Egypt: The Tomb of Tuthmosis IV, Valley of the Kings, Egypt

The Tomb of Tuthmosis IV, Valley of the Kings, Egypt

Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews

Howard Carter made the first modern entrance into the tomb of Tuthmosis IV (KV 43) on January 18th, 1903. This was not an accidental discovery by Carter, for he had been looking for this specific tomb. On February 3rd, it was formally opened. Like all the tombs of the Valley of the Kings, it had been plundered during antiquity, but there were still some amount of items left.

The tomb is of phase one style, the earliest in the Valley of the Kings, with its L-shaped structure. It follows the general style of KV 35 (Amenhotep II) in design, size and complexity, as well as its placement under a storm-fed waterfall. From the entrance we find a stairway leading to the first corridor, another stairway leading to a second stairway, which in turn leads directly to the ritual shaft. At the bottom of the ritual shaft is another single chamber. The ritual shaft opens directly into a two pillared hall. From the two pillared hall, the tomb takes a 90 degree left turn down another set of stairs to a third corridor, which leads to a final stairway and then an antechamber. The antechamber takes another 90 degree turn into the burial chamber, which has six pillars and four annexes, two on either side. Between the last two pillars of this chamber is a small stairway that leads to the crypt.

This tomb differs from KV 35 in several respects, including the crypt area, the alignment of the storage rooms. Significantly, we find the first occurrences of the "magical niches" built into the walls which are to be found in all succeeding tombs until the time of Ramesses II.

Interestingly, while the tomb was carefully cut, the decorative plan of the tomb is virtually missing. Only the ritual shaft and the anteroom are painted, and these decorations appear to be hastily done. Both areas have ceiling with yellow stars on a dark blue background, and Khekher-friezes appear at the top of the decorated walls, which are painted a golden yellow. Also, in both of these locations, the king appears before various deities, and in each location these scenes are almost exactly the same, with the only material difference being the clothing of the deities.

The Hieratic text found on the south wall of the antechamber was not created by Tuthmosis, but rather by Horemheb. It refers to the robbery during antiquity of this tomb, and Horemheb's efforts to restore the damage made necessary by the illicit entry. Hence, Tuthmosis IV's mummy was not found in this tomb but would later be discovered to be one of those found in the tomb of Amenophis II.

While Tuthmosis IV's mummy was not found in his tomb, there were three subsidiary burials discovered, presumably offsprings of the king. Most all of the funerary equipment that was found was fragmentary, but consisted of the following:

From foundation deposits

  • Model vessles
  • Implements
  • Pebbles and plaques

Within the Tomb

  • Sarcophagus box and lid (of yellow quartzite)
  • canopic chest (calcite)
  • Statues of the king and deities (wood)
  • Small shrines (wood)
  • Shabti figures (wood, faience)
  • Shabti coffins (faience)
  • Shabti implements (faience)
  • Magical bricks with figures (wood, clay)
  • Boxes and chests (wood, faience)
  • Furniture (wood)
  • Model boats (wood)
  • Chariot and associated equipment (wood, leather)
  • Staves, fans, whips, etc (wood)
  • Throwsticks (faience)
  • Scabbards (leather)
  • Mace heads (limestone)
  • Textiles
  • Gloves (leather)
  • Armlets (leather)
  • Amulets (faience)
  • Vessels (diorite, calcite, limestone, glass, faience, pottery)
  • Jar sealings (mud)
  • Labels (wood)
  • Game board (wood)
  • Mirror handle (ivory)
  • Seal (limestone)

Other Items included:

  • Canopic jars of limestone of the King's son, Amenemhet
  • Canopic Jars of calcite of the King's daughter, Tentamun
  • Canopic jars of limestone which were unnamed

General Site Information

  • Structure: KV 43
  • Location: Valley of the Kings, East Valley, Thebes West Bank, Thebes
  • Owner: Tuthmosis IV
  • Other designations:
  • Site type: Tomb


  • Axis in degrees: 196.92
  • Axis orientation: South

Site Location

  • Latitude: 25.44 N
  • Longitude: 32.36 E
  • Elevation: 201.562 msl
  • North: 99,509.211
  • East: 94,300.750
  • JOG map reference: NG 36-10
  • Modern governorate: Qena (Qina)
  • Ancient nome: 4th Upper Egypt
  • Surveyed by TMP: Yes


  • Maximum height: 5.32 m
  • Mininum width: 0.89 m
  • Maximum width: 10.26 m
  • Total length: 105.73 m
  • Total area: 407.7 m
  • Total volume: 1062.36 m

Additional Tomb Information

  • Entrance location: Base of sheer cliff
  • Owner type: King
  • Entrance type: Staircase
  • Interior layout: Corridors and chambers
  • Axis type: Bent


  • Grafitti
  • Painting

Categories of Objects Recovered

  • Accessories
  • Architectural elements
  • Bird remains
  • Clothing
  • Cosmetic equipment
  • Food
  • Furniture
  • Game components
  • Human mummies
  • Jewelry
  • Models
  • Scarabs and seals
  • Sculpture
  • Tomb equipment
  • Transport
  • Vessels
  • Warfare and hunting equipment


History of Exploration

  • Carter, Howard (1903): Discovery (made for Theodore M. Davis)
  • Carter, Howard (1903): Excavation (conducted for Theodore M. Davis)
  • Carter, Howard (1904): Epigraphy (conducted for Theodore M. Davis)






Reference Number

Complete Valley of the Kings, The (Tombs and Treasures of Egypt's Greatest Pharaohs)

Reeves, Nicholas; Wilkinson, Richard H.


Thames and Hudson Ltd

IBSN 0-500-05080-5

Ancient Egypt The Great Discoveries (A Year-by-Year Chronicle)

Reeves, Nicholas


Thmes & Hudson, Ltd

ISBN 0-500-05105-4

Valley of the Kings

Heyden, A. Van Der

Al Ahram/Elsevier