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Gold earrings with cartouches of Sety II.
More Details

Entryway A

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The upper part of the shaft is composed of limestone chips and bedrock only on one side. The lower part is cut entirely through limestone bedrock.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    1.61 m
  • Length:

    2.42 m
  • Area:

    3.89 m2
  • Orientation:

    347.48°

Chamber B

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The single chamber, if it had been cut totally, would have been the largest chamber in any shaft tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The rear (north) wall is unfinished.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.1 m
  • Width:

    7.59 m
  • Length:

    4.35 m Irregular
  • Area:

    34.6 m2
  • Volume:

    107.26 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Gate B

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The lintel has broken away.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated
Damaged structurally

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.13 m
  • Width:

    1.4 m
  • Length:

    0.57 m
  • Area:

    0.77 m2
  • Volume:

    2.41 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Details

About

KV 56 is located in the main wadi. It consists of a deep shaft entryway (A) leading to a large, undecorated and unfinished chamber (B). It contained objects bearing the names of Rameses II, Sety II, as well as Tausert.

Noteworthy features:

A large amount of gold jewelry was discovered in the tomb.

Site History

The identity of the original owner of this tomb is unknown, if indeed KV 56 is a tomb at all. Since most of the objects found inside bear the names of Tausert and Sety II (as well as Rameses II), Maspero believed that all the materials found in KV 56 were taken from KV 14, the tomb of Tausert, which was usurped by Setnakht. Aldred, on the other hand, argued that KV 56 was not a cache, but rather an essentially intact burial of a child of Sety II and Tausert. He based his theory on the fact that near the left (west) wall of chamber B were remains of stucco, gold leaves and inlays, which could be from a coffin.

Dating

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

New Kingdom
Dynasty 19
Tausert

Exploration

1908: Discovery
Ayrton, Edward Russell
1908: Excavation
Ayrton, Edward Russell
1999-2002: Excavation
Amarna Royal Tombs Project

Conservation

Site Condition

The tomb has been recently re-excavated by the Amarna Royal Tombs Project.

Resources

Bibliography

See All

Aldred, Cyril P.  Valley Tomb no 56 at Thebes.  Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 49 (1963): 176-178.

Altenmüller, Hartwig.  Bemerkungen zu den Königsgräbern des Neuen Reiches.  Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 10 (1983): 25-61.

Ayrton, Edward R.  Recent Discoveries in the Biban el Moluk at Thebes. Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology.  London.  30 (1908): 116-117.

Davis, Theodore M., Gaston Maspero, Edward Ayrton, Georges Daressy and E.H. Jones.  The Tomb of Siphtah (= Theodore M. Davis' Excavations, Biban el Moluk, 4).  London, 1908.

Forbes, Dennis C.  The Gold Hoard of Queen Tausret and King Seti II.  KMT 9, 2 (1998): 65-69.

Helck, Wolfgang.  Königsgräbertal.  Wolfgang Helck, Eberhart Otto and Wolfhart Westendorf (eds.).  Lexikon der Ägyptologie.  7 vols. Wiesbaden, 1972-1992.  3: 523.

Pinch-Brock, Lyla.  Collisions, Abandonments, Alterations, Tomb Commencements/Pits, and Other Features in the Valley of the Kings. In: Richard H. Wilkinson and Kent R. Weeks (eds.).  The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.  Pp. 117-134.

Porter, Bertha and Rosalind Moss.  Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Text, Reliefs, and Paintings. I, 2. The Theban Necropolis: Royal Tombs and Smaller Cemeteries.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964.  Pp. 567.

Reeves, Carl Nicholas.  Valley of the Kings: The Decline of a Royal Necropolis (= Studies in Egyptology).  London:  KPI, 1990. Pp. 131-133.

Measurements

Maximum height:

3.13 m

Minimum width:

1.40 m

Maximum width:

7.59 m

Total length:

7.34 m

Total area:

39.28 m²

Total volume:

109.71 m³

Additional Tomb Information

Owner type:

Unknown, possibly royal

Entrance location:

Base of sloping hill

Entrance type:

Shaft

Interior layout:

Chamber

Axis type:

Straight

Categories of Objects Recovered

Jewelry
Tomb equipment
Vessels