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KV 34
Thutmes III

About the image
Imydwat, tenth hour; modern glass panels installed to protect painted surface.
More Details

Entryway A

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This roughly cut entryway lies high in the cleft of the hill south of the Valley of the Kings. A steep staircase descends deep into the mountain. Foundation deposits were found near the tomb.

Porter and Moss designation:

Corridor A

Architectural Features

Benches
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    2.12 m
  • Length:

    3.03 m
  • Area:

    6.96 m2
  • Orientation:

    161.5°

Gate B

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The stairs of this gate are irregular and badly damaged.

Porter and Moss designation:

Corridor B

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.92 m
  • Width:

    1.64 m
  • Length:

    1.16 m
  • Area:

    1.87 m2
  • Volume:

    3.64 m3
  • Orientation:

    12.73° left from entryway A

Corridor B

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There is a small bench cut immediately before the left (east) jamb of gate C.

Porter and Moss designation:

Corridor B

Architectural Features

Bench

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.91 m
  • Width:

    2.16 m
  • Length:

    8.35 m
  • Area:

    17.71 m2
  • Volume:

    33.83 m3
  • Orientation:

    12.73° left from entryway A

Gate C

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This gate continues the slope from corridor B to chamber C, and begins the steps in stairwell C. The west jamb was cut back.

Porter and Moss designation:

Hall C

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.01 m
  • Width:

    1.61 m
  • Length:

    0.96 m
  • Area:

    1.88 m2
  • Volume:

    3.76 m3
  • Orientation:

    2.56° left from corridor B

Stairwell C

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There are roughly cut recesses in the walls of this stairwell. The staircase is poorly preserved.

Porter and Moss designation:

Hall C

Architectural Features

Overhang
Recesses
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.77 m
  • Width:

    1.62 m
  • Length:

    3.61 m
  • Area:

    5.73 m2
  • Volume:

    23.24 m3
  • Orientation:

    2.56° left from corridor B

Gate D

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The slope of this simple gate continues in corridor D.

Porter and Moss designation:

Corridor D

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.09 m
  • Width:

    1.14 m
  • Length:

    0.66 m
  • Area:

    0.76 m2
  • Volume:

    1.61 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from stairwell C

Corridor D

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This corridor is very steep. There is a landing at its end.

Porter and Moss designation:

Corridor D

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.99 m
  • Width:

    2.04 m
  • Length:

    4.38 m
  • Area:

    8.57 m2
  • Volume:

    10.4 m3
  • Orientation:

    4.32° right from stairwell C

Gate E

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This simple gate leads from corridor D to well chamber E.

Porter and Moss designation:

Hall E

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.78 m
  • Width:

    1.27 m
  • Length:

    1.23 m
  • Area:

    1.55 m2
  • Volume:

    2.76 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor D

Well chamber E

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The well chamber is well cut. Its ceiling and walls are plastered and partly decorated.

Porter and Moss designation:

Hall E

Architectural Features

Well shaft

Condition

Cutting finished
Decorated
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.7 m
  • Width:

    5.06 m
  • Length:

    4.16 m
  • Area:

    21.03 m2
  • Volume:

    38.8 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor D

Decoration

  • Star pattern

    Ceiling
  • Kheker frieze

    All walls

Gate F

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This simple, undecorated gate leads from well chamber E to pillared chamber F.

Porter and Moss designation:

Room F

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.56 m
  • Width:

    1.29 m
  • Length:

    1.3 m
  • Area:

    1.77 m2
  • Volume:

    2.76 m3
  • Orientation:

    13.46° left from well chamber E

Pillared chamber F

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This large unfinished chamber contains two pillars in its center. The walls meet at oblique angles. Walls and ceiling are covered with plaster. The wall decoration is unique: it lists 741 divinities of the Imydwat, a motif which is not found elsewhere. A descent descends through the floor of pillared chamber F to gate J.

Porter and Moss designation:

Room F

Architectural Features

Pillars

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Decorated
Decoration damaged
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.72 m
  • Width:

    6.69 m
  • Length:

    11.35 m
  • Area:

    75.38 m2
  • Volume:

    205.03 m3
  • Orientation:

    111° left from well chamber E
  • Number of pillars:

    2
  • Average pillar width:

    1.27 m

Decoration

  • Star pattern

    Ceiling
  • Imydwat

    representation of 741 deities All walls
  • Kheker frieze

    All walls

Graffiti

  • Hieratic text:

    mention of the scribe Amenhetep of Dynasty 20 left (Northwest) wall

Descent F

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Possible beam holes are cut at the top of this descent.

Porter and Moss designation:

Corridor G

Architectural Features

Beam holes
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    4.87 m
  • Width:

    1.49 m
  • Length:

    4.44 m
  • Area:

    7.17 m2
  • Orientation:

    0° from pillared chamber F

Gate J

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The stairway from descent F continues through this simple, undecorated gate.

Porter and Moss designation:

Sarcophagus chamber H

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.89 m
  • Width:

    1.37 m
  • Length:

    0.51 m
  • Area:

    0.67 m2
  • Volume:

    1.94 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from pillared chamber F

Burial chamber J

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Two partially decorated pillars stand in the center of this large burial chamber. The cartouche-shaped sarcophagus of Thutmes III rests in the rear (northeastern) end of the chamber. The gates to two of the four side chambers are cut close together in the left (northwest) wall. Two others are spaced farther apart in the right (southeast) wall.
The sections of the Imydwat are arranged on the walls of the burial chamber starting with the first three hours to the right of the entrance which itself is flanked by two halves of the fourth hour. The two pillars in this chamber are decorated with figures representing the seventy-four forms of the sun god found in the Litany of Ra, and texts from an abridged version of the Imydwat. In addition, there are two unusual scenes showing the king and members of his family, including a detail of Thutmes being suckled by a tree that personifies Isis. Figures and texts are done in a cursive fashion more appropriate to papyrus.

  • Chamber plan:

    Oval
  • Relationship to main tomb axis:

    Perpendicular
  • Chamber layout:

    Flat floor, pillars
  • Floor:

    One level
  • Ceiling:

    Flat

Porter and Moss designation:

Sarcophagus chamber H

Architectural Features

Burial pit
Pillars
Sarcophagus
Sarcophagus emplacement

Condition

Cutting finished
Decorated
Decoration damaged
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.31 m
  • Width:

    8.53 m
  • Length:

    14.64 m
  • Area:

    116.87 m2
  • Volume:

    386.84 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from pillared chamber F
  • Number of pillars:

    2
  • Average pillar width:

    1.24 m

Decoration

  • Imydwat

    three registers, with a black, red and yellow striped dado painted underneath All walls
  • Star pattern

    Ceiling
  • Imydwat

    abridged version front (Southwest) pillar 1
  • Litany of Ra

    forms of Ra (upper register) front (Southwest) pillar 2
  • Deceased with deities

    unique scene of king nursed by a divine tree goddess labeled "Isis" (also the name of his mother), followed by his wives and daughters left (Northwest) pillar 1
  • Litany of Ra

    right (Southeast) pillar 1
  • Imydwat

    abridged version (lower register) front (Southwest) pillar 2
  • Litany of Ra

    left (Northwest) pillar 2
  • Litany of Ra

    rear (Northeast) pillar 2
  • Litany of Ra

    right (Southeast) pillar 2
  • Kheker frieze

    All walls

Graffiti

  • Hieratic text:

    right (Southeast) wall

Sarcophagus

  • Extant remains:

    Box and lid
  • Sarcophagus form:

    Cartouche-shaped
  • Material:

    Quartzite
  • Length:

    2.36 m
  • Width:

    0.85 m
  • Height:

    0.98 m
  • Orientation:

    northwest
  • Emplacement:

    Pit with plinth blocks
  • Comments:

    The quartzite is yellow, with the surfaces painted red and the text and figures painted yellow.
  • Decoration:

  • Deities:
    four sons of Horus, Anubis, Isis Occupant's leftside
  • Deities:
    Nephthys kneeling on gold symbol Occupant's head end
  • Deities:
    Isis kneeling on gold symbol Occupant's foot end"
  • Deities:
    Nut Lid exterior
  • Prayers and hymns:
    Lid exterior

Gate Ja

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There is a door bolt hole in the left (southwest) thickness of this gate.

Architectural Features

Door bolt hole
Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.62 m
  • Width:

    1.09 m
  • Length:

    0.73 m
  • Area:

    0.8 m2
  • Volume:

    1.3 m3
  • Orientation:

    103.79° left from burial chamber J

Side chamber Ja

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This trapezoidal side chamber lies to the left (northwest) of burial chamber J.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.8 m
  • Width:

    2.96 m
  • Length:

    3.37 m
  • Area:

    9.56 m2
  • Volume:

    17.21 m3
  • Orientation:

    67.47° left from burial chamber J

Gate Jb

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The threshold of this gate is raised above the floor level of burial chamber J. There is a door bolt hole in the left (southwest) thickness of the gate.

Architectural Features

Door bolt hole
Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.74 m
  • Width:

    1.18 m
  • Length:

    0.76 m
  • Area:

    0.88 m2
  • Volume:

    1.53 m3
  • Orientation:

    71.99° left from burial chamber J

Side chamber Jb

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This trapezoidal side chamber lies to the left (northwest) of burial chamber J. The floor is raised above the floor level of burial chamber J.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.75 m
  • Width:

    3.08 m
  • Length:

    3.58 m
  • Area:

    10.87 m2
  • Volume:

    19.02 m3
  • Orientation:

    71.99° left from burial chamber J

Gate Jc

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The floor level of gate Jc is approximately 70 cm (27.5 inches) above that of burial chamber J. There is a door bolt hole in the left (northeast) thickness of the gate.

Architectural Features

Door bolt hole
Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.7 m
  • Width:

    1.08 m
  • Length:

    0.9 m
  • Area:

    0.97 m2
  • Volume:

    1.65 m3
  • Orientation:

    76.28° right from burial chamber J

Side chamber Jc

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This roughly cut trapezoidal side chamber lies beyond the left (southeast) wall of burial chamber J and its floor is approximately 70 cm (27.5 inches) above that of the burial chamber.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.92 m
  • Width:

    3.4 m
  • Length:

    2.56 m
  • Area:

    8.59 m2
  • Volume:

    16.49 m3
  • Orientation:

    115.14° right from burial chamber J

Gate Jd

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There is a door bolt hole in the left (northeast) thickness of the gate and a lintel beam slot at the top of each thickness.

Architectural Features

Door bolt hole
Lintel beam slot

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.65 m
  • Width:

    1.22 m
  • Length:

    0.76 m
  • Area:

    0.89 m2
  • Volume:

    1.47 m3
  • Orientation:

    78.3° Right from burial chamber J

Side chamber Jd

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This roughly cut side chamber lies beyond the right (southeast) wall of burial chamber J.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.86 m
  • Width:

    2.86 m
  • Length:

    3.67 m
  • Area:

    10.45 m2
  • Volume:

    19.44 m3
  • Orientation:

    65.87° right from burial chamber J

Details

About

The tomb of Thutmes III, KV 34, was cut into the base of a water-worn cleft above the cliff face at the head of the southernmost wadi in the Valley of the Kings. The architecture of KV 34 represents a transition in royal tomb design. A steep entryway (A) gives access to a corridor (B), a chamber with central descent (C), and a second corridor (D), leading to a well chamber (E). The trapezoidal chamber F beyond the well has two central pillars and a stairwell at the northern end that descends to burial chamber J.

The long axis is perpendicular to that of the corridors above. The axis of the descent and the burial chamber is at less than a right angle (72.64°) to that of the preceding corridors. This chamber is rectangular with rounded corners, resembling a cartouche, and four side chambers (Ja-Jd). The pillared chamber is decorated with scenes from the Imydwat. The burial chamber is decorated with the Imydwat and scenes from the Litany of Ra.

Noteworthy features:

Well chamber E is an innovation, which is found in the tombs of Thutmes III's successors. The cartouche-shaped burial chamber J is unique, with the first complete version of the Imydwat and the earliest version of the Litany of Ra on its walls.

Site History

According to Romer (see bibliography), the tomb was constructed in nine phases, some of which included the completion or repair of decoration following the king's burial. Gates C, D and F were enlarged in an attempt to emplace the larger items of funerary furniture. The decoration in burial chamber J was probably not applied until after the death of the king, when the burial preparations were in progress. Before the closure of the tomb, the decoration of well chamber F, which had been damaged when the doorways were enlarged, was repainted.

The tomb was plundered in antiquity, and the sarcophagus, as well as many of the remaining objects, were found damaged. It appears that two of the side chambers were anciently cleared of their original contents. Some have theorized that this may indicate that they served as temporary caches for mummies as was done in KV 35. The badly damaged mummy of Thutmes III, which was removed and rewrapped during Dynasty 21, was found in its original outer coffin in the Dayr al Bahri cache, TT 320, in 1881. Two damaged mummies found in KV 34 were also disturbed, indicating that the tomb was entered again after their burial.

Dating

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

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
Thutmes III
Late Period

Exploration

1932: Photography
Bucher, Paul
1898-1899: Excavation
Daressy, Georges
1898: Excavation
Loret, Victor
1898: Discovery

Conservation

Conservation History

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has installed glass panels along the burial chamber walls to prevent tourists from touching them, and wooden flooring to protect the stone floors and aid in preventing dust accumulation. It has moved the sarcophagus box to its ancient position over a plinth of calcite blocks and placed the repaired lid on the box. Fans have been installed in the lower chambers in an attempt to reduce the build-up of humid air.

Site Condition

Water entered the tomb in the 1994 flooding and collected in the bottom of the well, where it was absorbed by unexcavated debris and increased the humidity level in the tomb.

Resources

Articles

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Development of Tombs

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

Bibliography

See All

Bucher, P.  Les Textes des Tombes de Thoutmosis III et d'Aménophis II (= Mémoires publiés par les members de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale du Cairo, 60).  Cairo, 1932.

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

Daressy, Georges. Fouilles de la Vallée des Rois, 1898-1899 (Cairo, 1902): 281-298.

Dunham, Dows.  A Fragment from the Mummy Wrappings of Tuthomsis III. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.  London. 17 (1931): 209-210.

Fornari, Annamaria and Mario Tosi.  Nella sede della verità: Deir el Medina e l’ipogeo di Thutmosi III.  Milan: Franco Maria Ricci,  1987.

Hayes, William C.  Royal Sarcophagi of the XVIIIth Dynasty (= Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology, Quarto Series, 19).  Priceton, 1935.  Pp. 22-23, 51-52, 110-113, 165-167, 183-204.

Helck, Wolfgang.  Königsgräbertal.  Wolfgang Helk, Ebrnart Otto and Wolfhart Westendorf (eds.). elck, Evbermnart Lexikon der Ägyptologie, 3. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1980.  Pp. 520.

Hornung, Erik.  The Tomb of Thutmosis III.  In: Kent R. Weeks (ed.).  The Treasures of the Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Temples of the Theban West Bank in Luxor.  Vercelli: WhiteStar, 2001; Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2001.  Pp. 136-139.

Loret, Victor.  Le tombeau de Thoutmes III à Biban el-Molouk.  Bulletin de l’Institut d’Égypte. Cairo. (3 ser.) 9 (1899): 91-97.

Measurements

Maximum height:

4.87 m

Minimum width:

1.08 m

Maximum width:

8.53 m

Total length:

76.11 m

Total area:

310.93 m²

Total volume:

792.72 m³

Additional Tomb Information

Owner type:

King

Entrance location:

Cliff face

Entrance type:

Staircase

Interior layout:

Corridors and chambers

Axis type:

Bent

Decoration

Painting

Categories of Objects Recovered

Architectural elements
Human mummies
Lighting equipment
Mammal remains
Models
Scarabs and seals
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vessels

Hieroglyphs

Thutmes III

King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Established is the Manifestations of Ra; Son of Ra, Born of Thoth, Beautiful of Manifestations

Nisut-Bity Men-Kheper-Ra Sa-Ra Djehuty-Mes Nefer-Kheperu