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Summaries of the Excavation Season in KV-10
 
The large size of the tomb and the extensive buildup of rubble made it necessary to carryout the work in relatively small stages.  From 1993-1997 the work was carried out duringthe summer months, but from 1998 through 2001 we switched to late winter seasons toavoid the excessive summer heat. The entrance ramp (Area A) was essentially clear when we began our work, but there wasstill light debris covering the solid limestone into which the combination steps and rampwere cut.  The first interior chamber (room B) was cleared to the floor only in the first partof the chamber--- beyond that, none of the original floor of the tomb was exposed.  A shortdistance 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 tothe pillared hall was through a hole or breech connecting Ramses III’s tomb (KV-11) withthe unfinished side chamber (Fa) in KV-10.  KV-11 was originally hewn for Ramses II’sfather, Sethnakht.  The tomb was abandoned after hitting the KV-10 side chamber.  RamsesIII later adapted KV-11 for his own use.  The hole is now covered by a grate. 1992-1993This was a the introductory exploration season, though we did carry out a small sondage inchamber B.1993The first full season of excavation.  B and C chambers were fully cleared and an access pathwas cut through the surface debris on the right side of the tomb in D chamber.  Varied mixtureof ancient and relatively modern items found in the washed-in debris.  Floor debris containedprimarily 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 untilRoman times. 1994Pathway 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 atthe back of H, indicating the tomb construction ceased at that point.  A sondage at theback of H’s right side yielded many sherds of storage jars and also some limestone canopicfragments.  One of the latter bore a cartouche of Takhat.  This was our first evidence of anobject bearing a name of one of the three persons mentioned on the tomb walls.1995Excavated fully rooms D and E, and began clearance of the side chamber Fa.  No well hadbeen cut into room E.  A fragment of a red granite sarcophagus lid bearing the name ofTakhat added further evidence of a possible burial for her.  Of interest were many fragmentsof blue-glazed fayence funerary figurines (ushebties) of Sety I (Dynasty XIX).  Only onepiece had the head and upper torso, all of the remaining fragments were usually of the trunkor foot end.  As many of these ushebties were found virtually at the floor level, they hadclearly been introduced into KV-10 long before Belzoni’s discovery of Sety I’s tomb,KV-17.1996Side 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 flankinga central ramp, comparable to the entry ramp in Area A.  The steps were covered over toprotect them.  Continuation of mixed artifacts in the rubble.  More sandy levels formedhere as water sat from time to time after flooding.   1997Much 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 thesoutheastern sector of the hall.1998G 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 thepoorly preserved ceiling in H.  From the lower levels, many (over 200 pieces) fragmentsfrom the sarcophagus lid were found.  Same lid as that represented by the fragment foundin 1995.  No evidence of the sarcophagus box.  Also found, some additional canopicfragments belonging to Takhat.  The sarcophagus lid had been usurped from a QueenAnketemheb (most likey a queen of Ramses II) and the canopic texts also showed arecutting of the titles and names for Takhat.  Pillar A, the best preserved of the four, wasconsolidated. 1999Chamber 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), butsome more canopic fragments (including one lid) was found.  A part of a mandible andmuch 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 followingseason (2000).  Much repair work was carried out on the walls and ceilings in G and Hchambers.  2000Excavations around pillars B and D.  Pillars B’s base (a very fissured stump) wasconsolidated and left, while pillar D was consolidated and partly rebuilt.  One face of pillarD had a deeply incised relief of Ptah, and in the rubble around the base of the pillaradditional fragments were found.  The chin is missing still. In the event additional fragmentsturn up in the rubble in the descent, none of the decorated pieces have been restored to thepillar. 2001As another mission showed great interest in our Area A and its environs, we shifted attentionto the exterior of the tomb.  From the outset of the project a search for foundation depositshad been reserved for late in the project for it would require encroaching on the main pathsfor 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 thearea we planned to explore was cleared to bedrock.  No deposits were found, but 5m northof 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 bedrockand was probably built for the workers who constructed KV-10.  The area was allowed toremain open until we return, and many sandbags were installed to fortify the edges of theexcavation pit. 

2002Unable to return in the late winter of 2002 (for financial reasons), it was reported that many ofour 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 clearingthe descent through the pillared hall and the doorway of G.)  Some of the other tasks awaitingus are recording the scant decoration throughout the tomb and a series of studies on the potteryand other artifacts.                                                                                                  2003 KV-10 was opened for inspection on 15 January 2003 and work began on 18 January.  By theend of March, excavations proper had ceased, but much of April was used to prepare the area infront of the tomb for closing the season.  A new perimeter wall was erected and the tomb wasresealed 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 ofKV-10 for foundation deposits.  All went as planned until late February when we began toinvestigate 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 theEast 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 tocall a halt to the digging in the late March as staff and time were short, but we hope to follow thewalls a bit more next season.The two rooms of the West Huts contained some ceramic materials and a few ostraca.  A major itemfrom the second room and found next to a large jar embedded in the floor was a docket with the nameof User-Maat-Re, surely Ramses II.  An interesting item found in the rubble above the floor of that sameroom was the corner of a limestone offering table mentioning King Nebhepetre of Dyn. XI.  Very likethis reference to an early king was as some commemorative nature, for it is unlikely that this fragment isan XIth Dynasty original.The East Huts, by contrast, contained a wealth of materials --- ostraca, ceramics, workmen's tools andother evidence of the workgangs in the Valley of the Kings.  Subject matter of the ostraca vary, someare accounts, some simply series of numbers, a few with lengthy texts, some sketches, some what mightbe termed "enigmatic" ostraca.  By far the most exquisite was a painted limestone fragment showing thegoddess Meret-Seger as a sumptuously adorned cobra before offerings.  This piece was dedicated toMeret-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, thoughno 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).  Thearchaeological situations, the royal references, the ceramics and the mention of the workmen's names onthe texts all suggest that this workmen's mini-village may have functioned from late in the reign of RamsesII (West Huts) and from late Merenptah through Amenmesse and Sety II (East Huts).  No specificreference to Amenmesse has been found to date in the huts areas, but one small ostracon givesdimensions which match the corridor width and height of KV-10.  But far more study is necessary beforea publishable report can be prepared. Man of these materials on the east side were found against the cliffface.  The north end of room 2 seemed to be a dumping area.  Though a mass of the artifacts came up on4 March, ostrca and evidence of the workmen's activities were found scattered in and around all the wallsof the complex.  For the most part, we have not disturbed the "floors" but will wait until we can find thelimits of the complex.  As the walls continue under enexcava6ted rubble, this investigation will hopefullybe resumed next season.Other special projects associated with the work included the discovery of a corner of a limestone offeringtable 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 ofsome of the animals remains recovered during our work.  All the necessary letters, approvals at the locallevel 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 andceramics, etc.  These will ultimately allow us to reconstruct a fair amount of the history of these huts,especially the East Huts.2004 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.
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