Historical Egyptian Sites - Pharaonic Tombs other than Pyramids
While most Egyptian pyramids are considered tombs, they are covered in our list and special section on pyramids. Also, while most royal tombs had mortuary and sometimes valley temple associated with them, most of these are covered in our special section on temples (and our temple list), though the temples associated with pyramids are covered in the section on pyramids. Finally, we also have a list of other monuments not specific to pyramids, temples or tombs.
For additional comprehensive information see
1st Dynasty Tombs of Saqqara in Egypt, The by John Watson
Saqqara is one of the best known, as well as oldest, dynastic necropolis in Egypt. It is popular among tourists, but many of them may never visit, or even know about its oldest royal tombs. These are what were once believed to be the 1st Dynasty tombs of the largely legendary founders of Egypt, but their burials lack the grandeur of other monuments in the vicinity, and now many scholars believe that these tombs, while dating to the 1st Dynasty, were probably those of high officials rather than the kings themselves. As early as 1912, an "archaic" cemetery was known to exist in north Saqqara.
The 2nd Dynasty Tombs at Saqqara in Egypt by Jimmy Dunn
The reason for the downfall of the 1st Dynasty is not clear, and little is really known of the pharaohs that ruled during the 2nd Dynasty. This period of history, known as the Early Dynastic Period, just before the Old Kingdom, remains a mystery in many ways. To date, only three large sets of underground galleries of royal tombs are known at Saqqara that date to the 2nd Dynasty. They are all located in an area to the south of Djoser's Step Pyramid complex. Of these, the largest and most elaborate (Tomb A) is the one underneath the pyramid temple of Unas, which was discovered by Barsanti in 1901. According to the seal impressions, the tomb belongs either to Hetepsekhemwy, the first ruler of the 2nd Dynasty, or to his successor, Raneb.
Abydos by Marie Parsons
Abydos, or Abjdu, lies in the eight nome of Upper Egypt, about 300 miles south of Cairo, on the western side of the Nile and about 9.5 miles from the river. It spreads over 5 square miles and contains archaeological remains from all periods of ancient Egyptian history. It was significant in historical times as the main cult center of Osiris, the lord of the netherworld. At the mouth of the canyon at Abydos, which the Egyptians believed to be the entrance to the underworld, one of the tombs of the 1st dynasty kings was mistaken for the tomb of Osiris, a thousand years later, and pilgrims would leave offerings to the god for another thousand years. The area is thus now called Umm el Qa'ab, "Mother of Pots."
Ahmose, Tomb of (EA3) at Amarna by Jimmy Dunn
Ahmose was 'Fanbearer on the King's Right Hand', 'Steward of the Estate of Akhetaten' and 'Royal Scribe' at Akhetaten during the Amarna Period. The tomb of Ahmose (Ahmes), located in the northern group of private tombs at Amarna, is somewhat atypical of many tombs in the region, being somewhat less extravagant since it has no columns in its narrow halls. Also, the hall it is much longer and narrower than some of the other examples at Amarna. Nevertheless, it was cut with considerable care and accuracy, and there is some fine examples of the draftsmen's outlines in ink that remain. It is also one of the earliest tombs of the group. The symmetrical plan of this tomb is very simple with a cruciform layout consisting of a deep, corridor-like hall connected to a broad hall and a shrine at the very rear of the tomb.
Akhenaten, Royal Tomb at Amarna by Jimmy Dunn
In a narrow side valley leading off from what is called the Royal Wadi at Amarna (ancient Akhetatan is situated the Royal Tomb of Akhenaten. It is usually called simply the Royal Tomb because it was apparently built for the burial of multiple members of the Royal Family of Akhenaten, as well as for himself. Plundered and damaged during ancient times, the Royal Tomb was discovered in the 1880's by local Egyptians. Its official discovery by the Italian archaeologist, Alessandro Barsanti, occurred in December of 1891. Howard Carter, famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, visited the royal tomb in 1892 and copied some of the tomb scenes. His work was later published. Since its discovery, the tomb has been further damaged and in the interval between its discovery by the local Egyptians and its official discovery, considerable artwork from the tomb showed up on the international antiquities market. Most of this modern damage must have occurred in about 1931, for prior to that date, the renditions within the side chambers of the tomb were in reasonably good condition.
Amarna, The Private Tombs of by Jimmy Dunn
The necropolis of courtiers' tombs at Amarna is interesting because together with the Theban necropolis, it is one of only two New Kingdom agglomerations of tombs that can really be called a necropolis. Some of the most important people who had already begun to prepare their tombs at Thebes built new ones at Amarna, though many of the Amarna tombs were likewise abandoned when Tuthankamun moved the capital back to Thebes. In 1883, the French sent their Mission Archeologique to Amarna, where they worked intermittently until 1902. They particularly examined the southern tombs, and in the course of their work, uncovered a number of additional tombs that had been left untouched by Hay.
The Tomb of Amenherkhepshef in the Valley of the Queens by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The Tombs of the sons of Ramesses III are considered some of the finest monuments in the Valley of the Queens on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). One of these, QV55, belongs to Amenherkhepshef (Amun-her-Khepshef), his son by the Great Royal Wife, Tyti, who is listed in the tomb (QV52) as God's Wife and God's Mother. Her tomb lies nearby and includes some of the same titles on its walls.
King Amenmesses and His Tomb in the Valley of the Kings by Jimmy Dunn and Mark Andrews
Amenmesses is generally considered to be the 5th ruler of Egypt's 19th Dynasty, though most Egyptologists believe he was probably not the legitimate heir to the throne. He succeeded Merneptah as pharaoh, but it was probably Merneptah's son, prince Seti-Merneptah who should have ascended the throne on his father's death. Various theories exist about why he did not. It is very possible that Merenptah may have died suddenly while the crown prince was away, and Amenmesses simply took advantage of the situation. Interesting, but not unpredictable, is that this disorder came only a generation after the strong, but long rule of Ramesses II (Ramesses the Great).
The Tomb of Amenophis II, Valley of the Kings by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Amenophis II's tomb is an architectural delight. Designated KV 35, it was located by Victor Loret on the slope opposite of the Valley of the King's main wadi in March of 1998. Like most all of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, it had been extensively looted, though there were a few surprises. This is a large tomb with complex architecture, though very similar in many respects to the tomb of Tuthmosis III. Like other tombs in the valley, there are two sets of stairways and two corridors prior to the ritual shaft. New for this tomb are decorations depicting the king performing ritual acts before Osiris, Anubis and Hathor.
The Tomb of Amenhotep III (and possibly Queen Tiy) on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The tomb that we believe was the final resting place of Amenhotep III (Greek Amenophis III), one of the greatest kings of Egypt during one of its most prosperous eras, is actually located in the West Valley on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) and numbered WV22. There are only four registered tombs in this area, including WV23, belonging to King Ay. Though it may have been known to the 18th century traveler, W. G. Browne, we official ascribe its discovery to two engineers who were members of Napoleon's campaign in Egypt, Prosper Jollois and Edouard de Villiers du Terrage
In our own time and only in recent years, one of the greatest cities the world has ever known is seeing, for the first time since its decline and ultimately during the Middle Ages, its near demise, an unprecedented resurrection. Alexandria was a center of the ancient world known for its trade and intellectualism, but like the dualism of Egypt itself, this grand metropolis became at one point one of the worlds least cities, before making an unsteady climb back to its present status.
Though monumental tombs in Alexandria appear almost concurrently with the foundation of the city, the very earliest burials were unpretentious. Many of the first settlers were consigned to simple pits or shafts. The dead were sometimes cremated, but this seems not to have much effected the type of tomb in which they were interred. Rectangular or bitrapezoidal graves were cut vertically into the bedrock from forty centimeters to a meter and a half in depth. They were sealed with flat stones or, in some rare cases, with terracotta slabs set horizontally on ledges cut in the walls of the tomb, so that they remained level with the surface. In normal burials, that is, those not involving cremation, the tomb usually held only a single burial, with the dead laid directly into the limestone pits, often accompanied by one or more funerary vessels or other objects.
The Tomb of Ay in the Valley of the Kings by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The tomb of Ay is located in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) near the new rest house. This area is known as the West Valley, but is sometimes also called Wadi el-Gurud (Valley of the Monkeys or Baboons), because of a scene in this tomb depicting the twelve Baboon, very similar to a scene in the Tomb of Tutankhamun. In fact, this tomb may have originally been intended for Tutankhamun, but he died unexpectedly early so another, private tomb was quickly enlarged for his burial. It is very possible that both the tomb of Tutankhamun and this one were decorated by the same artists.
The Tomb of Bannantiu in the Bahariya Oasis by Jimmy Dunn writing as Brian Rosewood
On the eastern ridge of El Bawiti in the Bahariya Oasis we find the Tomb of Bannantiu located next to his somewhat smaller father's tomb. Bannantiu, who's name literally means, "the soul of those who have not", was in fact not a "have not". In the great days when Bahariya's wine was well known throughout ancient Egypt, particularly during and around the 26th Dynasty prior to the Persian occupation, many businessmen in the Oasis gained considerable wealth. Bannantiu was probably either a trader or wealthy land owner, judging by his elaborate and large tomb.
The Private Tomb of Benia (Pahekmen) by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The private tomb of Benia, a man perhaps better known as Pahekmen, is located on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) in the Tombs of the Nobles. Benia had the title, "Overseer of Works, Child of the Nursery" and lived during Egypt's 18th Dynasty. This is a fairly simple tomb, with a fairly classical T shape. However, it is fairly complete and unlike some of the private tombs, is completely open. In a number of the other private tombs, the burial chamber is often closed, but here, visitors may enter this back section of the tomb, which is also decorated. One enters this tomb through a courtyard and then through a very brief corridor leading into a transverse vestibule. Though there is a decoration in the corridor, it is a highly fragmented scene of a title being conferred and of the deceased at worship.
Tomb of the Crocodile at Siwaby Jimmy Dunn writing as Kelly Smith
The Tomb of King Den at Abydos by Jimmy Dunn
King Den (Udimu) was one of Egypt's first Pharaohs of a unified ancient Egypt, ruling during the 1st Dynasty of Egypt's Early Dynastic Period when, clearly, the formulation of the society was still underway. Upon his death, we believe that he was buried at Abydos in Tomb T, where his tomb is the most elaborate of the 1st Dynasty structures at Umm al-Qa'ab (Umm el-Gaab). Here, it is located between the smaller tombs of Qa'a (Kaa) and Semerkhet, and that of Djet and Meretneith (his probable mother). His tomb not only provides space for his own burial, but also for those of many servants, who may have been sacrificed upon the king's death. If so, that was a practice not continued in later Dynasties.
The Tomb of Djer and Later, The Tomb of Osiris at Abydos by Jimmy Dunn writing as Peter Rome
The termination of the Festival of Osiris at Abydos, doubtless a major celebration from at least the late Middle Kingdom onward, was what we today recognize as Tomb O belonging to the 1st Dynasty king, Djer. However, it was mistaken for the tomb of Osiris in antiquity, as well as by its initial discoverer, Emile Amelineau. Emile Amelineau would experience a very brief carrier as an excavator of archaeological sites in Egypt. He went to work for the French Archaeological Mission in Cairo as a specialist in the Coptic language and the history of the Egyptian Christian church, but we are not so certain how he ended up at Abydos in 1895.
The First King's Burial Found Intact by Norman Hayes
Many people think that the first modern (relatively) find of an intact burial of an Egyptian pharaoh was that of Tutankhamun. Granted, this find was glorious and stunning, and certainly out-shined earlier finds, but it was not the first king's burial to be found intact.
The Giza Cemeteries in Egypt by Jimmy Dunn
At Giza, the site of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx have a tendency to blind more casual students of ancient Egypt to the presence of other funerary structures, specifically, the mastabas and tombs that were not built for pharaohs but rather for some of their most important officials and family, among others. And yet, the great pyramids of the pharaohs at Giza have never revealed the details of early Egyptian civilization that the decorated tombs of lesser men record. In fact, these mastabas are responsible for much of what we know about this grand pyramid period and the men who built them.
The Mysteries of Queen Hetepheres' Burial at Giza in Egypt by Allen Winston
One of the most interesting, and indeed spectacular discoveries on the Giza Plateau was not made by an archaeologist, but rather by a photographer working for one. On February 2nd, 1925, Mohamadien Ibrahim, who was working for Reisner, head of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, at the time, discovered the tomb that has been ascribed to Queen Hetepheres. This discovery was made one day while Reisner was on vacation back in the United States.
The Tomb of Horemheb, Valley of the Kings by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Financed by Theodore Davis, a wealthy American, it was a young British Egyptologist named Edward Ayrton who, in 1908, discovered the tomb of Horemheb in the Valley of the Kings. Today, the tomb is designated KV57. Horemheb was the successor of Ay, who in turn had succeeded Tutankhamun as pharaoh of Egypt. He was actually not related to the earlier kings of the 18th dynasty, though he served in the courts of first Amenophis IV, and then Tutankhamun and finally Ay
The Mastaba (Tomb) of Idu At Giza in Egypt by Jimmy Dunn
The Mastaba of Idu (Idut) is located in the Eastern Cemetery at Giza near Cairo, Egypt. In life, he was the Scribe of the Royal Documents in the presence of the king. He also held the title, "Tenant of the Pyramid of Pepi I" as well as "Inspector of the wab-priests of the Pyramids of Khufu and Khafre (Pyramid), during the reign of Pepi I. He lived during Egypt's 6th Dynasty. Numbered G 7102, it lies near the tomb of Qar, who is believed to have been either his father or son. It also has clear stylistic similarities to that tomb
The Tomb of Foreman Inherkhau by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Inherkhau had the title "Foreman of the Lord of the Two Lands in the Place of Truth". He lived and worked during the time reigns of Ramesses III and Ramesses IV in the 20th Dynasty. He had an important position in life, and so in death his tomb, TT 359 located in the necropolis of Deir el-Medina on the West Bank at Luxor, has extremely rich and refined decorations. It represents some of the best artistic work of the 20th Dynasty, and is the only tomb in this necropolis that we know of dating from that dynasty. There are decorations in an upper chamber and the burial chamber, all painted on a yellow background.
The Private Deir el-Medina Tomb of Irunefer on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The Tomb of Irunefer (TT290) is located in the Deir el-Medina Necropolis west of the Ptolemaic Temple of Hathor on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). As with most of those buried in the tombs in this area, Irunefer was probably a worker in the royal tombs, though the reference we have for him simply provides that he was a "Servant in the Place of Truth on the West".
The Tomb of Irukaptah At Saqqara by Jimmy Dunn writing as Alan Winston
Irukaptah, also know as Khenu, was "Head of the Butchers of the Great House" and "Waab Priest of the King". Hence, his 5th Dynasty tomb at Saqqara frequently known as the "Butcher's Tomb". It is located on the south side of the causeway of Unas near a bend. The tomb is dug entirely out of the rocky wall. This is a well preserved example of Old Kingdom rock architecture that retains much of its painted decorations. Besides the owner him self, at least nine other members of his family were also interred in this tomb
The Private Tomb of Khaemhat on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Khaemhat (also known as Mahu) was the "Overseer of the Granaries of Upper and Lower Egypt", as well as a Royal Scribe. He was married to his wife named Tiyi, but strangely the tomb gives a lot of attention to another scribe by the name of Imhotep. We really do not no much about the rest of his family. For example, children do not appear to be pictured on the walls of his private tomb, (TT 57), located on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). It has been known since George Lloyd, an amateur archaeologist, botanist and traveler discovered it in 1842. It is a beautiful tomb, though somewhat ghostly these days due to the removal of most of its paint from the tomb's decorations. The tomb has seen its hardships, as did its discoverer. Lloyd, who worked with the French Egyptologist Prisse d'Avennes at Thebes, was killed shortly after
The Tomb of Khaemwaset in the Valley of the Queens by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The tomb of Khaemwaset, one of the sons of Ramesses III, is number QV 44 in the Valley of the Queens on the West Bank of Luxor (ancient Thebes). It was discovered in February 1903, with a numerous sarcophagi pilled up in the entrance corridor. This was a clear sign that it had been used for common burial. Khaemwaset had among his most important roles, that of Priest of Ptah in Memphis. His major titles included "Fan-bearer to the Right of the King" and "Sem-priest" as indicated by reliefs in the temple of Medinet Habu. We believe he was probably Ramesses III's oldest sons, and the latest information indicates that his mother was probably Queen Tyti. Why his father's brother rather than he ascended the throne after Ramesses III's death is unknown.
The Private Tomb of Kheruef on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The private tomb of Kheruef (Kheruf), TT 192 in the Asasif district, is the largest such tomb on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). Even though there is no evidence that Kheruef was ever buried here and it was unfinished, the tomb is one of the most important, both religiously and historically, in the Theban necropolis. It has helped us understand the history of rituals celebrating kingship. The owner was most likely an significant inpidual who organized the first and third jubilees for Amenhotep III, though he probably died in during the reign of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten). He was a Royal Scribe and First Herald to the King, he was later appointed Steward to Queen Tiy.
The Private Tomb of Khonsu on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn
Khonsu, who was also called To, lived during the reign of Ramesses II in the 19th Dynasty when he was a priest of Tuthmosis III's cult. He held the title, "First Prophet of Menkheperre Tuthmosis III". Khonsu's private tomb is located in the area of the Tomb of the Nobles on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) in the Sheikh Abd el-Qurna district. Along with depictions of scenes with Tuthmosis III, there are also some good paintings relative to the god, Montu within his tomb, numbered TT31
The Mastaba of Khufukhaf (G 7140) A son of Khufu At Giza by Jimmy Dunn
During the reign of the famous pyramid builder, Khufu, private tomb decoration began to expand. At this point, chapels bearing carved and painted scenes and inscriptions on interior walls of limestone were added inside the core of mastaba structures. One good example of such a tomb is located in the Eastern cemetery at Giza (G 7140). It belonged to a priest from the reign of Khufu named Khufukhaf I, who was also his son. On the back of one of the casing stones displaced from the east face of this mastaba style tome, quarry marks appear to contain a date indicating that it was build in the 23rd year of Khufu's reign.
Awed The catacombs of Kom el-Shuqafa, one of Alexandria's main sites, would have been a major accomplishment in modern times.
Kom el-Shuqafa, Part II: The Second Level and the Main Tombby Zahraa Adel Awed
The Main Tomb at Kom el-Shuqafa in Alexandria is unique in many ways, mixing the cultures of Rome and Egypt.
Awed The Hall of Caracalla, accessed by a breach in Kom el-Shuqafa, has reliefs that are barely visible, but also of great interest and ingenuity.
KV 39, Tomb of Amenhotep I? by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Tomb KV39 has been described as one of the most mystifying tombs in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes), and may be the oldest in the Valley as well.. It sits literally on the edge of the Valley of the Kings, and was discovered by Macarios and Andraos, two local Luxor residents in 1900. Wigall visited the tomb in 1908, but described it as being ruined. In 1966, Elizabeth Thomas drew up a ground plan of the tomb, but apparently it was based largely on conjecture. Today, Dr. John Rose is the latest scholar to have investigate the tomb, beginning in 1889.
KV55 in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Tomb KV55 (possibly belonging to Akhenaten, Tiy or Smenkhkare) is not open to the public, yet it has been said that more has been written about KV55, a tomb in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes), than any of the others located in that area. Whether this remains so today is questionable, but it is still a mystery tomb with many important secrets, that if given up, could answer important questions about the 18th Dynasty
KV60 in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
In 1903, an uninterested Howard Carter stumbled upon the anciently robbed tomb known to us today as KV60. It was located in the southeast branch of the southeast wadi immediately beside the entrance of KV19, south of KV20, in the eastern cliffs of the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). Unlike many of the Valley tombs, it was undecorated, but it had also not suffered from floods, recent occupation or modern vandalism.
Gebel al-Mawta at Siwaby Jimmy Dunn writing as Kelly Smith
Gebel al-Mawta is the Mountain of the Dead in the Siwa Oasis. This mountain of tombs has attracted visitors for hundreds of years.
The Tomb of Mehu at Saqqara in Egypt by Jimmy Dunn
During the reigns of Teti and Pepi I in the early part of the Old Kingdom's 6th Dynasty, Mehu was "Chief Justic and Vizier". He was married to Iku, who's titles included "King's daughter of His Body". His two other wives were Nebt and Nefertkawes. He was buried in a tomb at Saqqara, discovered by an Egyptian archaeologist named Zaki Saad, within the Sector of the Pyramid of Unas north of the Unas causeway and east of the mastaba of Princess Idut. The tomb was later excavated by Salam Hussein in 1940
The Private Tomb of Menna on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The classical private tombs on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) are referred to as being T-shaped, particularly those located on the slopes of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna in the area known as the Tombs of the Nobles. Repeatedly, we find an entrance corridor or a courtyard that leads into a wide vestibule, with another short corridor that leads into a long chapel, often with a small niche at its rear. The Tomb of Menna (TT 69) is completely classic in this regard. Menna held the title, "Scribe of the Fields of the Lord of the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt", as well as field overseer of Amun. However, these were probably not two separate positions. He probablysupervised temple owned agricultural lands which were dependencies of state granaries.
The Tomb of Meresankh III (G 7530-40) At Giza by Jimmy Dunn
At Giza, while the Pyramids are undecorated, one of the most beautiful tombs (G 7530-40) in its eastern cemetery is that of Meresankh (Mersyankh) III, due to the quality of its bas-reliefs. Particularly striking is the well preserved colors in this 4th Dynasty mastaba, marking this as one of the most vibrantly decorated tombs every discover at Giza. Scenes show boating, offering bearers, scribes, craftsmen and agriculture, together with many of Meresankh's relatives, including her mother, father and children.
The Tomb of Merneptah, Valley of the Kings by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Merneptah was a son of Ramesses II and Queen Isis-Nofret. His tomb (KV 8), located in a small, lateral valley on the right side of the main wadi, was discovered by Howard Carter in 1903. Of course, Howard Carter was not as famous then, as he would not make his well known discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb until 1922. Edwin C. Brock carried out additional excavations in the floor of the burial chamber and the shaft more recently. The tomb is very near his father's huge tomb (KV 7). When discovered, the tomb was full of debris and had stood open since antiquity. From the Greek and Latin graffiti, we believe that the tomb was at least accessible to at least the first pillared hall,
Tomb of Mesu-Isis at Siwaby Jimmy Dunn writing as Kelly Smith
At Gebel al-Mawta to the east of the tomb of Si-Amun is that of Mesu-Isis, named not for the tomb owner but for his wife.
The Tomb of Nakht on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Nakht was a scribe, holding the title, "Astronomer of Amun" at the Karnak temple during the 18th dynasty. His job was to study the location of stars, the sun and moon in order to schedule festivals and cult rituals for the temple. His wife, Tawy, was a musician of Amun. We know nothing about Nakht and Tawy beyond their tomb, and it is even unclear what king they served under, though some evidence points to Thutmosis IV. His tomb is TT 52 on the west bank. It is located within the area of the Abd el-Qurna necropolis. It was apparently discovered by villagers at Qurna prior to being cleared by the Antiquities Service in 1889.
Naqada by Marie Parsons
Naqada was the necropolis of the town of Nubt, the town of gold, known in Greek as Ombos. It had been devoted to the god Set, or Set of Nubt, Nubty, as he is called in the Pyramid Texts, and as evidenced by inscribed blocks found at Naqada.
Deir el-Medina lies in a small valley between the western slope of the Theban mountain and the small hill of Qurnet Murai. It was the workers village where craftsman and other lived who actually constructed and decorated the tombs on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). The artisans who lived in this community built their tombs only a few dozen meters from their town on the heights that overlook the village. The excavated burials here include those of Sennedjem (TT1), a foreman named Inerkhau (TT 229 and TT 359), Pashedu (TT 3), Nakhtamen (TT 218), a sculptor named Ipuy (TT 217), Nebenmaat (TT 219) and Nakhtamen (TT 335). They were all artists during the Ramesside period and were well known for their work on the West Bank. Apparently they paid considerable attention to their own tombs and the arrangement of their necropolis.
The Tomb of Nefer at Saqqara in Egypt by Jimmy Dunn
Nefer was the "Supervisor of Artisans" and the "Director of Choir Singers" during the 5th Dynasty during the reign of King Niuserre. His tomb is located at Saqqara near Cairo in the sector of the Pyramid of Unas. The tomb is hewn into the rock of an ancient quarry cliff facing Unas' causeway. Together with Nefer, eight other family members were buried in his tomb, including his father, Kaha, who held the same title of "Director of Singers", and his mother Merietes who was a Priestess of Hathor. "
The Bird Tomb" of Neferherenptah at Saqqara by Jimmy Dunn
Neferherenptah was the "Head of the Hairdressers of the Great House", and he was the father of a judge and scribe named Ptahshepses. His relatively small, single chamber tomb is popularly referred to as "the Bird Tomb", due to several depictions within it, but particularly of one with a rising flock of birds out of a thicket. It is located several dozen meters west of the mastaba of Mehu, in a slightly more elevated position just south of the processional ramp of Unas at Saqqara.
The Tomb of Neferrenpet (TT178)by John Watson
The Tomb of Neferrenpet (TT 178) on the West Bank at Luxor, though oddly decorated is a notable private tomb worth visiting.
The Tomb of Nefersekheruby John Watson
The Tomb of Nefersekheru on the West Bank at Luxor is considered a good private tomb for tourists, with excellent color.
Nefertari's Tombby the Egyptian Government Additional information on Nefertari's Tomb
New Tomb in Valley of the Kingsby Jane Akshar
Information on and coverage of the official opening ceremony of KV63, the new tomb only just recently discovered in the Valley of the Kings
The Tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep At Saqqara by Jimmy Dunn writing as Alan Winston
The Mastaba of Niankhkhnum (meaning "life belongs to Khnum") and Khnumhotep (meaning "Khnum is satisfied"), dating to the mid 5th Dynasty and probably either to the reign of Niusserre or Menkauhor, is located in the sector of the Pyramid of Unas at Saqqara. It is unusual, having been built for two officials, Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. They shared the same titles as "Prophet of Ra in the Sun Temple of Niusserre", and "Heads of the Manicurists of the Great House".
Tomb of Niperpathot at Siwaby Jimmy Dunn writing as Kelly Smith
One of the largest tombs at Gebel al-Mawta is that of Niperpathot, which can be translated as "He who belongs to the house of Thot".
An Overview of the West Bank at Luxor (Ancient Thebes) by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The west bank at Luxor is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. It is much more than what we refer to as the Valley of the Kings, though many have called the whole of the area by that name. In fact, many good books on the west bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) are titled, "Valley of the Kings", even though they cover the entire area. It can be a bit confusing for the novice, particularly considering the actual conceptual scope of the religious concept. If one looks at just the Valley of the Kings, one only sees tombs, but the tombs were an integral part of larger mortuary complexes. Indeed, the whole west bank is honeycombed with tombs, not just of the ancient Egyptian Kings, but of their families and the noblemen who served them.
The Tomb of Pashedu in the Deir el-Medina Necropolis by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The Tomb of Pashedu (TT 3) has not been open to the public long. It is located in the necropolis of Deir el-Medina on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). Little is known about this inpidual. He had the title, "Servant in the Place of Truth on the West of Thebes". The tomb itself is probably dated to the early years of Ramesses II, so the deceased probably began working while Seti I was King. We know that his father, Menna, apparently worked for the Temple of Amun on the East bank, and we believe that Pashedu would have probably been the first member of his family to work with the community at Deir el-Medina.
The Mastaba of Ptahshepses at Abusir near Cairo, Egypt by Jimmy Dunn
Ptahshepses was originally a royal manicurist and hairdresser, who rose to the rank of Vizier during Egypt's Old Kingdom 5th Dynasty . Like others who held the office of manicurist and hairdresser, he was a priest of high rank since, to discharge his function of grooming the king, he had to touch the body of a living god. He also became the son-in-law of King Niuserre, married to Khamerernebty, and therefore a man of some prominence during this period. He also held the title, "Overseer of All Construction Projects" under that king, and was also honored with the title, sa nesew, meaning "king's son".
The Tomb of Qar (G 7101) At Giza by Jimmy Dunn
Meryrenefer was an official during Egypt's 5th Dynasty, probably during the reign of Pepi II. He was the "Overseer of the Pyramid Towns of Khufu and Menkaure", the "Inspector of wab-priests of the Pyramid of Khafre" and "Tenant of the Pyramid of Pepi I. However, he is better known to us as Qar (or Kar). He was married to Gefi, who was a "Prophetess of Hathor". Qar's mastaba tomb (G 7101) is located in the Eastern Cemetery at Giza. It lies to the east of the pyramid belonging to Queen Hetepheres.
The Tomb of Ramesses I, Valley of the Kings, Egypt by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The tomb of Ramesses I, founder of the great lineage of Ramessid rulers, is one of the smallest in the Valley of the Kings. Ramesses I was a soldier chosen by Horemheb, who also began his career as a soldier, to be his successor. Ramesses I is regarded as the first ruler of Egypt's 19th Dynasty, but only ruled for less than two years. The tomb (KV 16) was discovered on or before October 11, 1817 by Giovanni Battista Belzoni just before his discovery of the much more significant tomb of Seti I. It is located in a small lateral valley perpendicular to the main Valley of the Kings Wadi. While small, the tomb has wall paintings of excellent workmanship. The tomb is rectilinear in structure with only a single corridor, unlike most the rest of the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
The Tomb of Ramesses II (Ramesses the Great) in the Valley of the Kings by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Regrettably, the huge tomb of perhaps the greatest ruler, Ramesses II, is unsuitable for excursions by tourists. For all his greatness, he perhaps chose one of the worst places for his tomb, which has seen no less than seven major flooding events. Even the underlying shale has been subjected to moisture induced swelling. The once magnificent paintings on the wall have mostly flaked off, and are now buried in different layers of flood strata. The tomb is not the longest tomb of any king in the Valley of the Kings, but it is probably the largest in area. It covers more than 820 square meters (8,800 square feet). We believe he began construction on it during the second year of his reign.
The Tomb of Ramesses II's Sons, Part I by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The Tomb of Ramesses II's Sons, Part II by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
While the ownership of Tomb KV 5 in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor (ancient Thebes) was unknown, the tomb itself has been known for many years. Its front section was tunneled into and partially investigated by James Buron in 1935. One of the all time great legends of Egyptology, Howard Carter, cleared around and perhaps inside the entrance to the tomb for Theodore Davis in 1902, though he had little success at finding anything. Later the debris from other archaeology work in the Valley hid the tomb, and it was forgotten about for some time. Around 1989, Kent Weeks rediscovered the tomb using sonar and ground penetrating radar. The following season, he began excavation of the tomb in earnest, though he appears at that time not to have know the significance of his find.
The Tomb of Ramesses III, Valley of the Kings, Egypt by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The Tomb of Ramesses III (KV 11) is really a rather complex system. It has been known since antiquity, but was first partially explored during modern times by James Bruce in 1768. Later, William Browne gained access to the burial chamber in 1792, and Belzoni removed the sarcophagus and lid, which are now, respectively, in the Louvre and Fitzwilliam Museum. He named it the "Tomb of the Harpists", due to a bas relief representation of two blind harpists. However, European travelers often referred to the tomb as "Bruce's Tomb". The tomb is beautifully decorated with grand colors that remain vivid. The tomb is 125 meters long and follows typical plans of the Nineteenth Dynasty's tombs, though it has an unusual number of annexes
The Tomb of Ramesses IV, Valley of the Kings, Egypt by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The tomb of Ramesses IV (KV 2) in the Valley of the Kings is rather different then most other royal tombs built here. Ramesses III, had been assassinated, and when his some, Ramesses IV took the thrown, he did so in a period of economic decline in Egypt. Though large, his tomb is highly simplistic, and unique in many ways. The tomb was known early on, and was in fact used as a sort of hotel by early explorers such as Champollion and Rosellini (1829), Robert Hay, Furst Puckler, Theodore Davis and others. It was also an important Coptic Christian dwelling, and was also frequently visited in antiquity. There was considerable Coptic and Greek graffiti on the tomb walls.
The Tomb of Ramesses VI, Valley of the Kings, Egypt by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The tomb of Ramesses VI (KV 9) is certainly, for at least one reason, one of the most interesting tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Its decorations represent sort of a treatise on theology, in which the fundamental elements are the sun and its daily journey in the world of darkness. In general, the decorations provide the story of the origins of the heavens, earth, the creation of the sun, light and life itself. The decorative plan for this tomb is one of the most sophisticated and complete in the Valley of the Kings. However, as it turns out, Ramesses VI was not much of a tomb builder, for this tomb was originally build by his predecessor, Ramesses V. It was only enlarged by Ramesses VI.Why Ramesses VI did not build his own tomb, as was certainly the tradition, is unknown to us.
KV1, The Tomb of Ramesses VII in the Valley of the Kings by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Like some of the other Ramesside tombs KV1 has been open since antiquity, at least since Greek and Roman times. It was mentioned in more recent times by Wilkinson, Lane, Hay and other 19th century travelers. Later still, Davis may have done some work in the tomb between 1905 and 1906, but there is no information on its actual clearing earlier in the 20th century. The tomb may have seen some clearing activity by the Egyptian Antiquities department after 1952.
The Tomb of Ramesses IX, Valley of the Kings, Egypt by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The tomb of Ramesses IX (KV 6) is the first tomb one encounters within the modern entrance to the Valley of the Kings. It is a rather simplistic tomb in most respects, though the art work is interesting. The tomb has stood open since antiquity, and was visited by many ancient tourists, including 46 who left inscriptions within the tomb. This tomb was apparently explored by Henry Salt, who collected some of the funerary equipment which is now in his collection at the British Museum. In 1888, the sepulchre was cleared by George Daressy. The decorative theme for this tomb begins with the king's adoration of the sun disk, accompanied by Isis and Nephthys on the lintel over the entrance.
KV18, The Tomb of Ramesses X, Valley of the Kings, Egypt by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Tomb KV18 in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) was cut for Ramesses X, the second to last ruler of Egypt's 20th Dynasty. It is located in the southwest wadi. The tomb was unfinished and has only recently been cleared, though apparently some amount of debris remains. It has had a number of visitors over the years, beginning with Richard Pococke in the early 1700s.
KV4, the Unfinished Tomb of Ramesses XI in the Valley of the Kings by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Tomb KV4, located in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) has been known and open since antiquity (though not open to the public now), and it received many ancient tourists, as evidenced by the Demotic Egyptian, Greek , Latin, Coptic and later, French and English graffiti on its walls, and was noted by the French expedition to Egypt in the late 18th century. It was used as a workshop during the 21st Dynasty by Pinudjem for the purpose of stripping the funerary equipment from KV20 (Hatshepsut), KV34 (Tuthmosis III) and KV38 (Tuthmosis I) during the process of moving the mummies to the other locations such as KV35's mummy cache.
KV19, the Tomb of Prince Ramesses-Mentuherkhepshef by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
KV19 was originally begun for a prince named Ramesses Setherkhepshef, as noted on the reveals of the tomb's entrance jambs. However, this prince later became Ramesses VIII, so we assume it became inadequate to his royal needs, though his eventual tomb has never been found. Furthermore, when the entrance approach was cut, it intersected the top of the entry steps of KV60, a non-royal tomb of the 18th Dynasty. KV19 was finally taken over and decorated for Prince Ramesses-Mentuherkhepshef, a son of Ramesses IX of Egypt's 20th Dynasty. He was probably interred here during the reign of Ramesses X.
The Private Tomb of Ramose on the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Ramose was a Governor of Thebes and Vizier during the 18th Dynasty during the reigns of Amenophis III and Amenophis IV (Akhenaton, the heretic king). There are no children seen in any of the decorations of his tomb, so we assume he and his wife, Meryet-ptah were childless. We believe his father to have been Neby, who served in northern Egyp as a superintendent of Amen's cattle and in the delta as the temple's superintendent of the granary. His mother was Apuya. Ramose's tomb in the general region of the Tombs of the Nobles, specifically at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) is well done for a private tomb, particularly considering that many of the scenes are in relief.
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to visit the Valley of the Kings recently will have noticed that it is once again a hive of activity. Glen Parry leads Tour Egypt readers through a tour of the project.
The Private Tomb of Rekhmire On the West Bank at Luxor by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
While it may be non-royal, the tomb of Rekhmire (TT 100) is one of the most interesting on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). Located on the southeastern slope of the Sheikh Abd el-Qurna hill, it is one of the largest of the private tombs. Rekhmire was a vizier, the highest ranking official under the pharaohs Tuthmosis III and Amenophis II during a period when Egypt's empire stretched to its farthest extent and was at the peek of her prosperity. We find that his great grandfather and grandfather also were also viziers. He was responsible for the area of Egypt extending from Aswan north to Assiut. In addition, he was also the mayor of Thebes and the Steward of the Temple of Amun at the Karnak Complex.
Reminiscences of Saqqara by Alan M. Fildes
A few of my favorite ancient Egyptian sites are within the vast necropolis of what is today called Saqqara, the burial grounds for the noble populace of ancient Memphis (Ineb hedj, White Wall). This area's history spans time from the Archaic to Coptic times, over 3500 years of activity ( c 3200 to 500 ad ). From the crude to the magnificent, Saqqara caters to every student of Ancient Egyptian History. Over the years since my earliest exhilarating visit in December 1979, I have enjoyed the drive from Cairo along the main north/south route that turns west and is flanked by fig palm clad fields approaching the awesome Step Pyramid.
The Robbery of King Tut by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
Many people think that the Tomb of King Tut was discovered in tact, having never been robbed, but it was actually robbed twice.
The Tomb of Royby John WatsonThe Tomb of Roy on the West Bank at Luxor is small, but unique with good colors, and one of the latest private tombs open to the public.
Sakkara (Saqqara), Egypt - A Special Edition by Jimmy Dunn
Learn More about Sakkara, one of the primary Pharaonic concentrations in Egypt.
The Tomb of Sennedjem in the Necropolis of Deir el-Medina by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews
The tomb (TT 1) of Sennedjem in the necropolis of Deir el-Medina on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) was actually one of the great discoveries, found in tact by Italian archaeologists in 1886. Nothing had been disturbed, as was not even the case with the tomb of Tutankhaman. Today the funerary equipment, mostly made by the workers themselves, is displayed in the Museo Egizio at Turin. Almost all of the decorations within the tomb, painted on a background of yellow ochre, are perfectly intact, and considered some of the most beautiful within the necropolis. Sennedjem had the title,