Severely damaged wooden coffins and jars, filled with ceramics, textiles and natron in KV 63

Oct 4, 2020

At the end of 2005, while clearing the undisturbed crude foundation flooring of the workmen’s huts near the tomb of KV 10, Dr. Otto Schaden’s team discovered a single-chambered shaft tomb, now identified as KV 63, containing eight coffins. Two were gilded coffinettes, and six were wooden, four of which were severely damaged by termites. There were also 28 large ceramic storage jars, many of which were sealed.

Naturally, one of the most exciting salvage projects of recent years was the careful removal and reconstruction of the many artifacts found in KV 63. The first new tomb in the Valley of the Kings since Howard Carter found Tutankhamun in 1922 bore no sign of a royal name. However, some seal impressions seemed similar to finds from nearby tombs, and the ceramics reminded of wares from Tutankhamun’s embalming cache in KV 54. From the art styles and comparisons of artifacts, its date fell within a few years of Tutankhamun's reign.

The coffins and jars were filled with ceramics, textiles, natron, and various other materials. No mummies were interred since the tomb had been used as an embalmer’s cache, but the question of whose embalming goods were housed here remains to be answered. You may not know, but this operation also had a significant epigraphic component involving Survey Senior Artist Susan Osgood, who created a complex visual reconstruction of one of the coffins. Her drawings were mostly based on traditional measuring tools and techniques, then picked up digitally for final representation.

If you haven’t read this one-of-a-kind case study written by Susan Osgood, you can do so by clicking here.⠀⠀

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