Exploration of The Valley of The Kings - Twenty-first Century

Twenty-first Century

Various expeditions have continued to explore the valley, adding greatly to the knowledge of the area. In 2001 the Theban Mapping Project designed new signs for the tombs, providing information and plans of the open tombs.

On February 8, 2006, the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced that an American team led by the University of Memphis had uncovered a pharaonic-era tomb (KV63), the first uncovered there since King Tutankhamun's in 1922. The 18th Dynasty tomb included five intact sarcophagi with coloured funerary masks along with 28 large storage jars, sealed with pharaonic seals. It is located close to the tomb of Tutankhamun. KV63, as it is known, appears to be a single chamber with seven sarcophagi and about 20 large funerary jars. The chamber is from the 18th dynasty and it appears to have been a deposit of funerary preparation materials, rather than a tomb. As yet, no mummies have been discovered in the sarcophagi, and it is now thought of as a mummification chamber, rather than a tomb.

On July 31, 2006, Nicholas Reeves announced that analysis of ground penetrating radar for the autumn of 2000 showed a sub-surface anomaly in the area of KV62 and KV63. He has tentatively labeled this anomaly "KV64". This has caused some controversy, as only Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities can officially designate the name of a new tomb, the anomaly may not in fact be a tomb, and because Reeves had reported the finding to the press first, instead of a scientific paper.

In May 2008, Zahi Hawass announced that an Egyptian team has been looking for the tomb of Ramesses VIII, concentrating around the tombs of Merenptah and Ramesses II. In August 2008, it was announced that two further tomb entrances had been located, and these would be investigated in October 2008. At the same time, clearance of the descending tunnel in KV17 has started.

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