April 14, 2012

Hatshepsut Tomb Location | Facts and Pictures

The queen's tomb
Hatshepsut Tomb
Hatshepsut had her tomb dug in the Valley of the Kings (KV 20) by her vizier and High Priest of Amun, Hapuseneb. She had previously had a tomb cut for herself as queen regnant under Tuthmosis II, its entrance 220 ft (72 m) up a 350-ft (91-m) cliff face in a remote valley west of the Valley of the Kings. This was found by local people in 1916 and investigated by Howard Carter in rather dangerous circumstances. The tomb had never been used and still held the sandstone sarcophagus inscribed for the queen. Carter wrote: 'as a king, it was clearly necessary for her to have her tomb in The Valley like all other kings - as a matter of fact I found it there myself in 1903 - and the present tomb was abandoned. She would have been better advised to hold to her original plan. In this secret spot her mummy would have had a reasonable chance of avoiding disturbance: in The Valley it had none. A king she would be, and a king's fate she shared.'

Hatshepsut's second tomb was located at the foot of the cliffs in the eastern corner of the Valley of the Kings. The original intention seems to have been for a passage to be driven through the rock to locate the burial chamber under the sanctuary of the queen's temple on the other side of the cliffs. In the event, bad rock was struck and the tomb's plan takes a great U-turn back on itself to a burial chamber that contained two yellow quartzite sarcophagi, one inscribed for Tuthmosis I and the other for Hatshepsut as king (p. 101). The queen's mummy has never been identified, although it has been suggested that a female mummy rediscovered in 1991 in KV 21 (the tomb of Hatshepsut's nurse) might have been her body.

Hatshepsut Tomb Location
Hatshepsut died in about 1483 BC. Some suggest that Tuthmosis III, kept so long in waiting, may have had a hand in her death. Certainly he hated her enough to destroy many of the queen's monuments and those of her closest adherents. Perhaps the greatest posthumous humiliation she was to suffer, however, was to be omitted from the carved king lists: her reign was too disgraceful an episode to be recorded.

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