Howard Carter was a British archaeologist and Egyptologist who became world-famous after discovering the intact tomb of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, in November 1922. Howard Carter was born in Kensington on 9 May 1874, the son of Samuel John Carter, an artist, Martha Joyce Carter, his father developed Howard's artistic talents. Carter spent much of his childhood with relatives in the Norfolk market town of Swaffham, the birthplace of both his parents. Nearby was the mansion of the Amherst family, Didlington Hall, containing a sizable collection of Egyptian antiques, which sparked Carter's interest in that subject. In 1891 the Egypt Exploration Fund, on the prompting of Mary Cecil, sent Carter to assist an Amherst family friend, Percy Newberry, in the excavation and recording of Middle Kingdom tombs at Beni Hasan. Although only 17, Carter was innovative in improving the methods of copying tomb decoration. In 1892, he worked under the tutelage of Flinders Petrie for one season at Amarna, the capital founded by the pharaoh Akhenaten.
From 1894 to 1899, he worked with Édouard Naville at Deir el-Bahari, where he recorded the wall reliefs in the temple of Hatshepsut. In 1899, Carter was appointed to the position of Chief Inspector of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, he supervised a number of excavations at Thebes. In 1904, he was transferred to the Inspectorate of Lower Egypt. Carter was praised for his improvements in the protection of, accessibility to, existing excavation sites, his development of a grid-block system for searching for tombs; the Antiquities Service provided funding for Carter to head his own excavation projects. Carter resigned from the Antiquities Service in 1905 after a formal inquiry into what became known as the Saqqara Affair, a noisy confrontation between Egyptian site guards and a group of French tourists. Carter sided with the Egyptian personnel. In 1907, after three hard years for Carter, Lord Carnarvon employed him to supervise excavations of nobles' tombs in Deir el-Bahri, near Thebes. Gaston Maspero had recommended Carter to Carnarvon as he knew he would apply modern archaeological methods and systems of recording.
In 1914, Lord Carnarvon received the concession to dig in the Valley of the Kings, Carter was again employed to lead the work. However excavations and study were soon interrupted by the First World War, Carter spending these war years working for the British Government as a diplomatic courier and translator, he enthusiastically resumed his excavation work towards the end of 1917. By 1922, Lord Carnarvon had become dissatisfied with the lack of results after several years of finding little, he informed Carter that he had one more season of funding to make a significant find in the Valley of the Kings. Carter returned to the Valley of Kings, investigated a line of huts that he had abandoned a few seasons earlier; the crew cleared the huts and rock debris beneath. On 4 November 1922, their young water boy accidentally stumbled on a stone that turned out to be the top of a flight of steps cut into the bedrock. Carter had the steps dug out until the top of a mud-plastered doorway was found; the doorway was stamped with indistinct cartouches.
Carter ordered the staircase to be refilled, sent a telegram to Carnarvon, who arrived two-and-a-half weeks on 23 November. On 26 November 1922, Carter made a "tiny breach in the top left-hand corner" of the doorway, with Carnarvon, his daughter Lady Evelyn Herbert, others in attendance, using a chisel that his grandmother had given him for his 17th birthday, he was able to peer in by the light of a candle and see that many of the gold and ebony treasures were still in place. He did not yet know whether it was "a tomb or an old cache", but he did see a promising sealed doorway between two sentinel statues. Carnarvon asked, "Can you see anything?" Carter replied with the famous words: "Yes, wonderful things!" Carter had, in fact, discovered Tutankhamun's tomb. The next several months were spent cataloguing the contents of the antechamber under the "often stressful" supervision of Pierre Lacau, director general of the Department of Antiquities of Egypt. On 16 February 1923, Carter opened the sealed doorway and found that it did indeed lead to a burial chamber, he got his first glimpse of the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun.
The tomb was considered the best preserved and most intact pharaonic tomb found in the Valley of the Kings, the discovery was eagerly covered by the world's press, but most of their representatives were kept in their hotels, much to their annoyance. Only H. V. Morton from The Times newspaper was allowed on the scene, his vivid descriptions helped to cement Carter's reputation with the British public. Carter's notes and photographic evidence indicate that he, Lord Carnarvon, Lady Evelyn Herbert entered the burial chamber in November 1922, shortly after the tomb's discovery and before the official opening. Towards the end of February 1923 a rift between Lord Carnarvon and Carter caused by a disagreement on how to manage the supervising Egyptian authorities, temporarily closed excavation. Work recommenced in early March; that month Lord Carnarvon contracted blood poisoning while staying in Luxor near the tomb site. He died in Cairo on 5 April 1923. Lady Carnarvon retained her late husband's concession in the Valley of the Kings, allowing Carter to continue his work.
Carter's meticulous cataloguing of the thousands of objects in the tomb continued until 1932, most being moved to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. There were several breaks in the work
Located in the Valley of the Kings, Tomb KV12 is an unusual tomb, used in the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, again in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties. It was used for multiple burials of royal family members, rather like KV5; the builders of KV9 broke into KV12 whilst excavating that tomb. During the excavation, rumors of the second tomb had circulated throughout the camp, leading scientists dismissed the idea and continued on. Little did they realize the mistake, about to be made; the tomb diggers broke through the ground into the tomb only to find the remains of multiple family members in the new tomb. Researchers are still working on identifying the family members and collecting the other artifacts in the tomb. 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: KV12 - Includes description and plans of the tomb.
Images showing KV12 and KV9
Tomb KV11 is the tomb of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses III. Located in the main valley of the Valley of the Kings, the tomb was started by Setnakhte, but abandoned when it broke into the earlier tomb of Amenmesse. Setnakhte was buried in KV14; the tomb KV11 was restarted and extended and on a different axis for Ramesses III. The tomb has been open since antiquity, has been known variously as Bruce's Tomb and The Harper's Tomb; the 188-metre-long tomb is beautifully decorated. The second corridor is decorated with the Litany of Re. At the end of this corridor the axis of the tomb shifts; this third corridor is decorated with the Book of Gates and the Book of Amduat, leads over a ritual shaft, into a four-pillared hall. This hall is again decorated with the Book of Gates. A fourth corridor (decorated with scenes of the opening of the mouth ceremony and leads into a vestibule, with scenes of the Book of the Dead, into the burial chamber proper; the burial chamber is an eight-pillared hall in. This chamber is decorated with Book of divine scenes and the Book of the Earth.
Beyond this is a further set of annexes, decorated with the Book of Gates. 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: KV11 - Includes description and plans of the tomb. Images taken from 3d models showing the breakthrough into KV10 from KV11
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 KV36, located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, was used for the burial of the noble Maiherpri from the Eighteenth Dynasty. Rediscovered by Victor Loret in his second season in the Valley of the Kings, on 30 March 1899, the tomb was found to be undisturbed, but as it has for a long time not been properly published, it is not as well known as other burials in the valley. All the objects found were taken to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where they were published in the Catalogue General; the only source for the arrangement of the objects in the burial chamber was a short article by Georg Schweinfurth. He visited the tomb before its contents were brought to Cairo; however the notebooks of Loret were found and published, providing a detailed list and description of the objects found and their arrangement in the tomb chamber. The tomb of Maiherpri is a small shaft tomb with a chamber at the bottom on its west side; the burial chamber was undecorated, as with all burial chambers of non-royals in the Valley of the King.
It is 4.10 m wide. Not much is known about Maiherpri. Only two titles appear on the objects within the burial: child of the nursery and fan-bearer on the right side of the king; the mummy showed. Maiherpri was placed in a set of three coffins; the outer one is rectangular, painted black with gilded decoration. It is more a shrine than a coffin. Inside it there were two anthropoid coffins in black with gilded decoration. There is a third anthropoid coffin found next to this coffin ensemble with its lid placed next to the box; this caused some discussion in Egyptology. It seems that the'extra' coffin was intended as the innermost one, but was too big to fit into the set and was therefore left unused next to it. A similar situation was found in the burial of Tutankhamun, where his second coffin was slightly too large for the outermost one. There the coffin was shortened directly in the tomb chamber, while in the burial of Maiherpri a new coffin was obtained. Maiherpri mummy was adorned with a mummy mask.
At the foot end of the rectangular coffin, on the east side was found his canopic box with the four canopic jars still in it. Next to it there was the Book of the Dead of Maiherpri and there were found several boxes with mummified pieces of meat. At the head of the coffins were found too many pottery vessels. Other objects from this tomb are stone vases, a senet game, a nicely painted faience bowl, a quiver, a glass vase and a funerary bed with the shape of Osiris laid out in wheat. Christian Orsenigo: La tomba di Maiherperi. In: La Valle dei Re Riscoperta, I giornali di scavo Vitor Loret e altri inediti. Mailand 2004, pp. 214–221, 271–281 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. Rice, Michael. Who's Who in Ancient Egypt. Routledge. Theban Mapping Project: KV36 - Includes detailed maps of most of the tombs
Tomb KV8, located in the Valley of the Kings, was used for the burial of Pharaoh Merenptah of Ancient Egypt's Nineteenth Dynasty. The burial chamber, located at the end of 160 metres of corridor held a set of four nested sarcophagi; the outer one of these was so voluminous that parts of the corridor had to have their doorjambs demolished and rebuilt to allow it to be brought in. These jambs were rebuilt with the help of inscribed sandstone blocks which were fixed into their place with dovetail cramps; the pillars in Chamber F were removed to allow passage of the sacrophagus, only two were replaced. The other two pillars may have been stolen by Paneb, a worker in the craftsman's village, for use in his own tomb. 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: KV8: Includes description and plans of the tomb
Tomb KV6 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings was the final resting place of the 20th-dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses IX. However, the archaeological evidence and the quality of decoration it contains indicates that the tomb was not finished in time for Ramesses's death but was hastily rushed through to completion, many corners being cut, following his demise, it is located in the central part of the Valley. Its unusually wide entrance stands between, above, those of two other interesting tombs: KV5 and KV55. Running a total distance of 105 metres into the hillside, the tomb begins with a gate and a shallow descending ramp. Following on from the ramp come three successive stretches of corridor; the first of these has four side chambers – two on each side – but none of these are decorated or finished. At the end of the corridors come three chambers; the first of these is decorated with the Opening of the Mouth ritual, it is possible that a well shaft would have been dug here had the builders been afforded more time.
The second chamber contains four large columns, but neither the stonecutting nor the decoration work were completed. At the far end of this chamber, a ramp slopes down to the actual burial chamber, where the pharaoh's sarcophagus was placed; the ceiling is vaulted, is decorated with splendid pictures of the goddess Nut. The side walls show scenes from the Book of the Earth; the far wall depicts Ramses on his barque, surrounded by a host of gods. The yellows, dark blues, blacks used to decorate this chamber are visually striking and unusual among the tomb decorations in the Valley. While the sarcophagus itself has long since vanished, Ramesses IX's mummy was one of those found in the Deir el-Bahri cache in 1881. KV6 has been open since antiquity, as can be seen by the graffiti left on its walls by Roman and Coptic visitors. Ramesses IX Tomb-plan Ostracon 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 KV6