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KV62
Burial site of Tutankhamun
The wall decorations in KV62's burial chamber are modest in comparison to other royal tombs in the Valley
Location East Valley of the Kings
Discovery Date 4 November 1922
Excavated by Howard Carter
Decoration Opening of the Mouth ritual,
Amduat, Book of the Dead
Previous :
KV61
Next :
KV63

KV62 is the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings (Egypt) , which became famous for the wealth of treasure it contained.[1] The tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, underneath the remains of workmen's huts built during the Ramesside Period; this explains why it was spared from the worst of the tomb depredations of that time. KV is an abbreviation for the Valley of the Kings, followed by a number to designate individual tombs in the Valley.

The tomb was densely packed with items in great disarray. Carter was able to photograph garlands of flowers, which disintegrated when touched. Due to the state of the tomb, and to Carter's meticulous recording technique, the tomb took nearly a decade to empty, the contents all being transported to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Tutankhamun's tomb had been entered at least twice, not long after he was buried and well before Carter's discovery. The outermost doors of the shrines enclosing the king's nested coffins were left opened, and unsealed. It is estimated that 60% of the jewelry which had been stored in the "Treasury" was removed as well. After one of these ancient robberies, embalming materials from KV62 are believed to have been buried at KV54.

Contents

Discovery of the tomb

The pharaoh's solid gold funerary mask was interred with him in KV62

In 1907, just before his discovery of the tomb of Horemheb, Theodore M. Davis's team uncovered a small site containing funerary artifacts with Tutankhamun's name. Assuming that this site, identified as KV54, was Tutankhamun's complete tomb, Davis concluded the dig. The details of both findings are documented in Davis's 1912 publication, The Tombs of Harmhabi and Touatânkhamanou; the book closes with the comment, "I fear that the Valley of Kings is now exhausted."[2] But Davis was to be proven spectacularly wrong.

The British Egyptologist Howard Carter (employed by Lord Carnarvon) discovered Tutankhamun's tomb (since designated KV62) in the Valley of the Kings on November 4, 1922, near the entrance to the tomb of Ramesses VI, thereby setting off a renewed interest in all things Egyptian in the modern world. Carter contacted his patron, and on November 26 that year, both men became the first people to enter Tutankhamun's tomb in over 3000 years. After many weeks of careful excavation, on February 16, 1923, Carter opened the inner chamber and first saw the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. All of this was conveyed to the public by H. V. Morton, the only journalist allowed on the scene.

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Investigation

Howard Carter and associates, 1923

The first step to the stairs were found on November 4, 1922.[3] The following day saw the exposure of a complete staircase. The end of November saw access to the Antechamber and the discovery of the Annex, and then the Burial Chamber and Treasury.

On November 29, the tomb was officially opened, and the first announcement and press conference followed the next day, The first item was removed from the tomb on December 27.[4]

February 16, 1923 saw the official opening of the Burial Chamber[5], and April 5 saw the death of Lord Carnarvon.

On February 12, 1924, the granite lid of the sarcophagus was raised.[6] In April, Carter argued with the Antiquities Service, and left the excavation for the United States.

In January 1925, Carter resumed activities in the tomb, and on October 13, he removed the cover of the first sarcophagus; on October 23, he removed the cover of the second sarcophagus; on October 28, the team removed the cover of the final sarcophagus and exposed the mummy; and on November 11, the examination of the remains of Tutankhamun started.

The pharaoh's alabaster vase

Work started in the Treasury on October 24, 1926, and between October 30 and December 15, 1927, the Annex was emptied and examined.

On November 10, 1930, eight years after the discovery, the last objects were finally removed from the tomb of the long lost Pharaoh.[7]

Layout of tomb

In design, the tomb appears to have originally been intended for a private individual, not for royalty.[8] There is some evidence to suggest that the tomb was adapted for a royal occupant during its excavation.[9] This may be supported by the fact that only the burial chamber walls were decorated, unlike royal tombs in which nearly all walls were painted with scenes from the Book of the Dead.[9]

Plan of KV62

Staircase

Starting from a small, level platform, 16 steps descend to the first doorway, which was sealed and plastered – although it had been penetrated by grave robbers at least twice.

Entrance corridor

Beyond the first doorway, a descending corridor leads to the second sealed door, and into the room that Carter described as the Antechamber. This was used originally to hold material left over from the funeral and material associated with the embalming of the king, after the initial robberies this material was either moved into the tomb proper, or moved to KV54.

Antechamber

The undecorated Antechamber was found to be in a state of "organized chaos" and contained approximately 700 objects (articles 14 to 171 in the Carter catalogue) amongst which were three funeral beds, plates in shape of Hippopotamus (the Goddess Tawaret), of lion (or leopards) and cattle (the Goddess Hathor). Perhaps the most remarkable item in this room were the components, stacked, of four chariots of which one was probably used for hunting, one for "war" and another two for parades.

Burial chamber

Cross-section of shrines and sarcophagi in KV62

Decoration

This is the only decorated chamber in the tomb, with scenes from the Opening of the Mouth ritual (showing Ay, Tutankhamun's successor acting as the king's son, despite being older than him) and Tutankhamun with the goddess Nut on the north wall, the first hour of Amduat (on the west wall), spell one of the Book of the Dead (on the east wall) and representations of the king with various deities (Anubis, Isis, Hathor and others now destroyed) on the south wall. The north wall shows Tutankhamen being followed by his Ka, being welcomed to the underworld by Osiris.[10]

Contents

One of the golden shrines, now on display in the Cairo Museum
Tutankhamun's funerary chest

The entire chamber was occupied by a series of gilded wooden shrines which surrounded the king's sarcophagus. The outer shrine ([1] in the cross-section) measured 5.08 x 3.28 x 2.75 m and 32 mm thick, almost entirely filling the room, with only 60 cm at either end and less than 30 cm on the sides. Outside of the shrines were 11 paddles for the "solar boat", containers for scents, lamps decorated images of the God Hapi.

The fourth and last shrine ([4]) was 2.90 m long and 1.48 m wide. The walls were decorated by the king's funeral procession, and Nut was painted on the ceiling, "embracing" with her wings the sarcophagus.

This sarcophagus was constructed in granite ([a] in the cross-section). The main body and the lid were carved from different coloured stone at each corner, it appears to have been constructed for a different owner, but then recarved for Tutankhamen, the identity of the original owner is not preserved.[10] In each corner a protective goddess (Isis, Nephthys, Serket and Neith) guards the body.

Inside the king's body was placed within three mummiform coffins, the first two made of gilded wood while the innermost was composed of 110.4 kg of pure gold.[11] The mummy itself was adorned with a gold mask, mummy bands and other funerary items. The funerary mask was made of gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli, carnelian, quartz, obsidian, turquoise and glass and faience and weighed 11 kg.[12]

Treasury

The treasury was the burial chamber's only side-room and was accessible by an unblocked doorway. It contained over 500 objects, most of them funerary and ritual in nature. The two largest objects found in this room were the king's elaborate canopic chest and a large statue of Anubis. Other items included numerous shrines containing gilded statuettes of the king and deities, model boats and two more chariots. This room also held two mummies of foetuses that some consider to have been stillborn offspring of the King.[13]

Annex

The 'Annex', originally used to store oils, ointments, scents, foods and wine, was the last room to be cleared, from the end of October 1927 to the spring of 1928. Although quite small in size, it contained approximately 280 groups of objects, totaling more than 2,000 individual pieces.

Present day

As of 2007, the tomb is open for visitors, at an additional charge above that of the price of general access to the Valley of the Kings. The number of visitors is limited to 400 per day, as of May 2008.[14]

As of 2009, an online recreation of KV62 can also be explored via the Heritage Key virtual experience.

Bibliography

  • The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen, by Howard Carter, Arthur C. Mace.
  • The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure, by C. N. Reeves, Nicholas Reeves, Richard H. Wilkinson.
  • Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R.H. The Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London
  • Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples, 1996, A.A. Gaddis, Cairo

References

  1. ^ "Tutankhamun". University College London. http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/chronology/tutankhamun.html. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  2. ^ Davis, Theodore M. (2001). The Tombs of Harmhabi and Touatânkhamanou. London: Duckworth Publishing. ISBN 0-7156-3072-5.  
  3. ^ "Howard Carter's diaries (October 28 to December 30 1922)". http://griffith.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/gri/4sea1not.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04.  
  4. ^ "A. C. Mace's personal diary of the first excavation season (December 27, 1922 to May 13, 1923)". http://griffith.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/gri/4macedia.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04.  
  5. ^ "Howard Carter's diaries (January 1 to May 31, 1923)". http://www.ashmolean.museum/gri/4sea1no2.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04.  
  6. ^ "Howard Carter's diaries (October 3, 1923 to February 11, 1924)". http://www.ashmolean.museum/gri/4sea2not.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04.  
  7. ^ "Howard Carter's diaries (September 24 to November 10, 1930)". http://griffith.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/gri/4sea9not.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04.  
  8. ^ "KV 62 (Tutankhamen)". http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/sites/browse_tomb_876.html. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  9. ^ a b Reeves & Wilkinson (1996) p.124
  10. ^ a b "KV 62 (Tutankhamen): Burial chamber J". http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/sites/browse_component_396.html. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  11. ^ "Note concerning the 3rd Coffin". http://griffith.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/gri/tut-files/TAA_i_3_10_2.html. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  12. ^ Alessandro Bongioanni & Maria Croce (ed.), The Treasures of Ancient Egypt: From the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Universe Publishing, a division of Ruzzoli Publications Inc., 2003. p.310
  13. ^ Howard Carter, "The Tomb of Tutankhamen", 1972 ed, Barrie & Jenkins, p189, ISBN 0214654281
  14. ^ "400 visitors to Tutankhamun's tomb". Egypt State Information Service. http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/EgyptOnline/Culture/000001/0203000000000000000872.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-13.  

External links

Coordinates: 25°44′25.30″N 32°36′05.20″E / 25.740361°N 32.601444°E / 25.740361; 32.601444

Nope this is all wrong


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