Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I've had a couple of questions about the location of the central excavations as people who haven't been to the Valley of the Kings in some years. It's more than 10 years since I was there - I'm hoping I can get out this spring but it depends what happens on the work front.

The small inset photo from Luxury Travel Magazine shows the central excavation in relation to the Inspectors Office- that's the window in top centre with the central rest house stretching to the right.

Now refer to this photo from 2007 by Lenka Peacock, that's before the current excavations started. (If anybody has an up to date photo of this view, that would be fantastic.)

The rest house in the first photo can clearly be seen on the right. (If you prefer to orient yourself from the opposite direction, try this photo from the Theban Mapping Project database.) The large tomb entrance to the left of the Inspectors Office in the small photo, or lurking behind the rest house in the big one, is KV6 (Ramses IX). KV62 (Tutankhamun) is the enclosure directly opposite the rest house. The central excavation is taking place in this space, between the rest house and KV62.

The reason many people hope that any tomb found in this area while be an Amarna period tomb (eg Nefertiti) is propinquity. Not only do we have Tutankhamun, we have the enigmatic Amarna era tomb KV55 (Akhenaten? Smenkhare?) which is cut into the valley floor near the Inspectors Office as shown in this TMP photo.

Then there's the tomb discovered in 2006, KV63. To understand the location of KV63 in relation to KV62, refer to Nicolas Reeve's site and his article on the search for KV64. The diagram at the bottom of the page can be made larger if you double click it and you can clearly see KV62, the rest house and a red dot marking KV63. And "KV64".

Unofficially KV64 is one of the tombs discovered in the cliffside near KV8 (Merenptah). When Nicholas Reeves talks of KV64, he's referring to a radar anomoly which the Amarna Royal Tombs Project discovered some years ago, as he describes in his article. What's interesting is that this radar anomoly is in the area of the central excavation; however, the area was loosely packed debris and included features like the workmans' huts so it is quite possible that Reeves' radar anomoly does not turn out to be a tomb. It's also interesting that Howard Carter excavated workmans huts in this area - I'm afraid I don't know whether the ones which have been uncovered are some of those investigated by Carter or not.


Geoff Carter said...

Great blog – I share your excitement
(I hope you have not covered this before) but on Nicholas Reeves ‘s plan of the anomalies found with the ground penetrating radar. You can see ‘feature 2’ a long feature running towards the rest house, I think this is his target, (not the main ‘kv64’)

in a recent lecture he seems to say he is looking for Nefertiti here.

This is a screen cap of his slide of the VOC excavation area – not including the central area

Kate Phizackerley said...

Thanks Geoff
I'd not found that particular diagram on Reeves' site and I'd agree that Feature 3 does look promising. Hawass has said (see here) that they will be bringing in stronger radar so presumably he's reverified any anomoly he is chasing. Actually I hope they tried to check below the rest house itself - it's starting to look it could be located in one of the most interesting parts of the Valley just as the old bus park was above KV5.

Thanks for the screencap BTW - I'd struggled to get that, I'll add it to the post.


Geoff Carter said...

I can get you a shot of his slide of the VOC inscriptions he has found, I can't read Hieroglyphics, Of use to anybody?

( I am an archaeologist so any form of literacy is optional)

Kate Phizackerley said...


Yes please. If we get it up here somebody may be able to help with an interpretation.


Geoff Carter said...

'tis done, check your mail & Have fun


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