Friday, 19 March 2010

KV63 March 2010 - Dr Otto Schaden

Otto opened the lecture by reminding us that whatever KV63 finally turns out to be it will always be the first tomb discovered since the tomb of Tutankhamen. It started with a search for foundation deposits for the tomb of KV10. Excavation revealed 2 huts to the west and 10 huts to the east. These were used by the workman who lived in the valley and filled with ostracha and other artifacts. Theodore Davies had excavated the east most huts 10, 9 and 9a but left the central area. Under hut 5 they found KV63. Consisting of a single chamber with a stack of 8 coffins and 28 huge storage jars. This season they have been working on restoration of the coffins and the contents of the jars. Within these jars they have found natron, pots, textiles and the ‘embalming bed’ that is now in the mummification museum.

Coffin B (please refer to the Kv63 website for identification and pictures) was in a dreadful state, split with its mask fallen off and laying face down. SCA conservators have restored it and put the mask back in place. This is slow and painstaking work like watching the grass grow. It is not a work of art (I thought the profile was nice) and there is no writing or decoration

Coffin A contained jars, pottery and bowls. Earl Ertman noted the glass inlays both around the eyes and on the decorative bands. Nearby they found copper nails with gold heads which must have come from this coffin. It is for the royal nurse Iny. The bands would normally have formula addressed to Osiris but in this case they are only addressed to Re Herakty and she is not called Osiris so these must have come from the Amarna period. Catherin Roehrig did a dissertation on royal nurses but Iny was not identified at that time. The coffin itself is in many pieces and so far only the top half has been restored.

Coffin F Otto believes must have had the same carver as Tutankhamen objects, it is badly destroyed with no inscriptions; amongst its contents were two woven mats. There were also parts of two stone blocks, these grooved slabs would have been ideal for propping a mummy for bandaging with one each at head and thighs.

Winlock described the pots he found in KV54 and much of that found in KV63 is the same in shape and form. These were smashed into many pieces and found in various jars. It is unclear as to what their purpose is embalming, workman or the funerary feast. There were a variety of shapes and decoration, for one shape there were the follow varieties
• Red with blue decoration
• Bluff with blue decoration
• Light bluff
• Red
• Small
Destruction was so complete that one small bowl had pieces located in 8 find spots. Otto is hoping to physically inspect the pots from KV 54 in order to compare those with the KV63 contents.

There were rectangle clay tablets with raised edges which must have been used wet as there destruction shows squeezing.

Wine jars dated to Year 5 which does not help with the dating of the tomb as jars of many dates were found in KV62 so this does not indicate closure date.

There were seal impressions similar to those found in KV62 and KV55. These contained ka and kheper glyphs which could mean Tutankhamen or Ay. There were also the 9 bows and jackal seals. They also found cotton buds but these were surface containments.

Finally everyone loves gold and there was the small red gold coffinette.

For the future they still have a lot of excavating to do in KV10.


Geoff Carter said...

Nice post, thanks for keeping us up to date with these developments

livejoan said...

The Davis/Winlock finds are on display at the Met museum now. Also, photos of 'highlights' are online:{D691DB0A-3F0D-41C4-BCCD-7D711394AC32}

Jane Akshar said...

Thanks for the link Joan I am sure people will find it interesting