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A project of the American Research Center in Egypt
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Entrances to QV77, QV78, and QV79.
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Chamber B

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Large, roughly cut rectangular and undecorated chamber. The presence of large boulders suggests they were used to block the pit shaft cut into the northeast corner of chamber B or the entrance to chamber B itself.


Cutting finished

Chamber Ba

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A small pit chamber located directly under chamber B and situated halfway down the long shaft that terminates with chamber Bb.


Cutting finished

Chamber Bb

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A somewhat large, roughly cut and undecorated square pit chamber at the bottom of a long shaft leading down from the rear of chamber B.


Cutting finished



QV 78 lies on the north side of the main Wadi at its eastern end, between QV 77 and QV 79. The shaft entrance (A) has a modern cemented masonry surround with metal grill. The tomb has three chambers at different levels, two of which (Ba and Bb) are accessed via a deep pit in the rear of the upper, main chamber (B). Large boulders are present in the main chamber (B), presumably used for the original blocking of the shaft or chamber entrance. A shallow excavated pit is also present in the main chamber (B).

Carl Lepsius called QV 78 "spacious" and Elizabeth Thomas mentioned that the rear pit is "comparable to those in QV 13, QV 14, QV 15, and QV 16 and is probably again intrusive". The Franco-Egyptian Mission last cleared the tomb in 1986-87. Based on the archaeological material recovered, they have suggested that the tomb was constructed during the 18th Dynasty. It was subsequently expanded to include the lower chambers, accommodating a group burial during the Roman period.

Noteworthy features:

The tomb QV 78 has three chambers at different levels, two of which (Ba and Bb) are accessed via a deep pit in the rear of the upper, main chamber (B).

Site History

The tomb was constructed in the 18th Dynasty and expanded and reused during the Roman Period to accommodate a group burial. 


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

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
Graeco-Roman Era
Roman Period


1844: Documentation
Lepsius, Carl Richard
1966: Documentation
Thomas, Elizabeth
1981: Mapping/planning
Theban Mapping Project
1986-1987: Excavation
Franco Egyptian Mission
2006-2008: Survey and Documentation
Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA)
2008: Tomb clearance
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA)


Site Condition

According to the GCI-SCA assessment team, the tomb is in a stable condition. Chamber (B) is roughly hewn and the rock of the ceiling and much of the walls show an orange-brown lustrous appearance similar to the side chambers of QV 42 and chambers of QV 43. This was presumably caused by intense fire or heat damage. The floor and lower portions of the walls that are not discolored were presumably protected by debris fill at the time of the fire. Modern trash littered the floor and was later removed in 2007. Due to difficulty in access, the lower chambers were not inspected by the GCI-SCA assessment team. The lower shaft and chambers were inhabited by bats during the time of the assessment. At least ten were seen by the GCI-SCA, but many more were heard roosting in the pit.


Geography and Geology of the Valley of the Queens and Western Wadis

The Valley of the Queens and the Western Wadis are made up of numerous valleys spread out over a vast space of desert, each containing tombs for the New Kingdom queens and other royal family members. The poor quality rock has led to damage in several tombs after suffering from earthquakes and floods.


CNRS mission report: Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France). Rapport d'activité 1987-1988 URA no. 1064, 1987-1988.

Demas, Martha and Neville Agnew (eds). Valley of the Queens. Assessment Report. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, 2012, 2016. Two vols.

Leblanc, Christian. Ta set nefrou: une nécropole de Thèbes-ouest et son histoire, 1: géographie- toponymie: historique de l'exploration scientifique du site. Cairo: Nubar Printing House, 1989.

Lepsius, Richard. Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien: Texten. Vol. 3. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich, 1897-1913.

Macke, André, Christiane Macke-Ribet, Christian Leblanc, and Jacques Connan. Ta set neferou: une necropole de Thebes-Ouest et son histoire: momification, chimie des baumes, anthropologie, paléopathologie. Vol. 5. Cairo: Nubar Printing House, 2002.