Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, June 26, 2008

The first announcement of a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings came in August 2005 when the Egyptian State Information Service announced that an Egyptian Polish team had been given to excavate the tomb of the New Kingdom Pharaoh Amenhotep I in the Valley of the Kings. As I describe below, unfortunately this was mis-reported by the press how announced the stunning find of an intact tomb.

Amenhotep I was the second pharaoh (1526-1506 BC) of the 18th Dynasty. His tomb was mentioned in the Abbott Papyrus, one of the highlights of the British Museum. The papyrus dates from around 11ooBC (about 400 years after the death of Amenhotep I) and describes an investigation into the looting of royal tombs. Amenhotep's tomb was found to be intact but his mummy was moved by priests to cache in the cliffs of Deir el Bahri (TT320, the Tomb of the Royal Mummie) where it was discovered on 6th July 1881 among 36 assorted royal and anonymous mummies by egyptologist Emile Brugsch . The cache was probably discovered as early as 1860 by the infamous Rasaul brothers.

His mummy remains wrapped to this day.

Presumably, once his mummy had been safely transferred, his original tomb was re-sealed. And the tomb's location remained a mystery although it is variously thought to be either KV39 in the Valley of the Kings or at Dra' Abu el-Naga, although neither has definitively been identified as his tomb. Indeed Niwinski, the leader of the Polish expedition, believes the tomb remains undiscovered in the cliffs of Deir el Bahri above the magnficent Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut as Zahi Hawas reports in December 2005. Unfortunately due to a translation error, Pravda reported with great excitement that his tomb had been found intact.

The search to identify the tomb of Amenhotep I continues.



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