Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, September 27, 2009

I found this post - then lost it again - before I got to check it out.  So five days late here is a link to a photo of Dr Hawass with the 'mummy' from KV55. Everybody interested in the Valley of the Kings would like to know more about the occupant of KV55. Even a definitive statement on the individual's gender would be a good start.

The photo though is a great disapppointment. It's a really nice frontal photograph of Dr Hawass - just a shame that all you can see of the 'mummy' is small part of the skull. (It's not really a mummy either in the convential sense as I believe only the skeleton remains.) Theories as to its identity include Akhenaten, Smenkhare and Kiya. Strangely Nefertiti is rarely metioned as a possibility. Since both gender and age at time of death have been variously reported, it's hard to rule anybody out.

Sadly I suspect myself that it is Smenkhare. I say sadly because that means that Smenkhare's tomb doesn't remain to be found. Amenhotep I is where my big interest lies ...

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, September 25, 2009

As Andie's blog is still not being updated, I've started posting articles on the Old Kingdom on the new Ancient Egypt for All blog as I come across material.  The template still has a number of wrinkles; I need to fill out the pages on things like subscribing; and the sidebars are somewhat bare.  But it's better than nothing and  it will get better I promise!  If you have any particular issues please tell me either by contacting me or posting a comment.  It looks best in Firefox but I've also tested in in Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. 

If anybody wants Blogger author privileges so they can post, just let me know.  This is a community blog, not my personal blog (although I will post too to make sure it has regular updates).  Alternatively, you can just email me articles and I'll create them in your name (remember to tell me what that is and, to avoid confusion, please don't use an Ancient Egyptian name like Isis!). 

I'll not post further in this blog about Ancient Egypt for All again until the New Kingdom section is set up in a few weeks time as that's clearly closely allied to News from the Valley of the Kings.  I have added a section in the white sidebar below the comments to show the titles of the most recent posts over there.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 24, 2009

There is a new video of these discoveries on Dr Hawass's site. It's a nice video about three tombs of the Nobles, two of which have not yet been excavated. That's something of a new development as historically we've only had reports of findings from Dr Hawass when they have been comprehensively investigated. It's a very welcome change and I'm grateful for his understanding that we like news early in the process.

(Dra Abu El Naga is a royal burial ground in the Theban Hills on Luxor's West Bank which pre-dates the Valley of the Kings / Valley of the Queens. Most of the tombs are tombs of nobles and I understand that's what has been found.)


Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jane Akshar has confirmed the rumours. Camera are now entirely forbidden from the Valley of the Kings. That's not just within tombs: cameras cannot be taken into the Valley of the Kings at all. It's even more than cannot be used - cameras must physically be left at the gate.

There is no word yet whether other sites are affected, but seemingly not at present. Since many mobile phones can take hi-res pictures, I'm not sure whether they are now banned as well.

It looks like the attempt at a news blackout in advance of a major announcement has begun. It's probably the surest sign yet that something big is coming. As well as protecting media rights an intact (or substantially complete) tomb will also be a major security headache and preventing exterior photos could be part of the security measures to protect it.

Anyone who has read the story of KV62 will know that Carnarvon (without consulting Carter) sold exclusive media rights to the Times of London. The other papers were incensed, of course, and thus began some of the reporting on other angles which didn't require photos from the tomb. It's possible the curse was a 'story' seized upon to fill the vacuum. Carter became a target for reporters as well, and for a time was banned from the Valley of the Kings.

Banning photos from the Valley of the Kings may have been done with the best of intentions but if history repeats itself it could rebound with devastating effect.

PS I'd welcome any first hand travel reports from readers. Words will have to replace pictures for a time.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If Zahi had any ambitions of promotion to Minister of Culture they have probably been thwarted by the election of a Bulgarian lady, Irina Bokva, as Director General of UNESCO who beat Farouk Hosni in the final run off vote.  That hopefully means Dr Hawass will be excavating in the Valley of the Kings for many years to come.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, September 21, 2009

Abydos boats
This is something people might not have heard ot - the fleet of ancient wooden boats discovered in the sands at Abydos.  It's really well covered in this article by Richard Pierce of New York University.  It's not really news other than that David O'Connor, the expedition leader, has recently written a book (published 22/6/09) on Abydos and has been promoting it.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, September 20, 2009

There are half a dozen beautiful photos showing the reliefs in the first pillared chamber in Valley of the Kings tomb KV17 (Seti I) by Sandro Vannini on Flickr.  (Sorry, but I cannot show any of them here as they are copyright.)

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 17, 2009

This is the second (of two) Heritage Key Valley of the Kings video courtesy of YouTube.  The editing at the end is a bit off, but it's much more interesting than the first.  It says nothing about KV64 but Dr Hawass concentrates on some of the inscriptions found.  Some we've seen before on this blog, but the sketch map of a tomb is new.  There is also a really clear shot and explanation of the famous new queen inscription, called Queen Tiy and identified as the Great God's Wife.  There's an interesting accompanying article on Dr Hawass's site, in which he says of Queen Tiy,  "We hope to find more evidence of this queen through our work here."  I know there has been some speculation that KV64 is her tomb, but I think this video just about discounts that possibility.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wikipedia is reporting that one of the clay seals found in KV63 reads "paaten" and goes on to theorise that KV63 was intended as the tomb for Ankhesenpaaten (ie Ankhesenamun as she became).

 Due to its proximity to the tomb of Tutankhamun and the resemblances between the portraits in the sarcophagi, as well as the style contemporary to the 18th Dynasty, it was speculated that the coffins were once used for the bodies of Kiya and/or even Ankhesenamen, which is supported by the finding of two small golden sarcophagi made to contain small statues that might correspond to her two stillborn children already buried in her husband's tomb, in order to make a connection between them and their mother in the afterlife.
Quite why the bodies of Ankhesenamun and Kiya were then removed from the coffins during Dynasty XVIII is not explained. It's an interesting theory but I'm aware of no evidence to support it. If a "paaten" inscription has been recovered from the KV63 that would be very interesting, but I'd still not regard it as a proven link with Ankhesenamun, nor an indication that KV63 was dug for her. However, this is the latest from Otto Schaden on the coffin inscriptions:
As mentioned in the last update, Coffin A’s fragments proved to be quite interesting. Though very fragmentary and fragile because of termite damage, some key texts could be recovered from under the resin coating….the title “Royal Nurse” ( mn’t nsw ) and the name ‘Iny’. The longest translatable connected text was on the top cross band, left side: ‘Revered, (may) I see Re in the sky and drink water from the pool [ … ].’ Conspicuous by its absence, the deceased is never identified as ‘Osiris’ and the usual deities are not cited. The one example (quoted above) where we have the usual “revered” there is no qualification such as ‘revered by Anubis’ etc. This lack of the traditional deities strongly suggests that this coffin was probably fashioned during the reign of Akhenaton when many of the traditional deities were abandoned.
There are alternative theories swirling round the web that both KV62 and KV63 were intended as tombs dug for royal mummies transferred from Amarna to the Valley of the Kings, and that KV62 was always intended as a phraaoh's tomb, just not for Tutankhamun as nobody expected him to die so young.  However, Dr Schaden also reports that the digging of KV63 was probably started during the reign of Amenhotep III, which would elminate the theory that it was always intended for Tutankhamun.  So although it's clear that KV63 (and probably KV55) was used as a cache burial when mummies were transferred from Amarna, this was probably not the tomb's original planned purpose.  If there was a co-regency between Amenhotep III and Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), then perhaps KV63 (and/or KV55?) was orginally dug as the tomb for Nefertiti or Kiya before the Amaran era, then abandoned.  Pure speculation of course but wouldn't it be wry if the tomb of Nefertiti has already been discovered - but in the end she was buried elsewehere?

Interestingly, the use of caches suggests that burials were transferred back from Amarna before permanent tombs could be prepared.  Security must have been a recognised issue so if tombs' contents were transferred back with reasonable haste, maybe there are still substantial Amarna era remains to be found somewhere in the Valley of the Kings?

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 15, 2009

KV35 in Lego

A bit of fun - here's the entrance to Tomb KV35 in the Valley of the Kings modelled in Lego by DecoJim!

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, September 13, 2009

"KV62 is going to the discovered. KV64 is going to be discovered by an Egyptian team."

That's how Dr Hawass closes the video. If anybody is having trouble watching it, then try this. It ran through fine for me.

The transcipt I offered in the previous post is inaccurate but seems instead to summarise what Dr Hawass is now saying on his blog. Having watched, it's not that positive. The video's credits date it to June 2009. It's a shame it's taken 3 months to be released. It describes itself as Part 1 - wonder when we will get Part 2? It's still worth watching though for what it reveals about the recent excavations in the Valley of the Kings.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dr Hawass has posted a video about Tomb KV64:

I'm only on the mobile phone this weekend so I can't watch (and can only post here by email) but I believe this is a transcript). Can someone who watches please say more in a comment. It sounds like a positioning piece laying the ground for either a full announcement or a TV documentary on a fruitless search. It's talking about the two tomb entrances revealed in November 2008, and doesn't mention (in the transcript) any entrance which may have been found during the massive winter 2008/9 excavations, the radar survey or subsequently beneath the rest house. I still think the best prediction is for 3-4 tombs to be announced over the next few years, at least one of which I believe is that of pharaoh. Watch the video on Dr Hawass's site, or if like me you are stuck on a blackberry or mobile, here's that transcript (glad now I couldn't sleep!):

"The Valley of the Kings has only revealed one new discovery since the tomb of King Tut – 84 years later, Otto Schaden found KV63 in front of the young pharaoh's tomb. Our excavation, however, is proving to be not only the first Egyptian expedition ever to work in the valley, but also one of the most scientifically important. When we started our excavation, we could feel from the beginning that the area was promising.

"We discovered a cut in the mountain, followed by stairs ending in a hole in the ground. It looks like the entrance to a tomb, and it is exactly similar to the entrance of KV63. We recorded many inscriptions nearby, some of which were already known and others of which were found for the first time. One tells us that a man named Userhat built a tomb for his father, the vizier Amennakht. Our work among the cliffs was very interesting. We found huge blocks, and it took us a long time to move them. After that, we found a manmade wall, below which was a shaft with stairs going down. This seems to be the entrance to yet another tomb. We also found many workmen's huts – we know that the workmen used to live in the valley while they were cutting and decorating the tombs of the pharaohs. In one area, we found a round limestone base, with a hole in the middle where food and drink for the workmen would have been placed.

"Remember that even if we do not find that one of these two entrances leads to the tomb of Ramesses VIII, we know that many great royals, including Thutmose II and Nefertiti, along with the queens of Dynasty 18, were buried in the valley, but their tombs are also still unknown."

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't Miss the Post About the work of the University Of Basel

Having read the responses to my earlier post, my decision is to opt for separate blogs for periods as indicated below. Any "regulars" can have either a Blogger author status or knowledge of the direct post email address for their periods of interest as preferred.  (I hope we can manage that without spam - we can but try and see).  Everybody else can email me/the blog owner and I'll create a post from that email as soon as I can.  That should hopefully avoid the need for a forum as subjects can be started easily.

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.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 10, 2009

Maintaining a blog full time can be a huge commitment as Andie Byrne over at Egyptology News has recently highlighted. Not many people want to spend that much time.

Equally many people are interested in Ancient Egypt and would like to write occasional articles on topics that interest them. The high standard of comments on this blog proves that. However if you only write an occasional article it never gets found or read as the Internet is so big.

So the difficult choice is massive commitment or nobody reading your articles. I'm guessing there are people here who would like to write occasional articles when the fancy takes them, but who don't want any commitment?

So that's my question. Am I right? I'm currently working on a new template for News from the Valley of the Kings. It's not much extra work to create a second blog as well and make that available to guest writers. I'd make it a general blog about Ancient Egypt / Egyptology. I can add 90 or so full authors who can publish through Blogger. You can have proper profiles and that's the best if you want lots of links or to lay things out with blockquotes etc. However for people who wish to be very casual I could just give you an email address - just write an article as an email and send it and it will appear straight on the blog. It's dead easy.

I'd promote it here and elsewhere so that we should quickly get readers and comments. I'll also manage the template and lightly moderate to keep spam from creeping in.

The blog would probably end up being a mix of news, articles about particular tombs, temples or people (I'd contribute some) with probably the odd book review and travel reports thrown in from people who have just been to Egypt. A real community blog about Ancient Egypt. (And I hope everyone knows it's a community style approach I prefer.)

So my questions are:

1) Would people be interested in writing for a blog like that if they could do so when it suited them and without commitment? (I'm not signing anybody up just now, merely gauging whether there is interest before I purchase/organise a domain name etc.)

2) Would people read a blog like that?

This doesn't exclude people who already have a blog. I've slipped the occasional off-topic in here about Giza and I'd probably write more if it wasn't off-topic for Valley of the Kings, Luxor etc. So if someone already has a blog but wants somewhere for subjects which don't fit there, that's fine too.

Over to you.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I'd love for a tomb of one of the daughters of Nefertiti and Akhenaten to be found.  As reported last week, we know that it looks like Dr Hawass is about to report the discovery of a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings.  In the meantime we all speculate on whose tomb that may be.  (I really must get a new poll set up.)  While researching DNA testing. I found this story from National Geographic in August 2008. On that occasion, Zahi is reported as saying:

"The fetuses will help us determine whether [King Tut's wife and daughter of Nefertiti] Ankhesenamun was a half sister or a full sister," said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.  "If the fetus DNA matches King Tut's DNA and Ankhesenamun['s DNA], then they shared the same mother." 
 That's twice now that Dr Hawass as reported that DNA testing may reveal details about Nefertiti and/or Ankhsenenamun.   That quote definitely strongly suggests he has access to Ankhesenamun's DNA for testing purposes, from which we would have to conclude that Ankhesenamun's mummy, and possibly her tomb, may have been found.  Is that a journalist mis-reporting what Dr Hawass said, Zahi's usual (over-)enthusiasm, or did it slip out by accident that Ankhesenamun has been found?  Remember the reports of KV64 go back before August 2008, although it was only in October 2008 that Dr Hawass himself said new tombs have been found.   There was no mention of testing Nefertiti's DNA in the quote so presumably she hadn't been located at that point.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I may have been unduly pessimsitic about the chances of recovering mitochondrial DNA.  I understand that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was successfully extracted from the elder of the two foetuses in the Vallley of the King's KV62 and reported a TV documentary Secrets of the Pharaohs: Tut's Family Curse which aired in February 2001.  There was a companion book to the series of three documentaries ("Secrets of the Pharoahs") that I have just ordered from Amazon for £0.01.  If anybody wants a copy, there was still one "Very Good" condition used copy on the UK site at that price (although many more rated "Good") and I'd guess it could be picked up in the USA for $0.01. I'll try to post up a book review once I've got it.

While hunting for that, I have found this article at Egyptology Online which I'd recommend.  There are several interesting sections but I want to quote one:

Back in 1993-94 Professor Scott Woodward, a microbiologist from Brigham Young University (USA) was asked to demonstrate the usefulness of DNA, testing on six mummies from the Old Kingdom period, with the aim of providing clues to their sexing and possible genealogies.  Woodward was able to determine that two of the mummies had been [accidentally?] placed inside the wrong coffins.

Following his success, Woodward was invited to the Cairo Museum sometime during the mid 90’s to examine and harvest tissue samples from 27 royal mummies from the New Kingdom Period, during their removal to a new display room.From the 27 mummies, only 7 yielded successful DNA sequences.  However, from his results he was able to determine that Ahmose I had married his full sister Seknet-re and that Amenhotep I's mtDNA was different from Ahmose I, making it highly likely that Ahmose – Nefertari was in actual fact Amenhotep I's mother.
As two what the foetuses may reveal, it's interesting that in the August 2008 Zahi Hawass was reported in National Geographic as saying ""I personally feel they are not the sons of Tutankhamun".  (There'll be a link to that article in the next post.)   mtDNA was extracted from the older ofthe two foetuses which is female and therefore wouldn't have a Y chromosome to allow straightforward comparison to tutankhamun's own DNA.  Even by the 90's, the condition of the foetuses had deteriorated badly - they were even hard to locate and were eventually tracked down to Cairo Medical School.  Although techniques have improved in the near 2 decades since, whether they have deteriorated further since, rendered DNA extract impossible, has to be a concern.  (Apparently a partial mtDNA sample was extracted from the second foetus.  I have seen no report indicating whether this was consistent with a sibling match.)

There are reports that Scott Woodward also succesfully extracted DNA from Yuya, whom some identify as the Biblical Josepth.  There are suspicions that it was these links which caused the project to be abandoned fairly abruptly.   It will be interesting to see what is published in the next few months by Dr Hawass but having investigated some of this may be corroboration of earlier findings rather then groundbreaking news. It will be interesting to see whether the work of Professor Woodward is credited.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 08, 2009

While news from the Valley of the King is thin on the ground, I'v got caught up in the story of Queen Mutnodjmet.  As somebody else wrote, we know enough about the royal women to tantalise but the facts are few.  Perhaps that's my fascination with the royal women of the New Kingdom.  Those who have been following the article on the canopic jar will know I am having trouble determining which of four canopic jars in the case belongs to Queen Mutnodjmet.  The labelling is poor.  Quite how poor I didn't realise until I went back to my photo of the label to see if I'd missed anything which would help determine the jar - I'd assume the labels were in the order of the objects.  The label actually describes her as early 19th Dynasty, even though we know that Mutnodjmet died around the 13th year of Horemheb's reign - and he, of course, was the last pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty.   Hmmm.  Not good.

I was wrong however, about Queeen Mutnodjmet's mummy being missing - I'd picked up some wrong articles.  (I'll go back and correct my own next.)  All that was discovered was bone fragments including bits of her skull, teeth and pelvis.   (See this article.)   Her mummy had disintegrated.   So the lapse by the Egyptian Museum is rather more understandable.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, September 07, 2009

Not strictly Valley of the Kings or Luxor, but since she has been in the news, I popped in to the British Museum last week to photograph Queen Mutnodjmet's canopic jar - I'd looked online but couldn't find a good photo.  There are four jars in the case and the labeling is imprecise but I believe this is the correct jar.  If I've made a blooper, I'm sure somebody will correct me.

(If anybody needs it, the original image is 3000x2000 so it would blow up reasonably well.)

In response to Tim ...

Based on your comment, then it's probably this one.  But the label is out of synch then with the exhibits.  I didn't take a decent picture of that one.  I want to go back with a faster lens for some of the sculpture (so I can blur out the background) so I can take a better one if that's the one.  Thanks for your help!


Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 01, 2009

It's cropping up in a few comments, so I wanted to record my own thoughts on the implications of Zahi's forthcoming retirement as Head of SCA.

Given the policy Dr Hawass has established so firmly, once he steps down it will then fall to the new Head of SCA to make any important announements.  I suspect that discoveries which are in the works (KV64 in the Valley of the Kings, the shafts in the Great Pyramid and Cleopatra's tomb) will therefore be announced before his retirement - assuming that the discoveries are there to be announced of course.

The time for commemorating his achievements will be in a few months time, but I was delighted to hear that he intends to continue to lead missions.  Unless the new discoveries are stunning, I think however his true lasting legacy will be seen to be site management.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Dr Hawass has posted an update on his blog about the ongoing restoration project for Deir-el-Bahri, Valley of the Kings and the West Bank in general.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I've been reflecting on Keith Payne's comment in my previous post. I'm pretty confident now that a new tomb (KV64) has been found in the Valley of the Kings, probably dated to the last 30 years of the 18th Dynasty.

I'm a little less sanguine about DNA testing being used to compile a family tree. I'll try to do a DNA primer. In short for now though, the DNA everybody thinks of is the 23 pairs of chromosomes found in the nuclei of cells - nuclear DNA. One of each pair comes from the father and one from the mother - at random. Looking at them you can't say which chromosomes came from the father and which from the mother. If you have a detailed map of the father you could guess which came from the father and therefore, by deduction, which came from the mother. However in a family as inter-related as we believe the Egyptian royal family to have been, there's going to be high amounts of common DNA between the two parents. Combined with potentially poor samples after 3,500 years I doubt that's realistic.

The exception is a male Y chromosome. That has to have been inherited from the father.  Paternal inheritance is therefore usually established by looking at the Y chromosomes. It should be possible - if the samples are good enough - to build a picture of the male side of the royal family. (Assuming, of course, that illegitimacy wasn't an issue.)

We know however that the records of the parents of princesses and queens are less complete anyway. There isn't a female equivalent to the Y chromosome. Matrilineal descent is therefore usually determined by looking at mitochondrial DNA.

Mitochondrial DNA is ancient in origin - it goes back to when bacteria infiltrated single-celled organisms.  It resides in the outside of cells, not in the nucleus.  Whereas the DNA in the nucleus is densely packed and therefore somewhat protected, mitochondrial DNA is fragile and less likely to be well-preserved.  Because it sits in the mitochondria, it is passed through the egg, not via sperm which carry only nuclear DNA.  It is therefore passed from mother to offspring and is the key for determining matrilineal descent.

Unless the mitochondrial DNA is preserved, then the DNA from Tutankhamun and from the foetuses from KV62 will not directly identify the mother and certainly won't push back to Nefertiti who was (presumably) the foetuses' grandmother.  The project is groundbreaking so it is possible that mitochondrial DNA has been preserved and can be analysed, but personally I am not hopeful.

Similarly, the mummy of Queen Mutnodjmet is not ideal for determining Nefertiti.  It is thought that they were half-sisters and shared a father but not a mother.  While it is easy to show the relationship of male siblings using nuclear DNA, if one or more of them is female, there is no Y chromosome to compare. 

I suspect that the project will be revealing new findings for several years.  At the outset my prediction is that the initial results will be focused on the male line.  That is not without interest - the identity of Tutankhamun's father has been the subject of much speculation - but I don't believe in the first pass we will get definitive answers about his mother, or indeed the matrilineal line in general.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I know many people take the News from the Valley of the Kings newsfeed and miss out on the comments, which is a shame as some are brilliant.
So here's a comment from Keith Payne that you shouldn't miss.

Just weighing in with my own suspiscions (I am the guy who did the interview for Heritage Key), I think you are probably right that the announcement to be made in October is with regard to KV64. But there is a part of me that thinks it COULD be Nefertiti.
As Ann mentioned, Dr. ZH is retiring this year, and I really think he wants to make this the year of Nefertiti. I am working on a story over on my own website (just click my name) about the "Year of Nefertiti" but the basic argument follows.

I: He has already said he plans to reveal the location of Nefertiti's tomb this winter.

II: In the next few weeks we are all going to be hearing that he has received peer confirmation of the two DNA tests linking one of the fetuses in Tut's tomb to Tut. That will allow him to genetically identify the mother, Tut's wife, who is Nefertiti's daughter, thus leading to Nefertiti's own mummy

(BTW I blog about the bust of Nefertiti and the missing mummy mutnodjmet at Heritage Key as well!)

So if I were a stockbroker and Nefertiti was stock, I would be saying buy buy BUY! Expect to see many headlines in future months regarding the lovely queen.

So while the smart money says the "October Suprise" will be KV64, part of me thinks that ZH might dragging the same tomb out into two events. Announce the tomb in October and build anticipation, identify it as Nefertiti in the Winter.

But far wiser sages than I have attempted to divine the mind of Dr. Hawass, and failed. Whatever the outcome, its going to be an exciting fall/winter.
* * * 
BTW Keith's blog, Em Hotep, is one I hadn't found before but is very good.  You might want to add it to your reading lists.


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