Maat-ka-Ra Hatshepsut

last update: 03.06.2008
The Rock Tomb

At the time, when Hatshepsut was still "Great Royal Wife" of Thutmosis II, the building of a tomb was, probably towards the end of the reign of Thutmosis II. In the beginning of the 18. Dynasty no tombs existed in the Valley of Queens and also otherwise there was no official cemetery for queens in Thebes-West.

Therefore, she selected for her tomb a place in the Wadi Sikket T‚quet el-Zaid, high above in the cliff of this inaccessible canyon. According to Carter (Carter, ASAE 16, 1916) the rock is about 112 m high in this area, the tomb itself is located in a cliff about 70 m above the bottom of the valley. The tomb was not detectable from the bottom of the valley.

Above a map of the West-Bank: showing among others above on the left corner the Valley of Kings with its eastern and western side valleys, the village of the workman at Deir el-Medinah, the Valley of Queens, and also the Wadi Sikket T‚quet el-Zaid (2. from below). One should take into consideration the right arrow above which indicates the direction to north, therefore, the Wadi runs coarsely from north to south (after Porter&Moss, Vol, I.2, 1972)

When Carter discovered the tomb 1916 (see above) he found the entrance (see below) filled with rubble which had slipped down from mountain-slope. Tomb robbers had dug courses through the rubble down to the burial chamber. He let remove the rubble and recognized that the interior of the tomb resembled the tomb of Thutmosis II in the Valley of Kings.

From the entrance of the tomb one has a free look above the adjoining hills down to the Nile valley. The following photo was taken on a very hazy day from the same position as the photos above.

Stairs (= Treppe) lead from the entrance down to a door, from there through a gallery (= Galerie) to a storeroom (= Vorratskammer) and to the right through a second gallery (= Galerie) to the burial chamber (= Grabkammer). In the middle of the room a ramp led southwards into an unfinished room. Diagonally placed at the beginning of the ramp Carter found a sarcophagus made of quartzite (199*73*73 cm), the accessory cover was approx. 17 cm thick and leant against the sarcophagus. The position of the sarcophagus suggests that it should be moved down the ramp into the room after this has been finished. However, the work in the tomb had been stopped before this room was finished - most likely when Hatshepsut became king.

The drawing above shows the ground plan of the tomb as well as the position of the sarcophagus according to Carter (ASAE 16, 1916).

The sarcophagus was inscribed for a "Great Princess, great of popularity and charm, Lady of the Two Lands, King's Daughter, King's Sister, God's Wife, Greta Royal Wife, Hatshepsut". Beside the inscriptions the left side was decorated with a pair of Udjat eyes. The decoration of the cover forms of a large cartouche, at whose upper end the goddess Nut is depicted (with exception of Nut no other figures are shown on the sarcophagus).
Today, the sarcophagus is exhibited in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo. Among the three sarcophagi ordered by Hatshepsut this one was described in the list of royal sarcophagi published by Hayes as "Sarcophagus A".

 Family Tombs Mummy

Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)