Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, February 04, 2009

David Hay has kindly sent some wonderful new photos he took in the Valley of the Kings about 3 weeks ago. I'll just put them all up at the head of this article, and then comment below. The Images are all copyright to David Hay. I've hosted them on my webspace rather than Flickr so if you click any of the images in this post, it will take you to the original, high quality photo which shows detail much better.

Excavation in the Valley of the Kings by KV63
Figure 1 - central excavation by KV62 / KV63

Excavation in the Valley of the Kings by KV63
Figure 2 - central excavation by KV62 / KV63

Excavation in the Valley of the Kings by KV63
Figure 3 - central excavation by KV62 / KV63

Excavation in the Valley of the Kings by KV63
Figure 4 - cliffside excavation looking towards KV8

Excavation in the Valley of the Kings by KV63
Figure 5 - that broken pottery ... again

There's no obvious smoking gun in Figure 4 of the excavations by KV8, but there are a few interesting features. Firstly in center foreground there is a modern drain. By rumour drains account for some of anomalies found by Nicholas Reeves ARTP team. The survey equipment is in one of it's most common positions and it's noticeable that the excavation is being extended right down into the central valley area. There is a set of wooden steps just down from the entrance to KV8 (Merenptah). My first guess was that this affords the only current access to KV8, but there doesn't seem to be a path from the top of the stairs up to the entrance of that tomb. The stairs are therefore a curiosity. In front of the bottom of the stairs, there is also a survey pole. In general, this photo seems to show nothing new I can spot?

Figures 1, 2 & 3 are a different story. There are some odd cavities in the floor of the huts but the biggest new feature is the clear square shaft behind the huts towards the cave. While this could conceivably be a new tomb, my personal guess is that is unlikely. Security would be an issue for any new tomb and there is no obvious sign that this shaft could be secured; either it had been very recently discovered when the photo was taken or it is something other than a tomb. My hypothesis at the moment is that it is a sondage (ie a small archaeological trench) to investigate a radar anomaly. I'll cross reference it against the ARTP radar survey pictures tomorrow, but if anybody knows - or suspects - anything then please post a comment.


Colin Lea said...

That cave really interests me, it seems quite considerable and if you lighten David's image there is a black cloth or something inside. Do we know if anyone on site has seen personnel entering/exiting the cave? That might give an indication of its depth/interest?

Kate Phizackerley said...


I'll try blowing that section up and taking a look in photoshop.

So there's more chance of people responding to questions like this I've added a recent comments box in the side bar. I'll play around with the size and see what works best, but just scroll it to see the most recent comments.


Anonymous said...

Great photos. Thanks. I looked at the 3 holes in the central area with photoshop. It appears that the one between the cave and the workers' huts has a bottom showing. Could this be a "How far down is bedrock?" hole?
The hole under the hut on the right does not show its bottom in the brightened image. I will poke around to see if any more images are out there.

Geoff Carter said...

It is the two holes under the hut wall that interest me, normally an archaeologist would not tunnel into material, and would remove the overlying material, in this case the wall, first. Assuming they are not natural voids, and if the site is being excavated in sequence, they must be 'features', post dating the wall, perhaps tunnels dug by grave robbers, ( or early archaeologists).

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