University of Basel Kings Valley Project – Suzanne Bickel
As this was the very first lecture about the newly discovered tomb KV64 the room was completely full but Suzanne teased us just a little bit by putting it in context with all the work they have done.
The team are working on the undecorated non royal tombs in the wadi of KV34, originally 10 now 11 with KV64. The focal point of this valley is the tomb of Tuthmosis III KV34, he was a major pioneer of the entire area. The tombs are starting from the beginning of the wadi to KV33 and going back to the entrance again. (if you look on the Theban Mapping Project you can see the layout).
The royal tombs KV42 and KV34 are in that wadi as well. They wanted to look at who had the privilege to be buried next to the king, was there any meaning in location, the architecture of the tombs etc
The team first started with KV47 Siptah and the fact it broke in to KV32. It was a building accident that occurred 200 years after KV32 had been created. KV32 is Tija the mother of Tuthmosis IV. The debris in the tomb identified her.
Their start point was the Theban Mapping Project http://www.thebanmappingproject.com on that some of their tombs are mapped and some are just indicated as holes filled with debris. However debris can be vital giving clues to the owner. KV29, 31, 40 and 59 are only indicated not mapped. Others like KV26 were mapped but have now been updated with more correct information.
This has a 6m deep shaft, corridor, chamber and contained one single anonymous burial. The pottery indicates it is from the 18th dynasty Tuthmosiside period. There were several large jars.
Architectural marks are still visible and apart from a few small fragments had been totally cleared. As part of the site management after doing their work they built a small surrounding wall and installed iron doors at both KV26 and KV30. This provides security, stops the tomb refilling with debris and protects it from flood damage.
This needed to be relocated as it had been described by Elizabeth Thomas in her book The Royal Necropoleis of Thebes, 1966. It took 2 seasons to relocate it, it is very small shaft with a single room similar to KV36 and KV64. There were several layers of water debris but not a single object was found indicating either that it was never used or had been cleared.
The TMP says it is a pit but excavating revealed a shaft tomb with a central room with 2 ancillary rooms. It had never been flooded but had been opened. It is from 18th dynasty. They found pots and seals impressions including the necropolis seal. There was an unusual seal which she would welcome information on from colleagues that had a goose, bee and god, this Geb seal is unknown and she would welcome any further information. The side chambers showed signs of severe looting with 4 mummy fragments, lots of bandages and 40 jars. As KV26 had 13 jars for one person so it seems that there were 10 per person in this tomb. From the pottery it would seem to be 18 dynasty. There seems to be lots missing as you would expect 16 canopic jars and ushabties. They did find fragments of one canopic jar but much to their disappointment the name was missing, it seems to have been a prepared jar which is new in Egyptology and the name of the person was never inserted. There were intrusive finds form 20th dynasty ostracha and linen with Ramses III name.
Was noted on the TMP as existing but with no plan, they found a shaft, corridor and a large room with 3 lateral rooms. There were traces of fire and it was looted in the 19th contrary. There was cartonage from the third intermediate period. It is a big tomb from the 18th dynasty. There were furniture tags from Tuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III.
This is up the cliff next to KV34, found in 1898 by Victor Loret. A 1902 Baedeker described it as not interesting with 2 empty rooms. It is not a shaft tomb but has 10 steps and actually 3 rooms very well carved. It was full of debris 4m depth and 5.30 width.
As they cleared the area around KV40 for the site management, wall building etc they found immediately next to the KV40 the top of a shaft. They had no idea what was at the bottom, something or nothing and it was found on 25th January 2011 so all they could do was cover it with an iron door until things stabilised. The size was only 96cm by 1.30m so it did not seem significant. However as they started excavating they found the shaft bock stones still in place. Part of the original blocking to the entrance was also there which were 18th dynasty in style but it had been rob in the 20/21 dynasty, partially filled and then used for a secondary burial. The stele was orientated to her face; she had no grave goods or pots and is 22 dynasty. It was a 3.5m deep shaft with a 4x2.30 chamber. She was a singer of Amun and her father Naktefhotep(I am not sure this is right as it wasn’t on a slide and only came up in the Q & A) was ‘opener of the sky’. She is not one of the already identified ladies with the same name but a lot more work is needed on her genealogy. The coffin has been removed and needs to be restored it is black with yellow glyphs. She was 1.55 long and nicely wrapped. She is stuck in the coffin with resin. Her name was on the back of the stele and on the front it shows her in front of a composite god Re Horakty, Atum and Sokar