Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, September 11, 2009

Elke Noppes kindly sent me the 2009 season report from the University of Basel which was working in the Valley of the Kings.  Their work was focused in the lateral valley towards the tomb of Tuthmosis III, concentrating on the poorly documented undecorated tombs.  I've grabbed a photo from the report to help you picture the area I am talking about.


The first part of the report deals with the excavation of tomb KV26 which had never been cleared, nor fully surveyed.  Based on the fragments of coffins and pottery found (nice picrtures in the report), KV26 dated to the 18th Dynasty, probably to the time of Thutmosis III-Amenhotep II.  It was used for the burial of at least one mummy, possibly more, but the team have been unable to identify the occupant.  Only fragmentary bones were discovered (which I guess we hope is enough for DNA to be extracted but it doesn't sound too promising).  

The team believe that the mummies were not removed from the tomb duringt the 21st Dynasty but that the tomb was comprehensivly robbed.  Like many tombs in the Valley of the Kings, KV26 has also suffered from major flooding.

It makes you realise that we think of the tombs of some Queens (and Princes) as missing but it's possible they have already been discovered but not attrubuted because no evidence of the occupants' identities remains.


The second half of the reports deals with the even more interesting KV30.  This is a suprisingly large tomb for one which is relatively unknown, comprising several rooms.  It is clear that the tomb was used for at least one burial, tentatively dated to the 18th Dynasty but which cannot be identified.  More work is planned for the next season.

Alhough not headline tombs, this report is the best material on the Valley of the Kings I have seen since I started this blog.  The only comparable material is from the Polish team working at Deir-el-Bahri.   It's superior even to the John Hopkins dig diaries from Karnak.  If you are interested in the Valley of the Kings, this is must read material IMHO.   If that wasn't enough, Elke Noppes sent me a link to her own site. That was a site I hadn't seen before and looks excellent.  I've filed it for reading.  It's in German but IE/Google does a good job of an English translation.



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