Tombs WV23 - KV31


Tomb WV23


Tomb WV23, located in the West Valley, was the burial place of the eighteenth dynasty pharaoh Ay.

WV23 - PlanThe West Valley is sometimes also called Wadi el-Gurud (Valley of the Baboons), because of a scene in the burial chamber of WV23 depicting twelve Baboons, very similar to a scene in KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun (below left). In fact, this tomb may have originally been intended for Ay's predecessor Tutankhamun (or perhaps Amenhetep IV or Semenkhkara). It is very possible that both WV23 and KV62 were decorated by the same artists.

From the entrance (A), a stairway leads to the first corridor. From here a second stairway and corridor feed onto an antechamber (B) followed by the burial chamber itself (C). The burial chamber has a single side chamber. The burial chamber is the only decorated chamber in the tomb and some of the decoration has been lost, either through deliberate damage or through the passage of time.

Tombs of this era usually had a second set of corridors at an angle to the primary axis. In this respect, WV23 bears more resemblance stylistically to tombs of the 20th dynasty, but without the usual Hall of Waiting or Chariot Hall.
WV23
Tomb of Ay

..ii..Location: West Valley
..
.iDiscovered: In antiquity
..
iiiiExcavator: Giovanni Belzoni
..
.i.iExcavated: 1816
..
ikiTotal area: 212.22m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
Painting
..
........Objects:
Human remains
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vessels
Writing equipment


..
The first hour of the Amduat.

WV23 - Sarcophagus
The burial chamber is decorated with scenes from the Amduat, the Book of the Dead, and representations of the king and various deities. Some of the scenes of the king are quite unusual, however. Perhaps the most well known scene is of a bird and hippopotamus hunt with Ay, holding decoy ducks, accompanied by his first wife, Tey. Most royal tombs of this period rarely departed from a religious theme.

On the left wall of the burial chamber is a scene depicting the goddess Nephthys standing behind a boat carrying the nine gods of the Ennead. Behind her is another boat carrying two falcon standards.

On the rear wall is a scene with Ay receiving offerings from Nut and being embraced by Osiris, while the right wall contains the scene of the twelve baboons representing the first hour of the Amduat. Above the entrance to the side chamber is a rare scene depicting the four sons of Horus (Duamutef, Qebhsenuef, Imsety and Hapi), the four gods in Egyptian religion, who were essentially the personifications of the four canopic jars.

Although it is not certain if Ay was ever buried here, remains of some of his funerary equipment have been found in the tomb. At some time in antiquity the images and names of Ay were cut from the wall decoration and the king's sarcophagus, which was severely damaged in the process.

Ay's mummy has never been found. It may have been reinterred in KV57 which seems to have been used as a cache at that time.


Tomb WV24


Tomb WV24, located in the West Valley, was the eighteenth dynasty burial site of an unknown group or family.

WV24 - PlanIt was reported by Robert Hay and John Wilkinson in the 1820s and visited by Howard Carter. However, it was not fully explored until Otto Schaden's excavations in 1991/92.

A tomb of non-royal design, WV24 consists of a deep, well cut, rectangular shaft (A) with, at its base, a roughly rectangular chamber (B) with irregularly cut walls. The tomb was cut into the floor of the wadi at the base of a slope.

There is no evidence that this was ever a royal tomb. Artifacts, including carpenters' and sculptors' tools together with the tomb's location, indicate that it was cut in the eighteenth dynasty. The presence of artifacts from this period through the late Roman and Coptic periods indicates that the tomb was reused a number of times.

Intrusive burials (human remains of at least five different persons) from the twenty-second dynasty were found. When discovered, the tomb was full of debris, much of it chips from the cutting of the tomb. Other debris was deposited by floods.
WV24
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: West Valley
..
.iDiscovered: Before 1832
..
iiiiExcavator: Otto Schaden
..
.i.iExcavated: 1991/92
..
ikiTotal area: 23.36m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
Carpenters' and sculptors' tools
Cordage
Human remains
Mammal remains
Mummy trappings
Tomb equipment
Vessels




Tomb WV25


Tomb WV25, located in the West Valley, was an abandoned eighteenth dynasty burial site, possibly originally intended for Amenhotep IV.

WV25 - PlanThe tomb, cut into the sloping hillside, consists of an entryway (A) followed by a single corridor (B). The tomb has the plan of a royal tomb, but cutting was abandoned before work progressed beyond the second corridor. The walls are well cut and cracks were covered with a thin layer of plaster. When discovered, a stone wall blocked the entrance to corridor (B).

The original owner of WV25 is uncertain. According to Schaden, WV25 was started as a royal tomb during the late eighteenth dynasty, possibly for pharaoh Amenhotep IV, but work was abandoned without any attempt to adapt it for some other purpose.

During his excavation Belzoni uncovered two rows of four coffins in corridor (B). The coffins each contained a mummy and appeared to be intrusive burials from the Third Intermediate Period. The finds by Otto Schaden in 1972/73 seem to confirm this view.

If no previous interment took place, the artifacts of the eighteenth dynasty found in the tomb were probably introduced at this period, presumably originating from WV23. After the reburial, the tomb remained undisturbed until its discovery by Belzoni.
WV25
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: West Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1817
..
iiiiExcavator: Giovanni Belzoni
..
.i.iExcavated: 1818
..
ikiTotal area: 35.58m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
Accessories
Human mummies
Human remains
Mummy trappings
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vessels
Written documents




Tomb KV26


Tomb KV26, located in the East Valley, is possibly an eighteenth dynasty tomb. Nothing is known about the tomb's owner, or whether it was ever used.

KV26 - PlanThe rectangular entrance is cut high on the hillside northeast of the south branch off the southwest wadi leading to KV34.

At the bottom of the entrance shaft (A) is a gate that leads to a level corridor (B) and a second gate to the final chamber (C), which most likely served as the burial chamber.

The tomb has never been cleared and is still filled with debris. The tomb seems to have remained undisturbed until its discovery, possibly by James Burton, in around 1835.

Its plan resembles other tombs of the eighteenth dynasty such as KV30 and KV37 in its use of a level corridor between the entrance and the burial chamber.
KV26
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1835
..
iiiiExcavator: James Burton
..
.i.iExcavated: Before 1835
..
ikiTotal area: 20.05m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
None



Tomb KV27


Tomb KV27, located in the East Valley, is possibly an eighteenth dynasty tomb. Nothing is known about the tomb's owner, or whether it was ever used.

KV27 - EntranceThe rectangular entryway shaft (highlighted left) opens directly into a rectangular chamber. Three side chambers open off this chamber, one one the left side and two on the rear wall.

As the photograph on the left shows, this tomb lies between two other tombs (KV21 on the left and KV28 on the right). The tomb is of unknown, non-royal ownership and is undecorated. Wilkinson and Pococke may have known of the tomb, and Lefébure described it briefly, but no documented clearance took place until Ryan cleared the rock and other debris that resulted from at least seven flooding events.

It has been difficult to date the tomb, due to a lack of decoration and texts, but a small sample of pottery from one of the side chambers suggests a mid-eighteenth dynasty date, perhaps around the time of the reigns of Thutmose IV or Amenhotep III.
KV27
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: Before 1832
..
iiiiExcavator: Donald Ryan
..
.i.iExcavated: 1990
..
ikiTotal area: 91.87m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Bent
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
Human mummies
Vessels



Tomb KV28


Tomb KV28, located in the East Valley, is possibly an eighteenth dynasty tomb. Nothing is known about the tomb's owner, or whether it was ever used.

KV28 - EntranceThe tomb is one of a group of three tombs (pictured left) found closely together near the head of the southeast branch off the main wadi. An entrance shaft leads directly to a small, rectangular chamber with an unexcavated gate in its rear wall.

Wilkinson first noted the tomb in the 1830's and Lefébure described it in 1889 as being almost completely clear, with a few mummy bones and wrappings. These finds were still present when Ryan excavated the tomb in 1990 and appear to be the remains of at least two burials.

The tomb is undecorated. However, fragments from a canopic jar and pieces of several wooden objects suggest that it was cut in the reign of Thutmose IV, whose tomb is near by (KV43). Because of its proximity to his tomb, it may have belonged to a high official of his reign.
KV28
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: Before 1832
..
iiiiExcavator: Donald Ryan
..
.i.iExcavated: 1990
..
ikiTotal area: 28.88m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Bent
..
kiDecoration:
None
..
........Objects:
Human remains
Mummy trappings
Tomb equipment



Tomb KV29


Tomb KV29, located in the East Valley. Nothing is known about the tomb or who its owner might have been.

KV29 - EntranceKV29 is located in the southwest wadi. The tomb consists only of a rectangular entry shaft. It is inaccessible, and no details about its plan or contents are available.

Both James Burton and Wilkinson noted the position of the tomb, but otherwise little is known about it.

Arthur Weigall reported that the tomb is uninscribed and probably consists of only one chamber.
KV29
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: Before 1832
..
iiiiExcavator: Unexcavated
..
.i.iExcavated: Unexcavated
..
ikiTotal area: Unknown
..
.ki.Axis Type: Unknown
..
kiDecoration:
Unknown
..
........Objects:
Unknown



Tomb KV30


Tomb KV30, located in the East Valley. Nothing is known about the tomb or who its owner might have been.

KV30 - PlanKV30 lies close to the tomb of Tia'a (KV32) in the south branch of the southwest wadi.

The entrance shaft (A) leads to a corridor (B) which in turn leads to a central chamber (C) with four side chambers. The tomb is roughly cut through good firm rock.

Nothing is known of the tomb's archaeology, the only recorded find being a potsherd dating to the eighteenth dynasty. James Burton reported seeing a mason's mark in the pit during his survey in 1825, but nothing more is recorded about this event.

Belzoni, during his 1817 season, uncovered a quartz-sandstone sarcophagus which was subsequently donated to the British Museum by the Earl of Belmore. Confusion surrounds the exact location of this find - it might have come from this tomb or KV31.
KV30
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1817
..
iiiiExcavator: Giovanni Belzoni
..
.i.iExcavated: 1817
..
ikiTotal area: 105.12
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
Grafitti
..
........Objects:
Vessels



Tomb KV31


Tomb KV31, located in the East Valley. Nothing is known about the tomb or who its owner might have been.

General area of tombKV31, like KV30 above, lies a hillside, close to the tomb of the wife of Amenhotep II, Tia'a (KV32). The picture on the left shows the path that leads to KV30, KV31 and KV32 (as well as KV34 and KV42).

Only part of the rectangular entrance shaft is currently visible. No details are available on its size, axis type, decoration or, for that matter, any possible contents.

KV 32, like tomb KV30, could have been the original location of an eighteenth dynasty quartz-sandstone sarcophagus found by Belzoni in 1817 and subsequently donated to the British Museum by the Earl of Belmore.

The tomb remains completely filled with debris.
KV30
Tomb of Unknown

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: 1817
..
iiiiExcavator: Giovanni Belzoni
..
.i.iExcavated: 1817
..
ikiTotal area: Unknown
..
.ki.Axis Type: Unknown
..
kiDecoration:
Unknown
..
........Objects:
Unknown




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