Tomb KV34 in the Valley of the Kings was the tomb of 18th dynasty Pharaoh Thutmose III. One of the first tombs to be dug in the Valley, it was cut high in the cliff face of the furthermost wadi. A steep corridor leads down, in a dog-leg shape, from the entrance past a deep well to a trapezoidal antechamber. Beyond the antechamber lies the cartouche-shaped burial chamber, off which stand four smaller side chambers; the stone sarcophagus in which Thutmose's body was placed is still in place in the burial chamber, albeit damaged by tomb robbers. Many of the wall decorations are in an unusual style not found elsewhere in the Valley of the Kings. On a yellow-tinged background, the earliest known version of the Amduat is traced, depicting the gods of Ancient Egypt as simple stick figures, in papyrus writing style; the Litany of Ra appears in the burial chamber, with a similar execution. The tomb was plundered in antiquity and its location lost, it was first excavated in 1898 under Victor Loret. Theban Mapping Project: KV34 - Includes description and plans of the tomb
Tomb KV35 is an ancient Egyptian tomb located in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. It was discovered by Victor Loret in March 1898 and contains the tomb of Amenhotep II, it was used as a cache for others. It has a dog's leg shape, typical of the layout of early Eighteenth Dynasty tombs, but several features make this tomb stand out; the burial chamber is a rectangular shape and divided into upper and lower pillared sections, with the lower part holding the sarcophagus of the king. This style of burial chamber became'standard' for royal burials in the New Kingdom; the tomb was used as a mummy cache. Mummies belonging to the following individuals were relocated here during the Third Intermediate Period and were identified by inscriptions on their burial wrappings: Amenhotep II Side Chamber: Thutmose IV Amenhotep III Merneptah Seti II Siptah Ramesses IV Ramesses V Ramesses VI Queen Tiye, identified as the so-called Elder Lady in February 2010 via DNA testing. A prince, identified by some as Webensenu son of Amenhotep II whose canopic jars were found in the tomb or Thutmose, elder son of Amenhotep III and Tiye The Younger Lady who, in June 2003, was controversially claimed to be Nefertiti by British Egyptologist Joann Fletcher, whereas Egyptologist Zahi Hawass believed it to be Kiya, another wife of Akhenaten, believed by some to be the birth mother of Tutankhamun.
Some believed this mummy to be a male. However, with DNA testing, this mummy was shown in February 2010 to be a woman, the mother of Tutankhamun, the daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye, her name, remains unknown, leaving open the possibility that she is either Nebetiah or Beketaten. An unknown woman D in an upturned lid of a coffin inscribed for Setnakhte. Two skulls were found in the well and an anonymous arm was found with the above "Younger Lady". A body on a boat was destroyed at the start of the twentieth century. William Max Miller's Theban Royal Mummy Project
Jean-François Champollion was a French scholar and orientalist, known as the decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphs and a founding figure in the field of Egyptology. A child prodigy in philology, he gave his first public paper on the decipherment of Demotic in 1806, as a young man held many posts of honor in scientific circles, spoke Coptic and Arabic fluently. During the early 19th-century, French culture experienced a period of'Egyptomania', brought on by Napoleon's discoveries in Egypt during his campaign there which brought to light the trilingual Rosetta Stone. Scholars debated the age of Egyptian civilization and the function and nature of hieroglyphic script, which language if any it recorded, the degree to which the signs were phonetic or ideographic. Many thought that the script was only used for sacred and ritual functions, that as such it was unlikely to be decipherable since it was tied to esoteric and philosophical ideas, did not record historical information; the significance of Champollion's decipherment was that he showed these assumptions to be wrong, made it possible to begin to retrieve many kinds of information recorded by the ancient Egyptians.
Champollion lived in a period of political turmoil in France which continuously threatened to disrupt his research in various ways. During the Napoleonic Wars, he was able to avoid conscription, but his Napoleonic allegiances meant that he was considered suspect by the subsequent Royalist regime, his own actions, sometimes brash and reckless, did not help his case. His relations with important political and scientific figures of the time, such as Joseph Fourier and Silvestre de Sacy helped him, although in some periods he lived exiled from the scientific community. In 1820, Champollion embarked in earnest on the project of decipherment of hieroglyphic script, soon overshadowing the achievements of British polymath Thomas Young who had made the first advances in decipherment before 1819. In 1822, Champollion published his first breakthrough in the decipherment of the Rosetta hieroglyphs, showing that the Egyptian writing system was a combination of phonetic and ideographic signs – the first such script discovered.
In 1824, he published a Précis in which he detailed a decipherment of the hieroglyphic script demonstrating the values of its phonetic and ideographic signs. In 1829, he traveled to Egypt where he was able to read many hieroglyphic texts that had never before been studied, brought home a large body of new drawings of hieroglyphic inscriptions. Home again he was given a professorship in Egyptology, but only lectured a few times before his health, ruined by the hardships of the Egyptian journey, forced him to give up teaching, he died in Paris in 1832, 41 years old. His grammar of Ancient Egyptian was published posthumously. During his life as well as long after his death intense discussions over the merits of his decipherment were carried out among Egyptologists; some faulted him for not having given sufficient credit to the early discoveries of Young, accusing him of plagiarism, others long disputed the accuracy of his decipherments. But subsequent findings and confirmations of his readings by scholars building on his results led to general acceptance of his work.
Although some still argue that he should have acknowledged the contributions of Young, his decipherment is now universally accepted, has been the basis for all further developments in the field. He is regarded as the "Founder and Father of Egyptology". Jean-François Champollion was born the last of seven children, he was raised in humble circumstances. His father was a notorious drunk, his mother, Jeanne-Françoise Gualieu, seems to have been an absent figure in the life of young Champollion, raised by his older brother Jacques-Joseph. One biographer, Andrew Robinson speculated that Champollion was not in fact the son of Jacques Champollion's wife but the result of an extramarital affair. Towards the end of March 1801, Jean-François left Figeac for Grenoble, which he reached on the 27th of March, where Jacques-Joseph lived in a two-room flat on the rue Neuve. Jacques-Joseph was working as an assistant in the import-export company Chatel and Rif, yet taught his brother to read, supported his education.
His brother may have been part of the source of Champollion's interest in Egypt, since as a young man he wanted to join Napoleon's Egyptian expedition, regretted not being able to go. Known as the younger brother of better known Jacques-Joseph, Jean-François was called Champollion le Jeune; when his brother became the more famous of the two, Jacques added the town of his birth as a second surname and hence is referred to as Champollion-Figeac, in contrast to his brother Champollion. Although studious and self-educated, Jacques did not have Jean-François' genius for language. Given the difficulty of the task of educating his brother while earning a living, Jacques-Joseph decided to send his younger brother to the well-regarded school of the Abbé Dussert in November 1802, where Champollion would stay until the summer of 1804. During this period, his gift for languages first became evident: he started out learning Latin and Greek, but progressed to Hebrew and other Semitic languages such as Ethiopic, Arabic and Chaldean.
Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt
The Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the second Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom period, lasting from 1292 BC to 1189 BC. The 19th Dynasty and the 20th Dynasty furthermore together constitute an era known as the Ramesside period; this Dynasty was founded by Vizier Ramesses I, whom Pharaoh Horemheb chose as his successor to the throne. The warrior kings of the early 18th Dynasty had encountered only little resistance from neighbouring kingdoms, allowing them to expand their realm of influence but the international situation had changed radically towards the end of the dynasty; the Hittites had extended their influence into Syria and Canaan to become a major power in international politics, a power that both Seti I and his son Ramesses II would confront in the future. New Kingdom Egypt reached the zenith of its power under Seti I and Ramesses II, who campaigned vigorously against the Libyans and the Hittites; the city of Kadesh was first captured by Seti I, who decided to concede it to Muwatalli of Hatti in an informal peace treaty between Egypt and Hatti.
Ramesses II attempted unsuccessfully to alter this situation in his fifth regnal year by launching an attack on Kadesh in his Second Syrian campaign in 1274 BC. Ramesses II profited from the Hittites' internal difficulties, during his eighth and ninth regnal years, when he campaigned against their Syrian possessions, capturing Kadesh and portions of Southern Syria, advancing as far north as Tunip, where no Egyptian soldier had been seen for 120 years, he accepted that a campaign against the Hittites was an unsupportable drain on Egypt's treasury and military. In his 21st regnal year, Ramesses signed the earliest recorded peace treaty with Urhi-Teshub's successor, Hattusili III, with that act Egypt-Hittite relations improved significantly. Ramesses II married two Hittite princesses, the first after his second Sed Festival; this dynasty declined. Amenmesse usurped the throne from Merneptah's son and successor, Seti II, but he ruled Egypt for only four years. After his death, Seti destroyed most of Amenmesse's monuments.
Seti was served at court by Chancellor Bay, just a'royal scribe' but became one of the most powerful men in Egypt, gaining the unprecedented privilege of constructing his own tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Both Bay and Seti's chief wife, had a sinister reputation in Ancient Egyptian folklore. After Siptah's death, Twosret ruled Egypt for two more years, but she proved unable to maintain her hold on power amid the conspiracies and powerplays being hatched at the royal court, she was ousted in a revolt led by Setnakhte, founder of the 20th Dynasty. The pharaohs of the 19th Dynasty ruled for 110 years: from c. 1292 to 1187 BC. Many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes. More information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website. Nineteenth dynasty of Egypt Family Tree
Tomb KV7 in the Valley of the Kings was the final resting place of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II of the Nineteenth Dynasty. It is located in the main valley, opposite the tomb of his sons, KV5, near to the tomb of his son and successor, Merenptah, KV8. Unlike other tombs in the area, Tomb KV7 was placed in an unusual location and has been badly damaged by the flash floods that periodically sweep through the valley. KV7 follows the bent-axis plan of tombs of the earlier Eighteenth Dynasty; the burial chamber has a vaulted ceiling. Much of the decoration has been damaged beyond repair – its section of the Valley is susceptible to flash floods – but it would have been decorated with the standard Book of Gates and Litany of Ra; the mummy was relocated to the mummy cache in DB320, the tomb was reused in the Third Intermediate and Roman periods for burials and by early tourists. Reeves, N. & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996. Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples.
Cairo: A. A. Gaddis, 1996. Leblanc, Christian. "The Tomb of Ramesses II and Remains of his Funerary Treasure." Egyptian Archaeology. Theban Mapping Project: KV7 - Includes description and plans of the tomb
Tomb KV16 is located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. It was used for the burial of Pharaoh Ramesses I of the Nineteenth Dynasty; the burial place was discovered by Giovanni Belzoni in October 1817. As Ramesses I ruled for less than two years, his sepulchre is rather truncated, being only twenty-nine metres long, it consists of two descending staircases, linking a sloping corridor and leading to the burial chamber. Like the tomb of Horemheb, the grave is decorated with the Book of Gates; the sarcophagus, still in place in the final chamber, is constructed of red quartzite. 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. Theban Mapping Project: KV16 - Includes description and plans of the tomb
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings known as the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock cut tombs were excavated for the pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes, within the heart of the Theban Necropolis; the wadi consists of East Valley and West Valley. With the 2005 discovery of a new chamber and the 2008 discovery of two further tomb entrances, the valley is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers, it was the principal burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, as well as a number of privileged nobles. The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues as to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. All of the tombs seem to have been opened and robbed in antiquity, but they still give an idea of the opulence and power of the pharaohs; this area has been a focus of archaeological and egyptological exploration since the end of the eighteenth century, its tombs and burials continue to stimulate research and interest.
In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site, along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis. Exploration and conservation continues in the valley, a new tourist centre has been opened; the Valley of the Kings is situated over 1,000 feet of limestone and other sedimentary rock, which form the cliffs in the valley and the nearby Deir el-Bahri, interspersed with soft layers of marl. The sedimentary rock was deposited between 35–56 million years ago during a time when the Mediterranean Sea sometimes extended as far south as Aswan. During the Pleistocene the valley was carved out of the plateau by steady rains. There is little year-round rain in this part of Egypt, but there are occasional flash floods that hit the valley, dumping tons of debris into the open tombs; the quality of the rock in the Valley is inconsistent, ranging from finely-grained to coarse stone, the latter with the potential to be structurally unsound.
The occasional layer of shale caused construction and conservation difficulties, as this rock expands in the presence of water, forcing apart the stone surrounding it. It is thought that some tombs were altered in shape and size depending on the types of rock the builders encountered. Builders took advantage of available geological features; some tombs were quarried out of existing limestone clefts, others behind slopes of scree, or were at the edge of rock spurs created by ancient flood channels. The problems of tomb construction can be seen with tombs of his father Setnakhte. Setnakhte started to excavate KV11 but broke into the tomb of Amenmesse, so construction was abandoned and he instead usurped the tomb of Twosret, KV14; when looking for a tomb, Ramesses III extended. The tomb of Ramesses II returned to an early style, with a bent axis due to the quality of the rock being excavated. Between 1998 and 2002 the Amarna Royal Tombs Project investigated the valley floor using ground-penetrating radar and found that, below the modern surface, the Valley's cliffs descend beneath the scree in a series of abrupt, natural "shelves", arranged one below the other, descending several metres down to the bedrock in the valley floor.
The area of the Theban hills is subject to infrequent violent thunderstorms, causing flash floods in the valley. Recent studies have shown that there are at least seven active flood stream beds leading down into the central area of the valley; this central area appears to have been flooded at the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, with several tombs buried under metres of debris. The tombs KV63, KV62, KV55 are dug into the actual wadi bedrock rather than the debris, showing that the level of the valley was five meters below its present level. After this event dynasties leveled the floor of the valley, making the floods deposit their load further down the valley, the buried tombs were forgotten and only discovered in the early 20th century; this was the area, the subject of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project ground scanning radar investigation, which showed several anomalies, one of, proved to be KV63. The Theban Hills are dominated by the peak of al-Qurn, known to the Ancient Egyptians as ta dehent, or "The Peak".
It has a pyramid-shaped appearance, it is probable that this echoed the pyramids of the Old Kingdom, more than a thousand years prior to the first royal burials carved here. Its isolated position resulted in reduced access, special tomb police were able to guard the necropolis. While the iconic pyramid complexes of the Giza plateau have come to symbolize ancient Egypt, the majority of tombs were cut into rock. Most pyramids and mastabas contain sections which are cut into ground level, there are full rock-cut tombs in Egypt that date back to the Old Kingdom. After the defeat of the Hyksos and the reunification of Egypt under Ahmose I, the Theban rulers began to construct elaborate tombs that reflected their newfound power; the tombs of Ahmose and his son Amenhotep I were in the Seventeenth Dyna