Simon Green, Daily Star, June 14, 2019
Egyptian noblewoman Tjuyu – who is believed to have died in 1375 BC – is most widely known as being the great-grandmother of legendary pharaoh Tutankhamun.
Her tomb was found in 1905 – 18 years before Tut’s – but it has rarely been opened.
In Channel 5 documentary The Nile: Egypt’s Great River, historian Bettany Hughes was given the chance to witness such an occasion at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Footage from tonight’s episode shows experts lifting the lid off Tjuyu’s tomb to reveal her incredibly-well preserved body.
“She’s so tiny and so perfect,” Bettany exclaims.
The presenter then notices something strange, the “strawberry-blonde” hair of the mummified body.
Ancient Egyptians have historically been portrayed as having brown hair.
But Egyptologist Salima Ikram explained it may not all be as it seems.
“We’re not 100% sure [if that is her original hair],” she said.
“But when you use natrons for mummification, it acts like a bleach.”
This substance could mean her true hair colour was lightened to give it a blonde-look.
It wasn’t the only fascinating detail that was revealed of Tjuyu’s appearance.
Later in the episode, Salima pointed to her eyes to reveal how cloth had been put into her eye sockets.
She explained that it made it look like eyes so “she can see into the afterlife”.
Tjuyu’s feet were also intact and it was even possible to see the sandals she was wearing at the time of her mummification.