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KV 20
Thutmes I and Hatshepsut

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Tomb entrance of KV 20. 
More Details

Entryway A

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The entrance to KV 20 is cut into the hillside high above the valley floor. There are vague traces of steps here, but they are too damaged to plan.

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    1.42 m
  • Length:

    5.02 m
  • Area:

    9.08 m2
  • Orientation:

    94.04°

Gate B

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This simple gate leads from the entryway to corridor B.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.93 m
  • Width:

    1.36 m
  • Length:

    1.25 m
  • Area:

    1.72 m2
  • Volume:

    3.32 m3
  • Orientation:

    2.91° left from entryway A

Corridor B

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Corridor B is roughly cut into the limestone bedrock. The first half of the corridor lies on the same axis as the entrance, aligned toward Dayr al Bahri, while the latter half curves right (south). The floor and ceiling descend steeply into the mountain. Beam holes were cut into the walls. A stairway, too badly damaged to plan, but about seventy centimeters wide, extended along the left side of the corridor.

Architectural Features

Beam holes
Ceiling recess
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.15 m
  • Width:

    1.65 m
  • Length:

    23.58 m
  • Area:

    38.54 m2
  • Volume:

    82.86 m3
  • Orientation:

    7.23° right from entryway A

Chamber C1

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This chamber is trapezoidal in plan and has a stepped center descent.

Condition

Undecorated
Damaged structurally
Cutting finished
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.85 m
  • Width:

    5.16 m
  • Length:

    6.73 m
  • Area:

    33.11 m2
  • Volume:

    61.25 m3
  • Orientation:

    34.51° right from corridor C1

Gate C1

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This simple gate leads from corridor B to corridor C1.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.86 m
  • Width:

    1.34 m
  • Length:

    1.1 m
  • Area:

    1.48 m2
  • Volume:

    2.75 m3
  • Orientation:

    3.07° right from corridor B

Corridor C1

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The upper portion of the corridor is nearly straight, similar to corridor B, with a row of steps cut into the left side of the floor. The axis bends right just before the corridor expands into a chamber. There are beam slots cut into the walls of the upper portion of the corridor.

Architectural Features

Beam holes
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.03 m
  • Width:

    2.32 m Irregular
  • Length:

    14.97 m
  • Area:

    34.15 m2
  • Volume:

    69.33 m3
  • Orientation:

    37.62° right from corridor B

Descent C1

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There is a pair of beam holes at the bottom of the stairway.

Architectural Features

Steps
Beam holes

Condition

Excavated
Cutting unfinished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.46 m
  • Width:

    1.8 m
  • Length:

    7.47 m
  • Area:

    11.08 m2
  • Orientation:

    12.48° right from chamber C1

Chamber C2

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This roughly cut chamber is rectangular in plan and has a stepped center descent.

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Undecorated
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.84 m
  • Width:

    3.36 m
  • Length:

    9.22 m
  • Area:

    25.46 m2
  • Volume:

    72.31 m3
  • Orientation:

    21.13° right from corridor C2

Corridor C2

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Corridor C2 begins as a long, narrow corridor which turns southward to end in a narrow, roughly rectangular chamber with a center descent. Traces of steps can be seen but cannot be planned. There is a change in the rock from limestone to shale, about two meters into this corridor.

Architectural Features

Beam holes
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.88 m
  • Width:

    1.66 m
  • Length:

    16.32 m
  • Area:

    31.22 m2
  • Volume:

    58.6 m3
  • Orientation:

    4.56° right from corridor D1

Descent C2

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Two beam holes have been cut in the sides of the descent. Traces of steps can be seen but cannot be planned.

Architectural Features

Beam holes
Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.27 m
  • Width:

    1.54 m
  • Length:

    6.32 m
  • Area:

    8.91 m2
  • Orientation:

    1.73° left from chamber C2

Gate C2

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It is uncertain if this is actually a gate or only the constricted beginning of corridor C2. Although there is a noticeable drop in the ceiling level, resembling a lintel, such changes occur frequently in these corridors, and possibly are due to ceiling collapse.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.76 m
  • Width:

    1.64 m
  • Length:

    0.84 m
  • Area:

    1.39 m2
  • Volume:

    2.05 m3
  • Orientation:

    5.63° left from corridor D1

Gate D1

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This simple gate leads from descent C1 to corridor D1.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting unfinished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.12 m
  • Width:

    2.63 m
  • Length:

    0.9 m
  • Area:

    2.36 m2
  • Volume:

    4.76 m3
  • Orientation:

    8.06° right from chamber C1

Corridor D1

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The axial orientation of this corridor is approximately southward. There is a row of steps cut into the left side of the floor. There are four sets of beam holes in the walls.

Architectural Features

Beam holes
Ceiling recess
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.08 m
  • Width:

    2.05 m
  • Length:

    23.41 m
  • Area:

    47.68 m2
  • Volume:

    99.17 m3
  • Orientation:

    4.67° right from chamber C1

Corridor D2

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The initial axis of corridor D2 is oriented to the south, but midway through, the corridor bends to the west. The ceiling has collapsed in much of the corridor before the bend. There are six sets of beam holes in the walls.

Architectural Features

Beam holes

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.76 m
  • Width:

    2.27 m
  • Length:

    46.52 m
  • Area:

    98.58 m2
  • Volume:

    136.49 m3
  • Orientation:

    23.25° right from chamber C2

Corridor G

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This sloping corridor is not preceded by a gate.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.36 m
  • Width:

    1.93 m
  • Length:

    6.11 m
  • Area:

    9.81 m2
  • Volume:

    13.34 m3
  • Orientation:

    8.78° left from chamber J1

Descent J1

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This roughly cut descent connects chamber J1 to corridor G.

Condition

Cutting finished
Undecorated
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.27 m
  • Width:

    1.43 m
  • Length:

    3.82 m
  • Area:

    5.52 m2
  • Orientation:

    4.25° right from chamber J1

Gate J1

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This simple gate leads from corridor D2 to chamber J1.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting unfinished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.27 m
  • Width:

    1.23 m
  • Length:

    0.68 m
  • Area:

    0.42 m2
  • Volume:

    0.53 m3
  • Orientation:

    60.87° right from corridor D2

Chamber J1

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This roughly cut chamber has a descent cut into the floor in the rear (northwest) part of the chamber.

Architectural Features

Ramp

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    4.53 m
  • Width:

    7.18 m Irregular
  • Length:

    10.11 m
  • Area:

    59.07 m2
  • Volume:

    268.49 m3
  • Orientation:

    79.13° right from corridor D2

Burial chamber J2

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The burial chamber lies on a south-north axis, at a right angle to the axis of corridor G. The chamber contains three pillars, only one of which is intact. Two sarcophagi were found in the chamber, one on each side of the pillars in the north end of the chamber. The walls were not decorated, but Carter found fifteen limestone slabs with painted decoration of the Imydwat, probably meant to line the chamber. These are now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

  • Chamber plan:

    Rectangular
  • Relationship to main tomb axis:

    Perpendicular
  • Chamber layout:

    Flat floor, pillars
  • Floor:

    One level
  • Ceiling:

    Flat

Architectural Features

Burial pit
Pillars
Sarcophagi

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.7 m
  • Width:

    5.45 m Irregular
  • Length:

    11.1 m
  • Area:

    61.66 m2
  • Volume:

    166.48 m3
  • Orientation:

    1.49° left from chamber J1
  • Number of pillars:

    3
  • Average pillar width:

    1.47 m

Decoration

  • Imydwat

    painted on limestone slabs, probably intended to line the walls

Sarcophagus

  • Extant remains:

    Box and lid
  • Sarcophagus form:

    Cartouche-shaped
  • Material:

    Quartzite
  • Length:

    2.45 m
  • Width:

    0.88 m
  • Height:

    1 m
  • Orientation:

    south
  • Emplacement:

    Pit with plinth blocks
  • Comments:

    This sarcophagus was inscribed for Hatshepsut. According to Baraize's plan, there appears to be a floor pit with plinth blocks on which the sarcophagus rested. These blocks now support the sarcophagus in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
  • Decoration:

  • Deities:
    four sons of Horus, Anubis, Isis, Nephthys Box exterior
  • Deities:
    Nut on floor with arms extending along sides Box interior
  • Deities:
    Nut Lid interior
  • Text:
    Lid interior
  • Deities:
    Nut Lid exterior
  • Text:
    Lid exterior
  • Extant remains:

    Box and lid
  • Sarcophagus form:

    Cartouche-shaped
  • Material:

    Quartzite
  • Length:

    2.23 m
  • Width:

    0.89 m
  • Height:

    0.99 m
  • Orientation:

    south
  • Emplacement:

    Floor
  • Comments:

    The sarcophagus inscribed for Thutmes I was found lying on its side. It had originally been made for Hatshepsut, but the inscriptions were changed and the interior enlarged to accommodate Thutmes I's coffin.It is now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The sarcophagus bearing the names of Hatshepsut is now in the Egfyptian Museum, Cairo.
  • Decoration:

  • Deities:
    Occupant's leftside
  • Deities:
    Occupant's right side

Gate J2a

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This gate connects burial chamber J2 with side chamber J2a.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.68 m
  • Width:

    0.7 m
  • Length:

    0.97 m
  • Area:

    0.71 m2
  • Volume:

    1.19 m3
  • Orientation:

    8.49° right from burial chamber J2

Side chamber J2a

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This roughly cut side chamber lies to the rear (west) of the burial chamber.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.5 m
  • Width:

    2.46 m
  • Length:

    3.48 m
  • Area:

    6.62 m2
  • Volume:

    9.93 m3
  • Orientation:

    22.24° right from burial chamber J2

Gate J2b

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This gate leads from burial chamber J2 to side chamber J2b.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.5 m
  • Width:

    0.82 m
  • Length:

    0.96 m
  • Area:

    0.8 m2
  • Volume:

    1.2 m3
  • Orientation:

    86.83° right from burial chamber J2

Side chamber J2b

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This roughly cut side chamber lies to the right (north) of the burial chamber.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.7 m
  • Width:

    2.61 m
  • Length:

    4.16 m
  • Area:

    10.27 m2
  • Volume:

    17.46 m3
  • Orientation:

    75.01° right from burial chamber J2

Gate J2c

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This simple gate leads from burial chamber J2 to side chamber J2c.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.58 m
  • Width:

    0.91 m
  • Length:

    0.94 m
  • Area:

    0.85 m2
  • Volume:

    1.34 m3
  • Orientation:

    101.01° right from burial chamber J2

Side chamber J2c

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This side chamber lies to the right (north) of the burial chamber.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.7 m
  • Width:

    3.05 m
  • Length:

    4.34 m
  • Area:

    12.81 m2
  • Volume:

    21.78 m3
  • Orientation:

    90.86° right from burial chamber J2

Details

About

Perhaps the oldest royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings, KV 20 lies high in the easternmost arm of the Valley, cut into the cliff face near KV 19. The tomb is of very unusual plan: its axis bends from the east toward the south and then toward the west, curving away from the bay of Dayr al Bahri, undermining the theory that the tomb was originally intended to connect with Hatshepsut's memorial temple. The tomb descends through a series of five corridors (B, C1, D1, C2, D2), two ending in chambers with central descents (C1, C2), until it reaches chamber J1. From there, a corridor (G) leads to the burial chamber J2. Three low-ceilinged side chambers (Ja-c) are cut into the north end of the latter. Because the soft shale walls of the burial chamber J2 are unsuitable for decoration, mortuary texts were written in red and black ink on limestone blocks which probably lined the walls.

Noteworthy features:

This may be the first royal tomb cut in the Valley of the Kings. Its corridors, which bend clockwise, distinguish this tomb from others in the valley.

Site History

After digging here in 1903-1904, Carter concluded that KV 20 was shared by Hatshepsut and her father Thutmes I, whose burial had been transferred from KV 38. Seventy years later, however, Romer's study showed that KV 38 was actually later than KV 20 and had been quarried during the reign of Thutmes III as a secondary tomb for Thutmes I. KV 20 had been designed and prepared by the architect Ineni for Thutmes I, but at the time of his burial, the completed tomb stopped at chamber J1. The remaining descent in J1, corridor G and chambers (J2, J2a, J2b, J2c) were prepared during the reign of Hatshepsut to accommodate a double burial. The body of Thutmes I was later moved to KV 38, during the reign of Thutmes III. Hatshepsut's burial was left in KV 20 and was eventually sacked by tomb robbers. The mummy of Hatshepsut may have been identified: A tooth found in TT 320 in an ancient sealed box that bears her name has been shown to come from the mandible of a female mummy found in KV 60.

Dating

This site was used during the following period(s):

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
Thutmes I
New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
Hatshepsut

Exploration

1799: Mapping/planning
Napoleonic Expedition
1817: Mapping/planning
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
1825: Mapping/planning
Burton, James
1825: Excavation
Burton, James
1844-1845: Mapping/planning
Lepsius, Carl Richard
1903-1904: Excavation
Carter, Howard

Conservation

Conservation History

No conservation activities have been carried out since Carter's clearance of the tomb.

Site Condition

The upper corridors are cut in good quality limestone, but the lower ones are carved in softer Isna shale and have collapsed. For many years, the tomb was a haven for bats. In 1994, flooding completely filled the burial chamber with debris, making it inaccessible.

Resources

Articles

See All

Geography and Geology of the Valley

The Valley of the Kings actually consists of two valleys that run northeast from the slopes of a prominent ridge along a high plateau into the Western Desert.

Development of Tombs

Knowledge of the early stages of New Kingdom royal tomb development is hampered by a lack of evidence.

Bibliography

See All

Abd el-Ghany, Khaled 2016. Untersuchung einiger Merkmale der Gräber KV 38 und KV 20. Göttinger Miszellen 248, 11-25.

Carter, Howard.  Report of Work Done in Upper Egypt, 1903-1904.  Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Égypte 5 (1905): 112-119.

Cavillier, Giacomo. Progetto Kay. Richerche Italiane e Scavi in Egitto 6 (2013): 29-31

Davis, Theodore, Edouard Naville and Howard Carter.  The Tomb of Hatshopsitu (= Theodore M. Davis' Excavations, Biban el Moluk, 2).  London, 1906.

Der Manuelian, Peter and Christian E. Loeben.  From Daughter to Father: The Recarved Egyptian Sarcophagus of Queen Hatshspsut and King Thutmose I.  Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 5 (1993): 24-61.

Der Manuelian, Peter and Christian E. Loeben.  New Light on the Recarved Egyptian Sarcophagus of Hatshspsut and Thutmose I in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 79 (1993): 121-155. 

Hayes, William C.  Royal Sarcophagi of the XVIIIth Dynasty (= Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology, Quarto Series, 19).  Princeton, 1935.  Pp. 17-21, 42-47, 77-104, 157-163, 183-204.

Helck, Wolfgang.  Königsgräbertal.  Wolfgang Helck, Eberhart Otto and Wolfhart Westendorf (eds.).  Lexikon der Ägyptologie.  7 vols. Wiesbaden, 1972-1992. 3: 519.

Johnson, George B.  No One Seeing, No One Hearing:  KV Proto-tombs 38 and 20.  KMT 3/4 (1992-93):  64-81.

Measurements

Maximum height:

4.53 m

Minimum width:

0.70 m

Maximum width:

7.18 m

Total length:

210.32 m

Total area:

513.30 m²

Total volume:

1094.63 m³

Additional Tomb Information

Owner type:

King

Entrance location:

Base of sheer cliff

Entrance type:

Staircase

Interior layout:

Corridors and chambers

Axis type:

Bent

Decoration

Painting

Categories of Objects Recovered

Architectural elements
Jewelry
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vessels

Hieroglyphs

Thutmes I

King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Great Becomes the Soul of Ra; Son of Ra, Born of Thoth

Nisut-Bity Aa-Kheper-Ka-Ra Sa-Ra Djehuty-Mes

Hatshepsut

King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Just is the Soul of Ra; Son of Ra, Foremost of the Noble Ladies

Nisut-Bity Maat-Ka-Ra Sa-Ra Hat-Shepes-ut