Summaries of the Excavation Season in KV-10
The large size of the tomb and the extensive buildup of rubble made it necessary to carry
out the work in relatively small stages.  From 1993-1997 the work was carried out during
the summer months, but from 1998 through 2001 we switched to late winter seasons to
avoid the excessive summer heat.
The entrance ramp (Area A) was essentially clear when we began our work, but there was
still light debris covering the solid limestone into which the combination steps and ramp
were cut.  The first interior chamber (room B) was cleared to the floor only in the first part
of the chamber--- beyond that, none of the original floor of the tomb was exposed.  A short
distance into chamber C, the rubble reached nearly to the ceiling and was thus ca. 3m thick.
This front part of the tomb had most recently been cleared by Edward Ayrton
(for Theodore Davis) in 1907.
With rubble reaching to near the ceiling in C and D chambers, the only immediate access to
the pillared hall was through a hole or breech connecting Ramses III’s tomb (KV-11) with
the unfinished side chamber (Fa) in KV-10.  KV-11 was originally hewn for Ramses II’s
father, Sethnakht.  The tomb was abandoned after hitting the KV-10 side chamber.  Ramses
III later adapted KV-11 for his own use.  The hole is now covered by a grate.
This was a the introductory exploration season, though we did carry out a small sondage in
chamber B.
The first full season of excavation.  B and C chambers were fully cleared and an access path
was cut through the surface debris on the right side of the tomb in D chamber.  Varied mixture
of ancient and relatively modern items found in the washed-in debris.  Floor debris contained
primarily pharaonic wares, but late Roman era sherds were always nearby, in lesser quantities.
Early indication that the floors of these upper corridors had only relatively light debris until
Roman times.
Pathway cut through the well chamber (room E) and along the right side of the pillared hall,
then into the lower chambers to the back of room H. No evidence of a doorway found at
the back of H, indicating the tomb construction ceased at that point.  A sondage at the
back of H’s right side yielded many sherds of storage jars and also some limestone canopic
fragments.  One of the latter bore a cartouche of Takhat.  This was our first evidence of an
object bearing a name of one of the three persons mentioned on the tomb walls.
Excavated fully rooms D and E, and began clearance of the side chamber Fa.  No well had
been cut into room E.  A fragment of a red granite sarcophagus lid bearing the name of
Takhat added further evidence of a possible burial for her.  Of interest were many fragments
of blue-glazed fayence funerary figurines (ushebties) of Sety I (Dynasty XIX).  Only one
piece had the head and upper torso, all of the remaining fragments were usually of the trunk
or foot end.  As many of these ushebties were found virtually at the floor level, they had
clearly been introduced into KV-10 long before Belzoni’s discovery of Sety I’s tomb,
Side chamber Fa was cleared and much work was done in the pillared hall (room F).
The top three steps of the descent were cleared, revealing a combination of steps flanking
a central ramp, comparable to the entry ramp in Area A.  The steps were covered over to
protect them.  Continuation of mixed artifacts in the rubble.  More sandy levels formed
here as water sat from time to time after flooding. 
Much of chamber F cleared this season, except around the most badly damaged pillars.
Some probes in F pit and G doorway and some surface levels removed form chamber G.
Pillar C was rebuilt.  Evidence that nineteenth century explorers probed around in the
southeastern sector of the hall.
G chamber was cleared except for the doorway and a small patch of floor beyond it.
Some debris from the surface levels in H was also removed.  Much consolidation of the
poorly preserved ceiling in H.  From the lower levels, many (over 200 pieces) fragments
from the sarcophagus lid were found.  Same lid as that represented by the fragment found
in 1995.  No evidence of the sarcophagus box.  Also found, some additional canopic
fragments belonging to Takhat.  The sarcophagus lid had been usurped from a Queen
Anketemheb (most likey a queen of Ramses II) and the canopic texts also showed a
recutting of the titles and names for Takhat.  Pillar A, the best preserved of the four, was
Chamber H was virtually cleared and most of the G chamber access ramp (our own device)
was removed.  Very few sarcophagus lid fragments were found in the back room (H), but
some more canopic fragments (including one lid) was found.  A part of a mandible and
much of a very encrusted human skull were found on the floor near the back of chamber H.
As the season was close to an end, the skull was covered over and left for the following
season (2000).  Much repair work was carried out on the walls and ceilings in G and H
Excavations around pillars B and D.  Pillars B’s base (a very fissured stump) was
consolidated and left, while pillar D was consolidated and partly rebuilt.  One face of pillar
D had a deeply incised relief of Ptah, and in the rubble around the base of the pillar
additional fragments were found.  The chin is missing still. In the event additional fragments
turn up in the rubble in the descent, none of the decorated pieces have been restored to the
As another mission showed great interest in our Area A and its environs, we shifted attention
to the exterior of the tomb.  From the outset of the project a search for foundation deposits
had been reserved for late in the project for it would require encroaching on the main paths
for tourism in the Valley.  However we put off working inside the tomb to attend to it now.
The modern protective walls were removed from in front of the tomb and roughly 2/3 of the
area we planned to explore was cleared to bedrock.  No deposits were found, but 5m north
of the first step cut into Area A we located part of a complex of necropolis workmen’s huts.
One room plus part of a second were cleared.  The structure essentially rests upon bedrock
and was probably built for the workers who constructed KV-10.  The area was allowed to
remain open until we return, and many sandbags were installed to fortify the edges of the
excavation pit.
Unable to return in the late winter of 2002 (for financial reasons), it was reported that many of
our sandbags were disintegrating and so the SCA felt it necessary to fill in our excavation pit.
We will deal with the exterior in the 2003 and then finish the interior.  (That consists of clearing
the descent through the pillared hall and the doorway of G.)  Some of the other tasks awaiting
us are recording the scant decoration throughout the tomb and a series of studies on the pottery
and other artifacts. 
KV-10 was opened for inspection on 15 January 2003 and work began on 18 January.  By the
end of March, excavations proper had ceased, but much of April was used to prepare the area in
front of the tomb for closing the season.  A new perimeter wall was erected and the tomb was
resealed on 26 April 2003.
The original plan for the season was simple: reclear the rubble dumped into our excavation pit
(2001 season), then complete the clearance of the (west) huts and finally check the east side of
KV-10 for foundation deposits.  All went as planned until late February when we began to
investigate the east side of the tomb.  About a meter from the entrance, more walls were found 
--- more workmen's huts.  These were followed and they continued eastward and northeastward. 
A complex of at least 5 rooms was on the east side of the tomb.  These are now designated the
East Huts, the former huts (2 rooms) from 2001 are now the West Huts.
The East Huts still continue under rubble in the northeast area of the tomb.  It was necessary to
call a halt to the digging in the late March as staff and time were short, but we hope to follow the
walls a bit more next season.
The two rooms of the West Huts contained some ceramic materials and a few ostraca.  A major item
from the second room and found next to a large jar embedded in the floor was a docket with the name
of User-Maat-Re, surely Ramses II.  An interesting item found in the rubble above the floor of that same
room was the corner of a limestone offering table mentioning King Nebhepetre of Dyn. XI.  Very like
this reference to an early king was as some commemorative nature, for it is unlikely that this fragment is
an XIth Dynasty original.
The East Huts, by contrast, contained a wealth of materials --- ostraca, ceramics, workmen's tools and
other evidence of the workgangs in the Valley of the Kings.  Subject matter of the ostraca vary, some
are accounts, some simply series of numbers, a few with lengthy texts, some sketches, some what might
be termed "enigmatic" ostraca.  By far the most exquisite was a painted limestone fragment showing the
goddess Meret-Seger as a sumptuously adorned cobra before offerings.  This piece was dedicated to
Meret-Seger and one Nebnefer by the Deputy in the place of Truth, Baki.
Among the other ostraca, there was some dated material.  A Year 9 and a Year 10 were found, though
no name of a king accompanied these dates.  Most likely these are from late in the reign of Merenptah. 
There was also a text on a wine amphora dated to Year 1 of Sety Merenptah (Sety II).  The
archaeological situations, the royal references, the ceramics and the mention of the workmen's names on
the texts all suggest that this workmen's mini-village may have functioned from late in the reign of Ramses
II (West Huts) and from late Merenptah through Amenmesse and Sety II (East Huts).  No specific
reference to Amenmesse has been found to date in the huts areas, but one small ostracon gives
dimensions which match the corridor width and height of KV-10.  But far more study is necessary before
a publishable report can be prepared. Man of these materials on the east side were found against the cliff
face.  The north end of room 2 seemed to be a dumping area.  Though a mass of the artifacts came up on
4 March, ostrca and evidence of the workmen's activities were found scattered in and around all the walls
of the complex.  For the most part, we have not disturbed the "floors" but will wait until we can find the
limits of the complex.  As the walls continue under enexcava6ted rubble, this investigation will hopefully
be resumed next season.
Other special projects associated with the work included the discovery of a corner of a limestone offering
table bearing the name of King Nebhepetre of Dynasty XI.  Very likely this was not a Dyn. XI original,
but a New kingdom commemoration of the earlier monarch.
Roxie Walker brought a portable X-ray machine to Luxor.  At the tomb, she took some X-ray photos of
some of the animals remains recovered during our work.  All the necessary letters, approvals at the local
level were done in accordance with administrative necessities.
This was a long season for us and we were most fortunate to have such assemblages of ostraca and
ceramics, etc.  These will ultimately allow us to reconstruct a fair amount of the history of these huts,
especially the East Huts.
The 2004 season officially began with the opening of the tomb of King Amenmesse (KV-10)
on the 17th of January.  The tomb was resealed on the 27th of March.  The main emphasis of
this season was to continue the investigation of the workmen’s huts on the east side of the tomb
entrance.  Before the actual excavations could begin, it was necessary to remove the rubble
fill we put over some of the ancient constructions at the close of the 2003 season.  It took
several weeks to remove this fill before we could continue where we left off last year.
As we cleared to the north of what we had termed the “double wall” in 2003, we found a third
 wall running parallel to it.  Each wall is lower, creating a terraced effect.  Now we have
changed our designation from “double” to “triple wall.”  The walls appear to continue under
rubble in the east.  Several walls running north-south direction go towards the center of the valley. 
These structures seem rather complex for workmen’s huts, but the finds associated with the entire
area only reflect the activities of the tomb-builders--- ostraca, ceramics (showing heavy usage),
flint tools, occasional copper chisel tips, wood splinters and an apparent local favorite, dom
palm fruits.
To the east, two new rooms were uncovered (numbers 7-8 of the East Huts).  The rubble directly
above them was different from what we found above rooms 2-3, for the area had been cut into in
 relatively recent times, just stopping at the top of the east wall of room 8.  This cut along the cliff
face was then filled in with turab and rock slabs.  It cuts through what we have termed the Howard
Carter Level I (cf. our 2001 and 2003 reports) and was made in relatively recent times, perhaps
Belzoni, Loret or even Davis.
During our 2003 season, we followed the walls of the huts to the east and cleared to their floors. 
It was on the floors that we had great success with the finds last year, and this year our aim was to
 check into and under the floors. Finds were not as plentiful this season, but were essentially the
same wares, flint tools and the like, and more dom palm fruits!  A jar embedded in the floor of
Room 7 had 9 fruits.  While the material atop and within the floors was consistent, after 15-20
cms. Below the floors, there was just the natural rubble buildup, which was sterile of artifacts. 
This rubble went to the gebel.
While the floors show a buildup from usage, the time period involved seems to have been relatively
 brief.  In one area we have a sign of more significant stratification.  Along the top wall (southernmost)
of the “triple wall” there was a floor that covered two small compartments.  Within each was found
an amphora base embedded.  One side had signs of much burning and ash.  Below the embedded
jar in one compartment is a short section of wall.  This is only an area of ca. 70 cms wide, but presently
presents us with the possibility of gaining more evidence of the buildup of the walls in this section of the
East Huts.  We hope to expand this during the 2005 season.
Though finds were not as plentiful as last season, we did have a few ostraca of interest.  One had a
butterfly in profile, a goose and a locust drawn in red paint.  A butterfly in profile was thought to be
perhaps unique, but Prof. Ertman found some examples in the Theban tomb of Neb-Amun (Dyn. XVIII).
 Another had a drawing in red and black of a man apparently holding a stela (shown in profile).  We
latter added the bottom fragment (found nearby) to complete the scene depicting a kneeling figure with
a stela.  There was also an ostracan with a “chisel” allotment; among the names was Amun-em-wia,
known to have flourished in the time of Merneptah.  And an amphora gives a “Year 9” (most likely
also of Merneptah) but the rest of the text is lost.  The ceramics essentially match last year’s and the
connections with Merneptah continues.  The names Wadjmose and possibly Nebsmen (a third time form
KV-10) are workmen known from the latter part of Dyn. XIX.
Up the slope east of the tomb, (south of Room 1) we found a fragment of a fayence vessel bearing the
name of Ramses III.  And in the area where there was a relatively recent cut into the rubble along the
side of the cliff face, we found a wine docket (date lost) of Menkheprure (Thutmose IV); this latter may
be an intrusive piece.
The map below shows the entire KV-10 huts’ complexes as presently known.  The newly uncovered
 rooms are mainly in the east and northeast area.  The so-called “triple wall” extends almost 5.5 m. and
 appears to continue under the rubble.  The east wall of Room 8 is somewhat of a flimsy structure at
the south end, but becomes more substantial as it heads north under the unexcavated rubble.  Our plan
is to expand our probe (within reasonable limits) so as to gain a clearer picture of these complex
structures and their stratigraphy.  Our next proposal (to be submitted in the autumn) will cover the East
Huts and hopefully also the conclusion of the interior excavations in KV-10’s pillared hall.
Our refilling at the end of the season was done so as to reduce the time and costs needed at the start
of the 2005 season.  The tomb’s modern protective wall on the west side was strengthened and the
new configuration provides more area for tourists on the path to the west of KV-10.  The enclosure
or perimeter wall from last season was entirely removed, and a new enclosure wall was erected.  The
photo below was taken on closing day as our workmen were erecting the final barrier at the “gates”. 
It has almost been 10 years since the last major flood in the KV, so it is necessary to have these barriers
in our absence.
Our inspectors for the 2004 season were Yasser Yusef Ahmed and then Mohammed Yusef
Mohammed.  Special thanks to Dr. Holeil Ghaly, Dr. Ali al-Asfar and Mohammed Abd el-Aziz for
much assistance and discussion.  Our staff consisted of Prof. Earl Ertman, Edwin Brock, Betty
Schneider, Melanie Dohoda, Elizabeth Tyran and George Johnson.  Pieter Collet drew our map and
 Dr. Birgit Schlick-Nolte visited to review our ancient glass fragments.
(click on pictures for more detail)
(click on pictures for more detail)


The 2005 season’s work was carried out from 31 January through 12 March, with some refilling of our excavation pit taking place in the followings weeks. The site exterior was restored and the tomb was resealed on 7 April 2005. 

To the east of East Huts Room Eight, two more rooms were found. Room Nine was a sizeable chamber and had a small antechamber in front. While earlier explorers had basically left the floors of the other rooms of the East Huts intact, we found this east end to have been fully probed about a century ago, presumably by Theo Davis (based in part on a Chablis bottle found in the fill and a piece of New York Times newsprint dated “5 February 1907”). Both chambers’ floors had been cut through as the earlier probe went below the foundations and down to the gebel two metres below the floor level. 

The widespread disturbance noted at this east end of the huts area was refilled with rubble, leaving no reliable archaeological context for the finds. Aside from sherds of various periods, Room Nine contained a decorated chunk (ca. 34 cm wide) of the sarcophagus box of Ramses IV and also an ostracon which mentioned the name of Ramses II. A late Roman amphora fragment next to the Ramses II ostracon illustrates well the mixed nature of the refill debris. The smaller Room Ten, had a tiny mud seal fragment with a cartouche of Thutmoses III. 

In the center section of our pit, essentially the north limit of our probe, only one wall (dividing wall between Rooms Eight and Nine) shows a continuation to the north under unexcavated rubble nearer the center of the King’s Valley (KV). This wall could run close to or even join remains of huts found by Carter in the center of the KV. What appeared to be possibly continuing walls in the sector faded away. The area north of the main body of the East Huts have been raised with rock chip deposits, additional “floors” developed from usage and more rock slab deposits raised the area, no doubt to enlarge and level off the work space for the tomb builders. 

As the walls dwindled, so did the quality and quantity of the finds. Nearing the edge of the huts and getting farther into the tourist paths of the KV, it was determined to conclude the outward extension of our probe. 

A report on the 2005 Season was submitted for publication in the Annales du service des l’antiquities de l’ Egypte in June 2005 (now “in press”). 

The staff consisted of Otto Schaden, Earl Ertman, Heather Alexander, Alistair Dickey, Roxanne Wilson, Elizabeth Schneider, George Johnson, Melanie Dohoda, with Zeinab Ali Mohammed as our Egyptian Inspector. Gunter Heindl and Pieter Collet (both of the Swiss Mission) kindly did some mapping for us. 

 (click on pictures for more detail)



Approvals for the resumption of the project were earlier this autumn. It is hoped to get the next season underway late in December 2005 and continue the work well into 2006. As we are still in the planning stage, a tentative cut-off date has yet to be established. There are tasks to perform outside KV-10, and if time and funds permit, we will turn our attention to clearing the descent through the pillared hall—the area in Amenmesse’s tomb which is cluttered with rubble.

NOTE: The KV-10 website will be undergoing some revisions and additions, but with the next season to get underway in the near future, some new materials (and some older but still relevant items) will not be introduced until after the 2006 season.