KV 5 Finds

Tens of thousands of objects have been found in KV 5, most badly broken or battered by past floods that have hit the Valley of the Kings [11513]. These floods washed tons of mud and debris into low-lying tombs. The objects are embedded in this "matrix" and great care must be taken to remove them safely while recording precisely where they were found. Even potsherds can provide information on chronology, the movement of trade goods, and funerary practices. A major problem is determining what was original to the tomb and what was washed in by later floodwaters. The archaeological context (where the object was found and what lay around it) can tell us the function served by a tomb chamber.     11513
There is no object more important to archaeological study than the humble pot. Pots can be broken but they can never be totally destroyed [11706]. They were made in great numbers, with distinctive forms and composition. They point to both the culture and the period that produced them.     11706
Each piece of pottery we find is cleaned, drawn, photographed, and analyzed. Pottery charts are used to record such features as shape, size, color, type of clay, decoration, find location, and archaeological context. From this, their date, source, and function can be determined. Whenever possible, pieces of the same pot are glued back together [14971]. This requires a keen eye and a trained memory. In several instances, pieces of pottery from chamber 1 were found to fit with pieces found in corridor 7. The pieces had been dispersed by the floods. Even small fragments from the rim, base, or shoulder of a pot can allow the entire vessel to be reconstructed in a drawing [12790].     14971 12790
In addition to pottery, different kinds of funerary equipment were placed in tombs for the use of the deceased in the netherworld. Canopic jars held the mummified internal organs. They were made in sets of four-one each for the liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines-and were placed in stone and wooden canopic chests. Many fragments of such jars have been found in KV 5, all but one made of alabaster [11707]. Inscriptions carved on the jars were filled with blue paint, and gave names and titles of sons of Rameses II [11622].     11707 11622
Mummiform statuettes called shabtis (a word meaning "answerer") accompanied the deceased [14962]. They magically performed menial chores for the deceased and kept him well-fed, "answering" calls to work from the gods. The shabtis from KV 5 are made of faience or Egyptian alabaster, and often have texts and names written in ink on their bodies, exhorting them to perform their duties.     14962
Several finely carved decorative finials were found in the tomb [16952]. They are made of bone-white alabaster, and once capped the wooden harnesses of a war-chariot. Such chariots were found intact in the tomb of Tutankhamen.     16952
In KV 5, we also find objects washed in from elsewhere in the Valley, or left behind by the men who carved and decorated the tomb. An example of the latter is an ostracon from chamber 2. The text on it records the delivery of an order of candlewicks to provide light for the artisans [11605].     11605

Published or last modified on: August 23, 2002
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