Heritage Key has posted a new video of Dr. Zahi Hawass by Sandro Vannini and Nico Piazzadiscussing the current excavations in the Central Valley area of the Valley of the Kings,or what we like to call the Quest for KV64.While the photography of Sandro Vannini alone makes the clip worth viewing, lets face itwhat we are looking for is news of the next tomb.
Dr. Hawass has been closing in on what he hopes will be the tomb of Ramesses VIII, but regardless of whose name will eventually adorn the entrance, KV64 is the goal.If his team is successful, theevent will be historical for an additional reasonit will be the first tomb discovered by an Egyptian team, something of import for Egyptian national pride, not to mention a fine feather in Zahis fedora before he retires from the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
In the video Dr. Hawass reviews some of the areas of interest in the Central Valley area.He mentions the northern side of the Central Valley, between the tombs of Ramesses II and Merneptah, where a drainage system built by the ancient Egyptians to catch the tears of the gods was discovered.As I alluded to in a previous blog about KV64, the flood patterns of the Valley of the Kings are a major indicator of where the next tomb will be found, and you can expect to read more about that on Heritage Key very soon.
In addition to the waterworks, there are ruins of huts from an ancient workmens camp in the northern area.These were originally discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, but left unexcavated until recently.A storage area for food and water was discovered as well, all signs that point to a busy spot for tomb builders.
( We’ve transcribed this video for you!)
Dr. Hawass also talks about the area to the south of the tomb of Tutankhamun, where nine storage rooms were found containing mortuary equipment and materials for offerings. In addition, the remains of huts were discovered there, which Dr. Hawass says were temporary housing for the workers from Deir el-Medina.The southern area is adjacent to KV63, which was as a storage area for funerary equipment, meaning that a mummification workshop may have existed on the site (Note: KV63 may yet prove to be more than a storage room.. Keep checking back).
All in all, the video is fairly short and is mostly a review of what has already been released. Dr. Hawass concludes by saying that KV64 will be discovered by the Egyptian team.But is there anything that goes unsaid that could point us in the direction of KV64?
We do know from a press release, “Latest News from the Valley of the Kings,”that Dr. Hawass and his team are actually working in three areasthe northern area, the southern area, and an area of the Western Valley where the tombs of Amenhotep III and Ay are located.This last area, the Western Valley, is conspicuously absent from this video.Dr. Hawass believes this is where the tomb of Queen Tiye, among others, may be located.His silence on this third area may mean nothing.Then again, this video is labeled Dr. Hawass in the Valley of the KingsPart 1.
There have been many intriguing discoveries made by Hawass team in the Central Valley area that suggest a number of possibilities for KV64 (and KV65, and KV66..).There is the ancient graffiti, originally recorded by Jaroslav Czerny and rediscovered by Hawass team, stating that Vizier Userhat built a tomb for his father, Amennakht, in the vicinity.There is an inscription mentioning an unknown queen whose partial name is Weret.Yet another (or possibly the same) queen is depicted on an ostracon presenting offerings.
And although it is important to Dr. Hawass thatthe Egyptian team makes the discovery, there are non-Egyptians whose work in the area has indicated that there are tombs waiting to be found.Stephen Cross article, “The Hydrology of the Valley of the Kings, from the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology (no. 94, 2008) makes a case for tombs hidden under sediment from flash flooding.Dr. Otto Schaden, who discovered KV63 using tried and true archeological methods, also continues to work nearby with the Amenmesse Project, although this project is now under the aegis of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, making it not strictly non-Egyptian.
Zahi Hawass has already indicated that a new tomb will be revealed in October, and that he hopes to announce the discovery of Nefertitis tomb in the winter.If the announcement in October turns out to be the tomb of Queen Tiye, then instead of the Year of Nefertiti, Dr. Hawass last year could be the Year of Egyptian Royal Women.
Just imagineIf the new tomb turns out to be the mysterious unknown queen whose partial name is Weret, and the tomb of Queen Tiye is discovered in the Western Valley, and the tomb of Nefertiti is foundBut I am getting ahead of myself.Maybe it will just be Ramesses VIII.(Did I just say just Ramesses VIII?)
For now we will have to await Valley of the KingsPart 2.That and the promised announcement for October.Like the video says, To Be Continued
In the meanwhile, do your own virtual exploration of KV62, King Tut’s tomb! If you are down below when KV64 is discovered, we will send for you. You have my word.