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Valley of the Kings - KV62
tomb of Tutankhamun - XVIIIth Dynasty

The KV62 tomb and circumstances of is discovery were described many times both in scientifical and popular reports and also parascientifical. In the description below I will focus on a few selected fragments concerning this one of most famous structures, the Tutankhamun tomb. It was discovered by Howard Carter in November 4th, 1992. Construction of the tomb is different from contemporary royal sepulchral architecture which suggests that the tomb primarily belonged to a noble, possibly the high priest Ai and later was adopted for Tutankhamun. Behind the entrance stairway the single passage descends to the antechamber with its annex and, to the right, the sunken burial chamber with the subsidiary room known as the 'Treasury'. These last two rooms may have been added at the time of the king's death. Only the burial chamber received decoration, and this is very similar to that later encountered in the tomb of Ai.
 

 

A - steps
B - corridor
C - antechamber
D - side chamber (Annexe)
E - burial chamber with four shrines and sarcophagus within king's mummy
F - 'Treasury'
 

In  the corridor there were found more than 40 objects and their fragments such as vessels, lids, inlays, pendants and other jewellery. The antechamber contained 157 groups composed of 600 to 700 objects characteristic for typical in New Kingdom royal burial and normally would have been placed in the pillared section of the burial chamber and in the anteroom preceding it. Burial chamber, dismantling official on February 17th, 1923, contained four golden shrines with the sarcophagus within. The doors of the shrine were located at the eastern end of the burial chamber. The outermost shrine had no seal - perhaps it had already been broken by the ancient robbers. Spaces between chapels were filled with various objects left there after the burial, mainly pottery, bows, arrows, fans and others. Dismantling the shrines and opening the sarcophagus and coffins - comprising the bulk of the 88 object-group the burial chamber contained (well over 300 individual pieces) - would take almost eight months, from November to May 1925. The 'Treasury' contained 75 groups of objects. Anubis jackal and the wooden cow head, boxes, caskets, bow-case, model boats and chariot clutter which lay along the north wall, and the shrines, two mummified fetuses, further model boats and the Osiris bed. In 'Annexe' were found 283 groups of objects – half of the amount of groups from the entire tomb and well over 2000 individual pieces.
 

sarcophagus of red quartzite decorated walls of burial chamber

 

Serological investigations of mummy of Tutankchamun and mummy (?) discovered in the KV55 showed that these two were closely related as both had a common A2 blood-group with serum antigen MN. Apart from king’s mummy there was found in the 'Treasury', a case containing small antropoidal coffins with mummified fetuses of Tutankhamun’s and queen Anchsenamon’s daughters. The smaller one, 25.75 cm long, unfolded by H.Carter, is a ca. 5 mo. old fetus as assessed by Prof. Douglas Derry. The second one is 36.1 cm long. This fetus is also female and according to Derry died in 7 month of gestation. Recent investigations directed by prof. R.G.Harrison of the University of Liverpool proved that the girl died at birth or short before.

    one of the first pictures of head of the king's mummy first mummy of royal daughter second mummy of royal daughter The miniature third coffin inscribed with name of Queen Tiji. Within this coffin was a plaited lock of hair. dagger from the royal mummy with blade of iron

In the tomb was found also miniature coffin inscribed with name of queen Tiji. Inside a coffin-shaped box was found a lock of hair folded in bandages and belonging probably to Tutankhamen’s grandmother (?). Another interesting feature was dagger with iron blade (!) and finely incrusted with gold handle and sheath founded by the royal mummy.
 

reconstruction of antechamber

reconstruction of 'treasury'

reconstruction of northeast corner of the antechamber with access-hole to the burial chamber


Discovery of merely touched royal tomb and its almost professional exploration enriched museums with numerous unique artifacts,but unfortunatelly inferred  scand evidence about political history and chronology at the end of XVIIIth Dynasty. None of the thousands of objects found in the tomb provided sufficient answer to questions concerning Tutankhamun's ancestry and reason of his death. 

Copyright 2000-2013 Dariusz Sitek, Czestochowa - Chicago - Ann Arbor