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.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, June 19, 2008

I know this isn't in the Valley of the Kings but if like me you are also interested in the search for the tomb of Cleopatra - and possibly Mark Anthony as well if Dr Zahi Hawass is correct - then this article from the Sunday Times may interest you.

The gist is that the team of archaeologists led by Dr Hawass is exploring beneath the temple of Taposiris Magna, 28 miles west of Alexandria. Hawass says, "We’ve found tunnels with statues of Cleopatra and many coins bearing her face, things you wouldn’t expect in a typical temple.”

Work on the site is now suspended until November.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 18, 2008


A good foundation always helps so it's worth saying that at the end of the 21st century there were 86 identified tombs in the Valley of the Kings and many believed that the canon was complete at that. Those 62 tombs are numbered in the order of their discovery from KV1, the tomb of Ramses VII, up to KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun famously discovered by Howard Carter in 1926.

The definitive guide to these tombs is the Atlas of the Valley of the Kings from the Theban Mapping Project at www.kv5.com.

It's worth noting a few things:

1) As several tombs were robbed in antiquity, for safekeeping Egyptian priests moved the mummies of a number of pharoahs into caches containing several mummies.

2) For this reason the identification of several mummies and tombs remains in dispute.

3) The tombs of certain pharoahs and their queens have not yet been found but quite which remain to be discovered is open to a degree of debate.

Credits

Image of the tomb of Tutankhamun by tonayo

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There is news coming out of Egypt of the possible discovery of new tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It's fragmentary and confusing and has to be pieced together. In this blog I will do that and try to keep you, my readers, up to date with any breaking news of KV64.

Kate Phizackerley

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