Egypt: Annex and its Objects

The Annex and its Objects

On their first day in the tomb, November 27, 1922, Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter saw the annex through a plunderers hole. The utter chaos of this storeroom convinced them to postpone it's clearance until the rest of the tomb was empty, five years later.

Although it is the smallest of the four rooms in Tutankhamun's burial complex, the annex contained nearly half of the tomb's total contents. It was stacked with hundreds of reed baskets and pottery jars, containing provisions for the dead king. Royal furniture and elaborate urns were strewn among these ordinary objects.

Footprints and fingerprints were everywhere, some belonging to the robbers and others to the necropolis officials who attempted to restore order in the tomb. Apparently, the guards had added to the confusion in the annex by using it as a dump for anything that could not be returned to it's proper place in the other rooms. Carter guessed that many of the finer pieces in this simple storeroom had originally belonged in the tomb's more formal chambers.

The cluttered floor of the annex was more than three feet below it's door, and a complicated, almost acrobatic operation was required to clear a small working space inside. held up by rope slings around their chests, the archaeologists swung out over the threshold to remove the first pieces. Even after standing room had been cleared, the objects were still in precarious heaps, which were braced to prevent their collapse.

When the last stray had been recorded and removed from the annex, the whole tomb stood empty - save for the pharaoh's mummy resting it it's sarcophagus. It was the spring of 1928, and six and a half years had passed since the workmen had discovered the entrance steps. Four more years of laboratory work remained before the last of Tutankhamun's treasures would leave the Valley of the Kings in 1932.