Architectural and Topographic Drawings

The plans and sections of the individual tombs available on this website were drawn using Graphisoft ArchiCAD software from survey field notes [18624]. Set-up points (SUs) and reference lines were first set down [18047].     18624 18047
Radiating lines representing the azimuth and zenith angles and slope distances to tomb features were extended from each SU; these lines were then joined to complete the drawings.    
In the case of a tomb surveyed using a total station, the features of the tomb were automatically resolved into X, Y, and Z coordinates by the total station, and those coordinates were used to generate the plan and sections.    
In the case of tombs not surveyed by the Theban Mapping Project (i.e. not accessible during the TMP's field seasons of 1979-89), published and unpublished plans from other researchers were used as the basis of the CAD drawings. An image would be scanned, and then imported into ArchiCAD, where it was resized to the correct scale. This raster image was then traced by hand.    
In general, each tomb is available in plan, accompanied by at least one (longitudinal) section if possible. More sections are given if there are significant differences between the right and left longitudinal sections, or if transverse sections are required to clearly show the architectural features of the tomb. Where two or more tombs overlap, the section through the main tomb also cuts through the adjacent tomb (or tombs) to show how they are spatially related.    
For royal and other major tombs, an axonometric drawing is also given. This was generated from a 3-dimensional computer model of the tomb. Using the plan and sections, the model was built in ArchiCAD using walls, floors, and ceilings of 0.1 mm thickness. This gave a solid model that could be used to produce both shaded and wireframe views. Walls and ceilings are omitted or made "transparent" where necessary for clarity.    
The topographic maps of the Valley of the Kings and the West Valley are based on those published by Cerný et al. in Graffiti de la montagne thébaine I: Cartographie et étude topographique illustré (1969-1970). The contours of the latter were first digitized by hand using AutoDesk AutoCAD software and correlated with the TMP Grid. The contours were then exported to ArchiCAD and combined with the plans of the individual tombs.    
For publication, all the drawings were exported out of ArchiCAD as EPS files and imported into Adobe Illustrator. In Illustrator the line-weights, line-types, tones, type fonts, etc., were set.    
Drawing Conventions
Standard cartographic and architectural drawing conventions are used in the maps, with some additional conventions, as outlined below. Examples are numbered for reference on the figures.    
Topographic Maps
[18048, 18049]
    18048 18049
Line Weight:
The outlines of tombs are shown as thick lines (1), while interior features are shown as medium lines (2).
Contour Interval and Contour Lines:
Every fifth contour is shown in a heavier and darker line (3), while elevations are given at selected areas of the map (4).
Grid Coordinates and Survey Monuments:
The northing and easting coordinates (relative to the TMP Grid) are given at the border of each map (5). Extant survey monuments used by the TMP are shown as circles with cross-hairs within a black triangle, with their TMP grid coordinates and elevation indicated (6).
Tomb Drawings: Plans and Sections
[18050, 18051, 18052]
    18050 18051 18052
Line Weight:
The outlines of tombs are shown as a thick line (1), while interior features are shown as a medium line (2).In plan, door-swings are shown as a thin line where there are clear indications of door sockets in the floor or ceiling (7); otherwise they are shown as a dashed thin line (8), for instance where there are slots presumably cut for a wooden lintel beam.In plan, the shape of vaulted ceilings is indicated as a thin line (9).In plan, where other tombs overlap or intersect the current tomb, they are shown as a thin line (10).In section, those parts of the other tombs cut by the section plane are shown, with a dotted line to emphasize the spatial relationship between the tombs (11).
Line Type:
In plan, features above the plane of the plan (e.g., a change in ceiling level) are shown in medium dashed line (12). In plan, the parts of a tomb believed to exist but not yet excavated are shown in thick dotted line (13).
Grid Coordinates and Survey Set-Ups:
The initial survey set-up (SU) at the entrance of a tomb is marked by a circle with cross-hairs (14). Its TMP grid coordinates and elevation are indicated next to it. The orientation of the tomb axis (shown in dashed-dot line) is given in degrees, minutes, and seconds clockwise from true north.
Chamber Designations:
The letter designation of the individual tomb components is indicated within the component itself on the plans. Side chambers generally are designated in alphabetical order starting from the left as one enters the main chamber and proceeding clockwise. Pillar numbers are indicated inside the pillars and are numbered from front to back and then left to right.
The components and pillars in KV 5 do not follow this rule: chambers and pillars in this tomb are numbered according to the order in which they have been excavated. For KV 62, the tomb of Tutankhamen, Howard Carter's chamber designations are also given in parentheses.    
Section Indicator:
A reduced-scale plan with a thick line representing the plane of the section cut is used to indicate the sectional view given (15). The two short lines at the end of the cut line point to the direction of view in plan.
Tomb Drawings: Axonometrics
Line Weight:
In general, a thick line is used for the axonometric drawings (16). A medium line is used to indicate the outlines of features that have been made "transparent" for clarity (17)
The direction of true north is also shown (18).
(Abridged and adapted from "Architectural and Topographic Drawings'' by Walton Chan; first published in Atlas of the Valley of the Kings, edited by Kent R. Weeks.)    

Published or last modified on: December 19, 2002
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