Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, January 03, 2011

It seems like I have written that before.  But Zahi Hawass has just told the Discovery Channel that there are suggestions that tomb KV64 could be the tomb of Queen Ankhesenamun.  This is what he has to say:

Called KV64, as it will be the 64th tomb discovered, the tomb is likely to be a Queen’s burial.
“We found some indication that this tomb could be for Ankhesenamun, the Queen of Tutankhamun,” Hawass said.
 And ...
“I hope this will be an intact tomb for Queen Ankhesenamun,” Hawass said.

The casual references suggest that a tomb has been found but not explored - I am worried that could indicate a tomb in poor condition, although we could hope that like KV62 the authorities had filled the entrance passageway with limestome chips which would make entry slow if modern archaeological standards were followed.  We will have to wait and see.  There aren't many more details in the interview.  My guess is that lectures like the one at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester might flesh out some of the details.  At present, there isn't even confirmation whether the "find" is in the main Valley of the Kings or in the Western Valley.

I'll say this though: if tomb KV64 did turn out to be the intact tomb of Ankhesenamun, then I'd be *very* happy with the domain I registered for News from the Valley of the Kings!  It would also be very interesting when combined with the DNA studies if the body of any of Nefertiti's daughters was found. It could add to the evidence that the KV55 mummy is not Ankhenaten. I keep promising to write up the DNA findings in detail ... something I must get around to in the next few weeks.

The other really interesting part of the interview is that Hawass mentions he has a team excavating a previoulsy unknown pyramid in Dashur, which has been buried beneath the sands.  The indication is that the pyramid dates to the 13th Dynasty and Hawass believes it is the tomb of a king from that dynasty.

PS Jane Akshar has indicated a very busy winter season of excavations is underway in Luxor!

PPS Fox News now has the story too, but they just refer to Discovery as a source and haven't spoken to Hawass themselves.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I too get the feeling that we have all heard this before, ie 2 years ago at the O2 when Hawass was claiming upwards of three tombs were practically on the verge of being discovered. I just hope that this time we are not going to be disappointed yet again by the master of hype.

Anonymous said...

Whatever became of considered, reasoned scientific arguments? Dr Hawass should curb his natural exuberance so that we will not be disappointed when another shaft tomb is discovered....... that was uncovered by Loret and never recorded..... perhaps!
If the mummy in KV21 is linked to the babies in KV62, if she is their mother, does that not render speculation about finding Ankhsenamen redundant?

Anonymous said...

If the mummy in KV21 is linked to the babies in KV62, if she is their mother, does that not render speculation about finding Ankhsenamen redundant?
Not sure you are right anon, could not the mummy in KV 21 be a secondary wife of Tut, thought admittedly no sec wives are mentioned in the record.

John Bright said...

The history of the search for "KV64" seems to be one of false readings so far. Workman's huts, natural fissures and water deflecting walls have been uncovered but no tomb. I agree with anon1. that we need a more reasoned approach and also with anon2 that KV21 might possibly be a secondary wife, though there is a lack of evidence for one. Does anyone know if the DNA research has finished or is it a continuing project that will be applied, in time, to all the royal (and presumed royal) mummies. On the subject of the Hawass Lecture in Manchester, whatever became of Ramesses III? That anouncement has been overtaken by the Ankhsenamen speculation: forgive my cynicism, but this seems a good way of selling tickets.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't KV21 be a sister to Ankhesenamun? DNA would still match.

Kate Phizackerley said...

The DNA isn't a problem.

Stephanie said...

It is certainly tempting to assume that Hawass creates a stir with big names just before his lecture as he likes to boast with sold out events.
Regarding KV21 as a secondary wife I do have doubts. Both of these mummies clearly seem to be related to Tut`s immediate family so Ankhesenamun, one of her sisters or even Nefertiti all could fit in.
But wouldn`t it have been a bit tough to chose a supposed secondary wife who would have been a close relative and to put her under Ankhesenamun`s nose?
Or,if I am too sentimental here, wasn`t it at least unusual to recruit secondary wifes from the immediate royal family, say a sister or cousin of the great royal wife?

I know there is at least one king from the Old Kingdom (name forgotten) who had two or three sisters as wives, but I am not sure if they were all great wives, all minor wives or one great and the others minor.
But I am not sure this happened in the New Kingdom as well. OK, there was RamsesII marrying two or three of his daughters (correct me if I`m wrong) as well as AmenhotepIII (possibly), but these might have been successive marriages.

To put it short, I think the most likely possibility is that one of KV21 is Ankhesenamun and that her tomb IF found would not be undisturbed.

John Bright said...

Amenhotep III certainly made Sitamen a "Great Royal Wife", but I wonder if we misunderstand the way the title is used. This is conjectural, but might it have the sense of "Princess Royal"?
Menkaure of 3rd Pyramid fame is shown with a sister/wife on a double statue uncovered by the Boston Expedition at Giza.

John Bright said...

Amenhotep III certainly made Sitamen a "Great Royal Wife", but I wonder if we misunderstand the way the title is used. This is conjectural, but might it have the sense of "Princess Royal"?
Menkaure of 3rd Pyramid fame is shown with a sister/wife on a double statue uncovered by the Boston Expedition at Giza.

Marianne Luban said...

All cases of "Hmt nsw wrt" [the final /t/ of wrt is often left off] are not equal, though. Most people think of it as meaning "chief queen" but that is not true. The only certain portrait of Sitamun shows her wearing the headdress with the gazelle head, which indicates a secondary wife. Even Ahmes-Nefertari, wife of Ahmose I, was at one time only a secondary wife, albeit called "Hmt nsw wrt", wearing this gazelle headdress. Another lady, presumably the chief queen at the time, is shown with her. In the tomb of Menna, there are a number of women wearing this same headdress and, of course, there is an actual example from the tomb of the foreign wives of Thutmose III.

Marianne Luban said...

Here is a link to a photo of the gazelle headdress, although I don't know if two gazelle heads were present in each case. There may be better images online elsewhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menhet,_Menwi_and_Merti

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