Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, February 09, 2009

Following on from the previous post, the same reader carried on with a further interesting line of thought, drawing on two books (one of which I think I may have - but can't find):

  1. “The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, The Tomb, The Royal Treasure – By Nicholas Reeves” published in 1990

  2. ”the Discovery of The Tomb of Tutankhamen – By Howard Carter & A. C. Mace” published 1977.

This is what what the reader had to say

There is an interesting photo of the same area [Kate: ie the central excavation] taken in 1921, showing the excavation in front of the entrance of Ramesses VI (KV9). The photo in the first book is on page #51 and on page #87 in the latter. The photo shows excavation pits on either side of the entrance to KV9. But in these photos, they show that Howard stopped digging over the location of the “KV64-Feature 5 of Nicholas Reeves” radar hit. It is also interesting that in Howard’s book, page 82 -87, he describes the 1921 dig clearing in front of KV9 by saying that, “In the course of the season’s work we cleared a considerable part of the upper layers of this area, and advanced our excavations right up to the foot of the tomb of Rameses VI. Here we came on a series of workmen’s hut built over masses of boulders, the latter usually indicating the the Valley the near proximity of a tomb. Our natural impulse was to enlarge our clearing in the direction (going north), but by doing this we should have cut off all access to the tomb of Rameses above, to visitors one of the most popular tombs in the whole Valley. We determined to await a more convenient opportunity.” On the following pages, Howard waits for the start of the next year’s digging season. This time however, he starts his digging from the north to south and finds Tutankhamun’s tomb. Thus, by starting in the north to south direction , on the opposite side of the entrance to KV9, and not pick
up going south to north from the previous season, he may have left KV64 to be
discovered in our day. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

I confess that when I first heard Nicholas Reeves say that Feature 5 was a unopened tomb and announced it as KV64, I felt he was being a bit previous. With the help of these comments, and reading the recent posts by Nicholas on his website, I am increasingly confident that he has called it correctly. As the remarks above make clear, Howart Carter found KV62 before he could excavate above ARTP Feature 5. I am also now pretty sure that the radar image does indeed show a chamber and that by the middle of January the central area excavation hadn't yet investigated the area above the feature. However, if this was more than a shaft tomb, we cannot be sure where the entrance may lie.

It is now well understood that piles of boulders can be evidence of a tomb in the vicinity, and that tombs can be obscured by huts sited above them. The huts in the central area excavation suggest it is a ripe area for a tomb; however, they are very close to KV63 and it may be that Otto Schaden has already found the tomb they may be associated with.


Geoff Carter said...

Hi Kate
You make an important point about the position of the entrance not having to be above the main anomoly.

Kate Phizackerley said...

That must be one of the main uses of radar - once the overburden in the vicinity is clear, if no entrance is visible that hopefully it will be possible to get a better picture of the feature and try to determine which direction it runs to know where to look for an entranceway.


Colin Lea said...

I think there is a fair chance that KV64 lies there waiting for its discovery, Carter notes it, Reeves' radar survey does too, the area in question has not been excavated to that depth before and we've all (myself included) probably walked over the top of it without releasing what was there!

My question is, do we know what archaeological work was done prior to the construction of the rest area? This is so close to a number of Reeves' features that it is possible that something may well run underneath it.

It is a shame also that we don't have a similar radar survey for say KV5 (before clearance) as we might be able to compare and therefore 'work out' the probable size of kv64.

It clearly could be another cache like kv63, but even if it is it could help us understand the nearby kv55 and the general make-up of this interesting area. That kv62 was intact and that we assume kv64 is relatively small is possibly a further good sign that it may not have been robbed. The flash floods, workmens' huts and likely amarna period all adding to the chances...come on zahi tell us what your digging!

Can't believe that the quality papers haven't picked up on this yet. The times in the UK often has pieces about such nonsense as 'the amber room's been found' - why not this?

Kate Phizackerley said...

Personally I think that "Feature 5" is unlikely to be intact in the tradional meaning of that word. The location suggests any tomb is most likely Amarna era and as Nicholas Reeves point out on his website, much of Tutankhmun's funerary equipment was recycled from other Amarna royals.

For undisturbed tombs, I am more hopeful that one of the cliffside tombs could prove to be intact and that when eventually somebody searches the Western Valley, that intact tombs survive there. Indeed, it is also possible that some of the missing Amarna-era tombs could be in the Western Valley.

Geoff Carter said...

Hi Kate,
Dr H is convinced he has an unopened queen up there, if they find an intact burial it may take years to excavate!
Any news from Seti’s tunnel?


Admin Control Panel