarab detailing the lake. This lake may have been similar to the lake that was built at the royal city of Malqata. Here is a translation of the Pleasure Lake Scarab:

Pleasure Lake Scarab, Liverpool Museum, M12400

“Year 11 under the majesty of Horus: Strong bull, appearing in truth; two ladies: Who establishes laws and pacifies the two lands; Golden Horus: Great of Strength, smiter of the Asiatics; king of Upper and Lower Egypt, lord of the two lands, Nebmaatre; son of Re: Amenhotep, ruler of Thebes, given life; and the great royal wife Tiye, may she live. Her father’s name is Yuya; her mother’s name is Tuya. His majesty commanded the making of a lake for the great royal wife Tiye, may she live, in her town Djarukha. Its lengths is 3700 (cubits) and its width is 700 (cubits). (His majesty) celebrated the festival of opening the lake in the third month of inundation, day 16. His majesty was rowed in the royal barge Aten-nefru in it.”

Colossal Statue of Amenhotep III, Tiye and their daughters, Egyptian Museum, Cairo

There are a variety of statues of Tiye, but none is as impressive as the colossal statue of Amenhotep III and his wife in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (M610 & JE 33906). It originally stood in Medinet Habu. It is 23 feet or 7 meters tall and depicts the couple and three of their daughters. Interestingly, Tiye is pictured the same size as her husband, which is not typically done in Egyptian art. Usually, women are always portrayed slightly shorter than their husbands. No other Queen has ever figured so prominently in her husband’s lifetime. This emphasizes her role as the king’s divine and early partner.

Statue of Tiye and Amenhotep III, Louvre Museum, E 25493

This blue-green statue of Tiye used to include her husband, but that half has since been lost. It was made out of steatite and embellished with bright green enamel. The lower half of this statue was in the Louvre Museum (N2312) when it was stolen during the revolution of July 1830. It was then mysteriously returned to its place a few months later. Then in 1962, the upper part of this statue turned up on the art market and the Louvre purchased it to piece the two halves together (E25493).

But this bust is by far the most famous image of Queen Tiye. It was found in Medinet el Ghurab, which is an ancient site near the Faiyum Oasis. It is currently located at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin (AM21834 & AM1752). It is thought that this bust was created towards the end of the rule of her husband, as she is shown in advanced age. After her husband’s death, this piece may have been reworked. Using computer scan technology, Egyptologists have discovered that the Queen originally wore a silver headscarf with a gold uraeus. This headscarf was called a Khat headdress and was traditionally worn by the four funerary goddesses, Isis, Nephthys, Selket, and Neith. Then the piece was covered in several layers of linen and decorated with faience beads, a few of which are still preserved.

Computer rendering of the original design of the bust of Tiye
Reconstruction of the three different phases of the bust of Tiye

The crown which was added separately was actually lost within the Berlin Museum. This crown consists of a sun disc, cow horns, and a pair of features. This crown is typically worn by goddesses or deified kings. It seems that Akhenaten raised his mother, while she was still alive, into the realm of a goddess.

Her Power

This is a list of all of the titles that she held throughout her life:

  • Hereditary Princess (iryt-p`t)
  • Great of Praises (wrt-hzwt)
  • Sweet of Love (bnrt-mrwt)
  • Lady of The Two Lands (nbt-t3wy)
  • King’s Wife (hmt-nisw)
  • Great King’s Wife (hmt-niswt-wrt),
  • King’s Wife, his beloved (hmt-nisw meryt.f),
  • Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt (hnwt-Shm’w-mhw)
  • Mistress of the Two Lands (hnwt-t3wy)

During her husband’s rule, she was able to wield a lot of power, probably more than a typical Queen. She became her husband’s trusted advisor and confidant. She was especially known for gaining the respect of foreign dignitaries, who were willing to deal directly through her. Tiye was the first Egyptian queen to have her name recorded on official acts.

In Akhenaten/Amarna

After Amenhotep III died in either his 38th or 39th regnal year when Tiye was about 48 or 49, their son Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten continued to rule out of Memphis for a few years. Then he decided to move away from Memphis and the religious cult of Re to create a new city in Middle Egypt. This city was called Akhenaten and is currently located in Amarna. His reign triggered a switch from a polytheistic (multiple gods) religion to a monotheistic (one god) religion focusing on the Aten. There is a slight possibility that Tiye had a short co-regency with her son when he came to the throne.

Tiye lived for about 12 years after her husband died, so she was closely involved with her son’s rule in both Memphis and Amarna. She most likely continued to advise her son about foreign relations. A large cache of letters between the Egyptian administration and foreign nations was found in Amarna and several of the letters mentioned Tiye herself. In one letter the king of Mitanni told Tiye directly that he remembered the good relations when her husband ruled and hoped that they will continue to be on friendly terms with her son.

Banquet scene from the tomb of Huya, steward of the Mother of the King, Depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tiye, and children feasting

Tiye also had a house in Amarna as well as a steward named Huya. In Huya’s tomb in Amarna, Tiye is depicted at a dinner table with Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and their family and then being escorted by the king to her sunshade. The last time that Tiye is mentioned dates to the 12th year of Akhenaten’s reign. She is depicted with her granddaughter Meketaten.

Where was She Buried?

Tiye may have died around 1338 B.C.E. around the age of 60. There is a theory that she may have died in a widespread epidemic that occurred in Amarna and may have taken the life of her granddaughter Meketaten.

She was most likely originally buried in the royal tomb at Amarna. Because Amarna was only occupied for about 14 years, the tomb was never completed. Two northern plinths of the incomplete pillared hall were removed to accommodate a sarcophagus plinth and pieces of her smashed sarcophagus were found in the burial chamber. There is also a destroyed decoration that may indicate Tiye was buried there. In a depiction that closely resembles the mourning of Meketaten, a figure stands beneath a floral canopy while the royal family grieves. The figure wears a queenly sash but cannot be Nefertiti as she is seen with the mourners, so she could be Tiye.

Tomb Relief from the Royal Tomb of Amarna depicting the mourning of Meketaten (Note: this is not the same scene where Tiye may be under a canopy)

Akhenaten did have one or a series of golden shrines built for his mother. The shrine is thought to have looked similar to the second and third shrine of King Tutankhamun. It resembled a large box with a lintel, doors, and a cornice along the top. It was entirely gilded and decorated by large scenes of Akhenaten and Tiye making offerings to the Aten, with a focus on the king rather than his mother. I’ve provided the surviving text on the shrine below. In one instance the House of Aten in Akhenaten is mentioned, which seems to imply that the shrine was made for Tiye’s burial in the royal tomb in Amarna.

But, after the death of Akhenaten, his son King Tutankhamun moved the capital back to Thebes, so he removed the burials of his family to the Valley of the Kings. It is unclear if Tiye was buried with her husband in KV/WV22 or with her son Akhenaten in KV55. Her shabtis were found near her husband’s tomb while the surviving pieces of her shrine were found in her son’s tomb.

The Shrine of Queen Tiye found in KV55

i. Door Post, left: Long live the father Heka-Aten, given life forever continually; (and) the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, who lives of Maat, Neferkheperure-Waenre, and the King’s Mother Tiye, may she live forever.

ii. Door Post, right: King of Upper and Lower Egypt, who lives of Maat, Lord of the Two Lands, Nebmaatre; The King’s Chief Wife, his beloved, King’s mother of Waenre, the Mistress of the Two Lands, [Tiye], may she [live] forever.

iii. Upper traverse, left: Long live the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Nebmaatre; (and) the King’s mother, King’s Chief Wife, Tiye, [may she] live. forever.

iv. Upper traverse, right: Long live the King of Upper and Lower Egypt who lives of Maat, Neferkheperure-Waenre, what he made for the king’s mother, the King’s Chief Wife, Tiye

v. Door leaves: Heka-Aten, given life forever continually; Great living Aten. Lord of jubilees, lord of everything [Aten] encircles, lord of heaven, lord of earth in the House of Aten in Akhet-Aten.

vi. Other Side: Nebmaatre, given life forever; [King of Upper and Lower Egypt] Amenhotep III, long in [his] lifetime; [King’s] mother, Tiye, living forever continually.

vii. Side panel of the Canopy: Akhenaten offers to the Aten, followed by Queen Tiye.

Invocation addressed to Tiye: When the Aten appears in his horizon, his rays lift you up at dawn in order to see him every [day]. May you live on the Ka of the living Aten, may [you] breathe the air with finest incense (?).

viii. Lateral Panels: [Long live Heka-] Aten, given life forever continually; (and) the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, who lives of Maat, the Lord of the Two Lands, Neferkheperure-Waenre, the Son of Re, who lives on Maat, Akhenaten, great in his lifetime: what he made for the King’s mother, the King’s Chief Wife, Tiye, may she live. forever.

(Murnane W.J., Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt)

Her Mummy

Only the mummy of Akhenaten was found in KV55, so it was still unclear where Tiye was buried. In 1898, the tomb of Amenhotep II, KV35, was found with two large caches of royal mummies. You can see the full list in my blog post about Amenhotep III. Priests during the 21st dynasty took many of the royal mummies from their looted tombs and resealed them in the tomb of Amenhotep II. In one of the side chambers of the tomb, three mummified remains were discovered unwrapped. These were an older woman, a younger woman, and a young boy. As I mentioned before the “Younger Lady” was identified as the daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye and the mother of Tutankhamun. The young boy may be Webensenu or Prince Thutmose.

The “Elder Lady” was proven by DNA to be of Tiye. She was found to be anywhere from 40-50 years old at her death and 4 ft 9 in (145 cm) tall. She had long brown hair attached to her scalp. Her mummy was unwrapped and had been badly damaged. The whole front of the abdomen and part of the thorax were damaged. Her right arm was extended at her side with her palm on her thigh while her left hand was across her chest and gripping something.

A very unique artifact relating to Queen Tiye was found in the tomb of her grandson Tutankhamun. It was a gilded coffin set with four coffins inscribed with her name. Inside the smallest coffin was a small lock of hair that was presumably Tiye’s. In 1976, a microbe analysis was conducted on the hair sample and the hair on her mummy and it proved to be a near perfect match! This may have been seen as a memento from a beloved grandmother.










Photo Credits

https://mathstat.slu.edu/~bart/egyptianhtml/kings%20and%20Queens/Tiye.html – Images of wall paintings with Tiye in it and one from Sedinga

http://www.egyptian-museum-berlin.com/c52.php – Images of Tiye’s bust

https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/queen-tiye – Louvre Statue

https://egyptianaemporium.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/museum-piece-12-am-21834-am-17852/ – Computerized tomography image of Queen Tiye head showing the Khat-headress (actual source Arnold, ed., 1996, 32)

Pinterest (Ria Bytes) – Color photo of the mini sarcophagus found in Tut’s tomb

A.M. v. Sarosdy/SC Exhibitions – Color photo of the mini sarcophagus found in Tut’s tomb standing

Flickr (Hand Ollermann) – Black and white (and one color) photos of the mini sarcophagus found in Tut’s tomb

https://www.nilemagazine.com.au/2015-5-june-archive/2015/6/17/a-treasured-heirloom – Color photo of the mini sarcophagus found in Tut’s tomb sitting in each other

https://www.ancient.eu/image/5431/funeral-mask-of-queen-tiye/ – Funerary Mask thought to be that of Tiye

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/02/ancient-artifacts-honor-egyptian-queens-museum-exhibit/ – Reconstructions of Tiye’s bust

https://www.historyofroyalwomen.com/egypt/queen-tiye-elder-lady/attachment/800px-theelderlady-61070-frontview-platexcvii-theroyalmummies-1912/ – Mummy photo

https://id.fanpop.com/clubs/ancient-egypt/images/37472817/title/amenhotep-iii-tiye-photo – Monumental Statue

https://dreamtriptoursegypt.com/king-tuts-grandmother-queen-tiye/ – New Statue

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/548625 – Scarab (10.130.1643)

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/548621 – Scarab (10.130.99)

https://www.facebook.com/AncientEGYPT2017/photos/a.455928327842459/1571326942969253/ – Mummy Color Photo

Flickr (Aidan McRae Thomson) – Fragments of the Shrine of Tiye

Flickr (Merja Attia) – Fragments of the Shrine of Tiye

Global Egyptian Museum – Pleasure Lake Scarab

The Ancient Egypt Blogspot – Yuy and Tjuyu photo

Wikimedia Commons – Banquet scene from tomb of Huya

Women Crush Wednesday: Omm Sety/Dorothy Eady

This week let’s meet Omm Sety. I was at first going to feature her in a Fun Fact Friday post, but after reading more about her life, she needed to be featured on a Women Crush Wednesday post.

Her Early Life

Dorothy Eady was born on January 16th, 1904 in Southeast London, England. She was the only child of a master tailor and a housewife. When she was three years old, she fell down a full flight of stairs and was originally pronounced dead. But an hour later, it was said she was sitting up in bed perfectly fine. This accident most likely changed the entire course of her life.

After her accident, she seemed very different. She had developed foreign accent syndrome, which is when a person develops a different speech pattern that is perceived as a foreign accent. This usually occurs after a stroke or other traumatic brain injury. Dorothy also repeatedly asked to “be brought home.” She was kicked out of Sunday school after comparing Christianity with the ancient Egyptian religion and kicked out of girls school for refusing to sing a hymn that called on God to “curse the swart Egyptians.” And even though she liked to attend Catholic Mass because she was reminded of the “Old Religion,” but that was also terminated.

These strange behaviors didn’t make much sense until her parents took her to visit the British Museum in London. When walking into the gallery, she was dazzled by the artifacts, supposedly kissing the feet of many of the statues. Then Dorothy saw a photograph of the Temple of Seti I in Abydos. Then she supposedly exclaimed, “There is my home! Where are the trees? Where are the gardens?” She would visit the British Museum whenever she got the opportunity, where she met E.A. Wallis Budge, who was the Head of the Egyptian Department at the Museum. He encouraged her to study Egyptology and hieroglyphics.

The Mummy Room of the British Museum in 1937

She moved to her grandmother’s house in Sussex during World War I, so her Egyptology research had to be transferred to a local library. While she was here, her love and interest in ancient Egypt began to expand in extraordinary ways.

When she was 15, she described a visit from the mummy of Pharaoh Seti I. During this time, she both slept walked, and had nightmares that may have fueled these visions. Unfortunately, because of this, she was incarcerated in sanatoriums several times. She officially left school at 16 and traveled to archaeological sites and museums around Britain. To fill her time, she became a part-time student at an art school, collected affordable Egyptian antiquities, and became part of a theater group that performed a play based on the story of Isis and Osiris.

At the age of 27, Dorothy, still wanting to learn more about Egypt, she took a job in London working for an Egyptian public relations magazine, writing articles and drawing political cartoons. There she met her future husband, Eman Abdel Meguid, who was an Egyptian student.

Her Life (and Past Life) in Egypt

After Eman returned to Egypt to become an English teacher, he proposed to Dorothy and asked her to come to Egypt. When she arrived in Egypt, she kissed the ground and said that she had come home to stay. They lived in Cairo with her in-laws, who called her Bulbul, or “Nightingale.” They later had one son, whom she named Sety, which her husband didn’t approve of.

During this period, she continued to have visions and out-of-body experiences. Many of these occurred at night where she was “visited” by apparitions of ancient Egyptians. Her main visions involved a man named Hor-Ra. He recounted the story of a woman named Bentreshyt, which means “Harp of Joy,” who had reincarnated into Dorothy Eady.

Bentreshyt was the daughter of a vegetable seller and a soldier who fought for Seti I, a pharaoh of the New Kingdom and the 19th Dynasty. After her mother died when she was 3, her father could not afford to care for her, so she placed in the temple of Kom el-Sultan as a priestess. By 12, Bentreshyt took the vows of a consecrated virgin of the temple. She took up a lead role in the annual drama of Osiris’s passion and resurrection at the Temple.

Then the story takes an interesting twist: Bentreshyt met Pharoah Seti I in the garden of the temple and they became lovers. Breaking her vow to the temple, she would eventually fall pregnant. Unfortunately, if she went to trial, she would most likely be put to death for her crime against Isis. So, she committed suicide rather than face trial.

Reconstruction of Seti I and the Mummy of Seti I

Besides these visions and apparitions, Dorothy visited many of the archaeological sites and museums of Cairo. When entering temples, she would often take her shoes off and leave offerings. She would also pray to the Egyptian gods, which often made her become the object of local gossip. She was still respected for not hiding her true faith and she herself respected all other religions. Dorothy would fast during Ramadan with the Muslim people and celebrate Christmas with the Christians. She even supposedly slept in the Great Pyramid…frequently!

She interacted and met many famous Egyptologists throughout her life. After she and her husband separated, Dorothy moved closer to the pyramids and later met renowned Egyptian Egyptologist, Selim Hassan. He employed her as his secretary and a draughtswoman, which is someone who would make technical drawings of temple paintings and archaeological sites. Through Hassan, she was the first woman to be hired by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities. She later worked with Ahmed Fakhry, another Egyptian Egyptologist.

Her Life in Abydos

In 1956 when she was 52, she took a job as a draughtswoman in Abydos. Her Dorothy felt much more at home, especially because she believed Bentreshyt lived in Abydos. She set up a home in Arabet, which sits in the cradle of the mountain called Pega-the-Gap. Here she took up the name Omm Sety (or Om Seti), which followed the tradition of the local Egyptian women. They would be referred to as the mother of the name of their eldest child, which is what Omm Sety meant, “Mother of Sety.”

The Façade of the Temple of Seti I in Abydos

Her reputation seemed to precede her, as many Egyptologists would come and visit her to hear her stories. At one point, she was asked by the chief inspector to identify wall paintings in the Temple of Seti I in the dark. He would describe the painting and she would point out where that one was located. She did this successfully, even identifying some paintings that had not yet been published.

Omm Sety continued to work for the Department of Antiquities, listing and translated pieces of recently excavated temple palaces. Through her visions of Seti I and her past life, she made a few claims of the locations of archaeological sites, with minimal success. She successfully identified the location and layout of the garden in the Temple of Seti where she supposedly lived in her past life. Though she did claim that there was a tunnel running underneath the northern part of the temple and a hidden vault containing a library of hidden historical and religious records, both of which have yet to be investigated.

Reconstruction of the Temple of Seti I in Abydos

She also believed that she knew the general location of the tomb of Nefertiti. She asked Seti I if he knew where it was. He didn’t want to disclose it because he didn’t want anything about Akhenaten, the religious heretic, or his family to be known. He did tell her that Nefertiti is buried in the Valley of the Kings near Tutankhamun’s tomb. Because of this, multiple investigations in the area have occurred. Tomb KV63, which held seven wooden coffins and storage jars with mummification materials, was discovered when investigating the Valley. There are still suspicions that Nefertiti’s tomb is hidden behind the walls of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, but investigations have been inconclusive.

The inside of tomb KV63

Her Later Years

Although she was required to retire from the Department of Antiquities at age 60, they made an exception for her, so she continued to work for another five years. After she worked as a part-time consultant for the Department, guiding tourists through the Temple of Seti. After suffering a mild heart attack, she sold her house and moved into a zareba, which is a ramshackle hut made of reeds. Then one of the local keepers of the temple built her a mudbrick house next to him. She also described another encounter with Seti I when she moved into the house.

In 1981, Omm Sety was asked to be in a documentary about ancient Egypt. The crew carried her over to the Temple of Seti to be filmed and it is thought that it was the last time she ever went to the temple. She had previously built her own tomb with its own false door. After she died on April 21, 1981, at the age of 77, the health authority, unfortunately, did not allow her to be buried there. She was buried facing west, in an unmarked grave outside of a Coptic cemetery.

Opinions (Including My Own)

In general, Egyptologists believe that she deserved to be treated as a responsible scholar. Omm Sety was mainly a source of how traditional ancient religious practices have survived into Egyptian modern practices. Throughout her life, she respected the methods and standards of scholarship and wrote several papers and books about a variety of topics.

Obviously, some questioned the validity of her claims. But many Egyptologists choose to focus on her work with the Department and her passion for Egyptian history, art, and culture. It has been proposed by a psychiatrist, that she may have damaged her locus coeruleus of her brain, which could have resulted in a dislocation from her surroundings resulting in the embracement of an obsession.

Her story is definitely a fascinating one. From my scholarly point of view, it is difficult to believe anything that she has said because there is no evidence of Bentreshyt. I can’t disregard that she did identify where the garden was in the temple. Obviously could be a coincidence or there was only one obvious place for the garden, but who’s to know?

I am also a very spiritual person, so my non-scholarly opinion is that she is telling some or all of the truth. No matter what, she believes in it. She never seemed to do any harm with her beliefs. Never tried to convert or convince anyone. So what’s the harm in believing her?








Picture Credits

https://trinfinity8.com/the-incredibleion-of-om-sety/ – Image of Omm Sety with Red Scarf

Jean-Claude Golvin/Éditions Errance – Reconstruction of Temple of Seti I at Abydos

Fox Photos/Getty Images – Mummy room at the British Museum in 1937

https://matrixdisclosure.com/dorothy-eady-omm-sety-egypt/ – Image of young Omm Sety/Dorothy Eady

L.H. Lesko – Image of Omm Sety with child

https://abydosarchive.org/2017/07/14/omm-seti-in-the-abydos-archives/ – Omm Sety in the Temple of Seti I

https://www.facebook.com/Omm-Sety-Daughter-of-Isis-190295137686081/?ref=page_internal – Image of Omm Sety with Donkeys

Winifred Burton – Painting reconstruction of Seti I

Kenneth Garett Photography – Mummy of Seti I

Roland Unger – Photo of Temple of Seti I in Abydos

Ted Brock and Susan Osgood – Photo of tomb KV63

Dorothy Eady’s IMDb – Photo of Dorothy Eady laughing

https://www.ancient-origins.net/history-famous-people/omm-sety-british-woman-whose-life-was-lined-reincarnation-and-connected-020877 – Cover Photo of Omm Sety