Tombs KV55 - KV61


Tomb KV55


Tomb KV55, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of an eighteenth dynasty pharaoh. It is now generally believed that the mummy found inside the tomb was Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten). However, the tomb may have been used for several burials, and has also been attributed to his mother, Queen Tiye. The tomb was discovered by Edward Ayrton in 1907 and excavated between 1907 and 1908.

KV55 - damage to sarcophagusThe entrance to the tomb is in the floor of the main valley near the tomb of Ramesses IX (KV6). From the entrance stairway a single, sloping corridor leads directly to the burial chamber, which has a small side chamber on its right hand wall.

The walls are plastered but not painted. The only exception are some vertical masons marks, probably used in laying out the tomb.

Judging by its size, the tomb was probably intended as a private tomb, but was then taken over for a royal internment.

Although the tomb may have been desecrated in antiquity to defame the memory of Akhenaten, it was also disturbed during the building of the nearby tomb of Ramesses IX (KV6).

The evidence of the tomb complicates its attribution even further; the door carries seals bearing Tutankhamun's name, evidently from the time of its occupant's (re-)burial; the canopic jars found in the tomb strongly resemble the features of Akhenaten's minor Queen Kiya; the broken shrine whose panels were strewn around the tomb feature the name and representations of Akhenaten's mother, Queen Tiye and Akhenaten's own name appears on a series of 'magical bricks' found in the tomb. Other pieces found in the tomb name Akhenaten's predecessor Amenhotep III and Amenhotep's daughter and wife Sitamun.
KV55
Tomb of Akhenaten (?)

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1907
..
iiiiExcavator: Edward Ayrton
..
.i.iExcavated: 1907/08
..
ikiTotal area: 84.30m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
Accessories
Carpenters' and sculptors' tools
Furniture
Human mummies
Jewellery
Models
Scarabs and seals
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vessel stands
Vessels
Warfare and hunting equipment
Written documents
..
KV55 - canopic jar head resembling Queen Kiya
..
KV55 - royal vulture found on mummy
The tomb may originally have contained a number of burials brought from the royal necropolis at Akhetaten (modern Amarna) and has been referred to as the 'Amarna Cache'.

KV55 - skull of mummyOnly one mummy was found in 1907, that of a male. It has been suggested (by Nicholas Reeves) that Akhenaten and his mother, Queen Tiye, were originally buried at Akhetaten, but that their mummies were later moved to KV55 following the total abandonment of Akhetaten during the reign of Tutankhamun.

He further suggests that the tomb was defiled in the twentieth dynasty when it was rediscovered during the construction of the tomb KV6 (Akhenaten by this time was regarded as a heretic) and that the mummy of Queen Tiye was removed.

KV55 - canopic jar


Tomb KV56


Tomb KV56, located in the East Valley, is possibly a late eighteenth dynasty tomb. Nothing is known about the tomb's owner, or whether it was ever used. The tomb was discovered by Edward Ayrton in 1908 and excavated the same year.

KV56 - Gold earingsThe tomb is located in the main wadi. It consists of a deep entrance shaft leading to a single, large chamber. The chamber is unfinished and undecorated.

The identity of the original owner of this tomb is unknown, if indeed KV56 is a tomb at all. Since most of the objects found inside bear the names of Twosret and Seti II, it has been argued (by Gaston Maspero) that all the materials found in KV56 were taken from the tomb of Twosret (KV14), which was usurped by Setnakhte. Cyril Aldred, on the other hand, argued that KV56 was not a cache, but rather an intact burial of a child of Seti II and Twosret, basing his theory on the fact that near the left wall of the chamber were remains of stucco, gold leaves and inlays, which could be from a coffin.
KV56
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1908
..
iiiiExcavator: Edward Ayrton
..
.i.iExcavated: 1908
..
ikiTotal area: 39.25m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
Jewellery
Tomb equipment
Vessels
..
Other items found in the tomb included several finger rings, a pair of small silver 'gloves', a pair of silver bracelets with the names of Seti II and Twosret inscribed, a set of golden earrings also marked with the name of Seti II and various necklaces and amulets.


Tomb KV57


Tomb KV57, located in the East Valley, is the burial place of the eighteenth dynasty pharaoh Horemheb. The tomb was discovered by Edward Ayrton in 1908 and excavated the same year.

KV57 - Hall of Waiting rear wallThe tomb is located in the west branch of the southwest wadi. From a stepped entrance a sloping corridor leads to a second stairway and corridor. This second corridor opens onto the Hall of Waiting complete with well shaft. Beyond the Hall of Waiting is the Chariot Hall with two pillars and a side descent. The descent feeds onto a third sloping corridor which leads to the antechamber by way of a final stairway. The antechamber leads directly to the burial chamber, which has four side chambers and a large annex at the rear. The ceiling of the burial chamber is sustained by six pillars. Between the rearmost pair of pillars of the burial chamber two sets of steps lead to a crypt on a lower level.

The tomb represents a transition in tomb architecture from the bent axis plan, characteristic of the eighteenth dynasty, to the straight axis tombs of the nineteenth and twentieth dynasties.
KV57
Tomb of Horemheb

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1908
..
iiiiExcavator: Edward Ayrton
..
.i.iExcavated: 1908
..
ikiTotal area: 472.61m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Raised relief
..
........Objects:
Embalming equipment
Furniture
Human remains
Jewellery
Models
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vegetal remains
..
KV57 - Hall of Waiting
..
KV57 - Antechamber
The decoration of the tomb is limited to the Hall of Waiting, the antechamber and the burial chamber. Portions of the painted decoration and blue background have flaked off the walls in the Hall of Waiting and the antechamber.

In the Hall of Waiting (pictured above & left) the walls are painted with two groups of deities: on the left wall is Hathor, Isis, Osiris and Horus, while on the right are Hathor, Anubis, Osiris and Horus.

The antechamber (pictured below left) is likewise decorated with images of Horemheb with accompanying dieties, while the burial chamber is decorated with the fifth division from the Book of Gates. (KV57 is the first tomb to show the Book of Gates).
..
KV57 - burial chamber showing decorative technique
..
The decoration is of particular interest here not only for the innovative subject matter, but its unfinished nature shows the different stages in the work of the artists. As in the Hall of Waiting and the antechamber, the intended decorative technique was to have been raised relief. The relief carving was left unfinished, however, and only partly painted.
..
KV57 - Burial chamber, upper levelKV57 - Sarcophagus
..
The burial chamber contains a large red granite sarcophagus placed off-centre on the floor of the lower section (crypt). No remains of Horemheb were found. The broken lid of the sarcophagus found lying on the floor, as well as the shattered condition of the canopic chest and other burial furnishings, suggest that the burial was robbed.


Tomb KV58


Tomb KV58, located in the East Valley, is possibly a late eighteenth dynasty tomb. Nothing is known about the tomb's owner, or whether it was ever used as a tomb. It is more probably a cache. KV58 was discovered by Ernest Harold Jones in 1909 and excavated the same year.

KV58 - right of central path, middle of photographThe tomb is located in the main wadi, cut into the steep base of a hill near the floor of the branch wadi running up to the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV35). The entrance shaft leads directly to a small, rectangular chamber. The chamber is finished, but undecorated.

Most of the finds lay two metres down the shaft and in the chamber. Among these were a number of sheets of gold foil, which probably belonged to a chariot harness, bearing the names of Tutankhamen and Ay. Other finds included four calcite knobs, two faience box handles and an uninscribed calcite shabti.
KV58
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1909
..
iiiiExcavator: E. Harold Jones
..
.i.iExcavated: 1909
..
ikiTotal area: 23.67m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
Accessories
Furniture
Tomb equipment
Transport
..
This tomb is of an uncertain date although some have thought it was a satellite tomb of KV57. It appears to have been used as a cache for material from the tomb of Ay (WV23), placed here in association with a possible reburial of Ay in nearby KV57. Another theory is that it represents an abandoned robber's hoard of material taken from WV23.


Tomb KV59


Tomb KV59, located in the East Valley, is possibly a late eighteenth dynasty tomb. Nothing is known about the tomb's owner, or whether it was ever used as a tomb.

KV40 - general locationThe tomb is located in the south branch of the southwest wadi to the left of the path to the tomb of Thutmose III (KV34) - pictured left.

KV59 is a small pit tomb and no reference to its clearance or contents is known.

There is no information concerning the history, excavation or discovery of the tomb. The site may have been discovered by Carter. It was known to James Burton and Lefébure.

The valley is pockmarked with several tomb commencements and pits, of which only a few have been recorded and designated.

The tomb is inaccessible and filled with debris.
KV59
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1825
..

iiii
Excavator:
James Burton
..
.i.iExcavated: 1825
..
ikiTotal area: 6.40m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: N/A
..
kiDecoration:
Unknown
..
........Objects:
Unknown


Tomb KV60


Tomb KV60, located in the East Valley, is an eighteenth dynasty tomb, the probable burial place of Sit-Ra called In and possibly Hatshepsut. It was discovered by Howard Carter in 1903 and re-excavated by Edward Ayrton three years later.

KV60 - Limestone sculpture of HatshepsutThe tomb is located in the southeast branch off the southeast wadi, immediately beside the entrance to the tomb of Prince Mentuherkhepeshef (KV19). From a steep flight of roughly cut steps at the entrance, a corridor leads to a small burial chamber. The corridor has a recess on either side, each containing a wadjet eye. The burial chamber is low, rectangular, and again is roughly cut.

When the tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1903, it was found to have been looted in antiquity, but still held two mummies, along with some badly damaged burial material. In 1906 Edward R. Ayrton reopened the tomb, and removed one mummy, together with the coffin it was in, to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The coffin was inscribed with the name and title royal nurse, In (probably Sit-Ra, called In, who was the royal nurse of Hatshepsut).

The other, still unidentified mummy remained in situ. It has been suggested by Elizabeth Thomas that it might be the mummy of Hatshepsut, relocated by Thutmose III from KV42 as part of his campaign of official hostility towards her.
KV60
Tomb of Sit-Ra called In

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1903
..

iiii
Excavator:
Howard Carter
..
.i.iExcavated: 1903
..
ikiTotal area: 55.66m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
Painting
..
........Objects:
Carpenters' & sculptors' tools
Human mummies
Jewellery
Lighting equipment
Mammal mummies
Mummy trappings
Scarabs and seals
Tomb equipment
Vessels
Written documents
..
In 1990 the tomb was rediscovered, reopened and properly excavated by a team led by Donald P. Ryan. In early 2007, the second mummy was removed for testing, confirming it to be that of Hatshepsut (according to Zahi Hawass, it offered definitive proof that this 'corpulent, elderly' body was indeed Hatshepsut).


Tomb KV61


Tomb KV61, located in the East Valley, is possibly a late eighteenth dynasty tomb. Nothing is known about the tomb's owner, or whether it was ever used as a tomb.

KV29 - EntranceThe tomb is located in the southwest wadi (bottom left tomb in the photograph).

The tomb is small and consists of a shallow shaft leading to a single, small chamber. The tomb is unfinished and undecorated and was probably never used.

When discovered, a thorough clearing of the chamber was undertaken in hopes of finding a more elaborate structure behind the debris, but nothing was found. In all probabilily, it was a pre-prepared private tomb that was never put to use.
KV61
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1910
..

iiii
Excavator:
E. Harold Jones
..
.i.iExcavated: 1910
..
ikiTotal area: 15.49m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
None



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