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Guy Bunton and the discovery

12th Dynasty

Intact burial of Sit-hathor-iunut

Guy Bunton gave his account of the discovery of the treasure of Sit-hathor-iunut in 'Lahun, the Treasure', a brief passage from this account:

"At about 4.30 p.m., when I was some distance away north of the pyramid, I received a message from the Qufti in charge that some gold beads were discovered in the mud, and I hurried to the spot. Mr. Frost had already taken charge of the site, and Professor Petrie had removed all the local workers clear of the tomb, and the earth from it where they had been hunting for any gold beads which had been overlooked, and from which they
handed up a few. The remainder of the work was done entirely by myself, during the ensuing eight days."

"The work was carried out mainly from the front; it would have been better possibly to have done it from above, but the distance of the surface of the mud from the roof of the recess, only ten inches, made this out of the question.... I found the recess so low (only forty inches to the roof) that I could not even kneel in it but had as a rule to work lying flat-resting on my elbows. Of course, the continued succession of finds, day after day, was amazing and utterly unequalled. The whole of the clearing was done with a small penknife, or with a pin when there was a chance of finding small beads. The work of pricking out the small beads (there were over nine thousand five hundred of them) was so laborious that eventually any detached scraps of mud were examined in the camp....',

Lady Petrie continues the description of Bunton's work:

"For eight days and nights," she said, "Brunton hardly ever left that chamber. At night he slept near the recess, and whenever he was awake he kept probing away in the dried mud with his long, delicate fingers, removing object after object; golden crowns, with feathers and streamers of gold, eight hundred and ten gold rings, a pectoral, or chest-ornament with the name of King Senusret II; another with the name of Amenemhat III; golden lions' heads, golden couchant lions, amethyst ball-beads, gold and turquoise ball-beads, bracelets and anklets of gold, a silver mirror, toilet vases containing perfumed ointment, and even copper toilet razors, all belonging apparently to the Princess Sat-Hathor-Unet. In spite of their fragile condition, not a single object was damaged or even scratched during their removal."

Bunton's diagram which shows the position of Sit-Hathor-iunut's treasure