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Mummy mask of Merit

The restored funerary mask of Merit.©

Dynasty 18th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Amenhotep IIThutmose IV
Titles Lady of the House
Spouse(s) Kha
Issue Amenemopet, Nakhteftaneb, Merit
Burial TT8
For other pages by this name, see Merit.

Merit (transliteration: mry.t, "Beloved") was an ancient Egyptian noblewoman in the Place of Truth of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom. Her tomb was discovered entirely intact and is considered the "most abundant and complete non-royal burial assemblage ever found in Egypt".[1]


Merit holds the title "Lady of the House" (transliteration: nb.t-pr),[2] which is common for married women.[3]


Merit was married to Kha, who was the Foreman in the Place of Truth. She was interred with him in their tomb. Three of their children are known; two sons named Amenemopet and Nakhteftaneb, and a daughter also named Merit.[4] Amenemopet also worked in Deir el-Medina and is titled "Servant in the Royal Necropolis". No titles are attested for Nakhteftaneb, but he seems to have maintained the funerary cult of his parents.[5] A third son named Userhat is sometimes attributed to them but his father is clearly identified as Sau, a scribe of grain-keeping. Their daughter Merit became a Chantress of Amun. All the children outlived their mother[4] but Amenemopet may have predeceased their father.[5]


Kha and his wife Merit are mainly known from their intact TT8 rock-cut tomb at the necropolis of Deir el-Medina, which forms part of the Theban Necropolis. The tomb was found intact during excavations conducted by the Italian Archaeological Mission headed by the Egyptologist Ernesto Schiaparelli in 1906.[6]


Merit's mummy remains unwrapped. She likely died before her husband and unexpectedly as she is buried in a coffin intended for her husband.[4] She is estimated to have died in her 30s. Strangely, her internal organs were not removed, explaining the absence of canopic jars.[7]


  1. La Nasa et al. 2022, p. 1.
  2. Martina et al. 2005, p. 42.
  3. Koltsida 2007, p. 125.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Bianucci et al. 2015, p. 4.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Russo 2012, p. 66.
  6. Del Vesco & Poole 2018, p. 107.
  7. Bianucci et al. 2015, p. 3.


  • Bianucci, R./Habicht, M.E./Buckley, S./Fletcher, J./Seiler, R./Öhrström, L.M./Vassilika, E./Böni, T./Rühli, F. J., 2015: Shedding New Light on the 18th Dynasty Mummies of the Royal Architect Kha and His Spouse Merit. PLOS ONE. 10 (7).
  • Koltsida, A., 2007: Domestic space and gender roles in ancient Egyptian village households: a view from Amarna workmen's village and Deir el-Medina. British School at Athens Studies, Vol. 15.
  • Martina, M.C./Cesarani, F./Boano, R./Donadoni Roveri, A.M./Ferraris, A./Grilletto, R./Gandini, G., 2005: Kha and Merit: multidetector computed tomography and 3D reconstructions of two mummies from the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Journal of Biological Research – Bollettino della Società Italiana di Biologia Sperimentale, Vol. 80.
  • Nasa, J. la/Degano, I./Modugno, F./Guerrini, C./Facchetti, F./Turina, V./Carretta, A./Greco, C./Ferraris, E./Colombini, M.P./Ribechini, E., 2022: Archaeology of the invisible: The scent of Kha and Merit. Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 141.
  • Russo, B., 2012: Kha (TT 8) and his colleagues: the gifts in his funerary equipment and related artefacts from Western Thebes. Golden House Publications, London.
  • Vesco, P. del/Poole, F., 2018: Deir el-Medina in the Egyptian Museum of Turin. An Overview, and the Way Forward. In: Dorn, Andreas; Polis, Stéphane (eds.). Outside the Box: Selected papers from the conference "Deir el-Medina and the Theban Necropolis in Contact". Presses Universitaires de Liège.