The tomb of Amenhotep II - KV 35

porzione del libro dell'Amduat rafigurato nella tomba di Amenhotep II The tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35) was discovered by the French egyptologist Victor Loret in the Valley of the Kings in March 1898.

The entrance was hidden at the foot of a high rocky face. At the end of a long descending passage he found the funerary shaft with an annexed chamber where he found two skulls attributed to Hatshepsut-Merytra, the pharaoh’s mother and to his son Ubensenu.

After the shaft a vestibule with two pillars opens at 90 degrees in the last chamber where Loret discovered a mummy inside a ritual boat. According to some Egyptologists that mummy could be identified as Sethnakht.

sarcofago di Amenhotep II A stairway leads to a large burial chamber. This chamber of rectangular shape has six pillars to support the roof decorated with golden stars on a deep blue sky. The pillars are decorated as well and the paintings show the king with Osiris, Anubis and Hathor, meanwhile the chamber’s walls are decorated with the text of the Amduat, written in black on a beige background in a way to represent an open papyrus tree. The last part of the chamber, the so-called crypt, is built with a lower floor housing the royal sarcophagus, cut to a block of quartzite in a shape representing a cartouche. When the tomb was discovered, Loret found the pharaoh’s body (now in the Cairo Museum) still adorned with flowers, inside the sarcophagus.

particolare della tomba di Amenhotep II Although the tomb has been repeatedly violated, it still retains many funerary objects, which originally would have been found inside the four chambers that open at the burial chamber’s sides. In the first room on the right side, Loret discovered three mummies, all with their chests opened up: an “old” woman thought to be Tiye, wife of Amenhotep II, another younger woman and a boy. Their identities are still under question.

Inside the second side chamber on the right, Loret discovered a hiding-place blocked by a stonewall where the priests of the XXI dynasty had hidden the mummies of Thutmosi IV, Amenhotep III, Merenptah, Sethi II, Siptah, Ramses IV, Ramses VI and a body of an unidentified woman. This tomb is one of the two famous royal cachettes that had protected the remains of some of the great pharaohs of the New Kingdom that are still preserved to day.