What is important to me is that I have the great good fortune to spend my days doing something I love, and being given the opportunity to make a difference in the world.

— Zahi Hawass

Press Release - Lost Tomb Rediscovered

The archaeological mission of the University of Brussels has identified the lost tomb C.3 as that of Amenhotep, deputy and son-in-law to Senneferi, the overseer of seal-bearers during the reign of Tuthmosis III (1504-1452 bc).  The tomb was found on the southern part of the Sheikh Abd el-Qurna hill on the west bank of Luxor.

Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced that this tomb had previously been discovered in 1880 by archaeologist Karl Piehl, but was buried over time by the sand.  Archaeologists searched for it several times, but with no hope of rediscovering it until the Belgian mission stumbled upon it last month.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that Amenhotep’s tomb contains a classical T-shaped chapel with a transverse hall oriented north – south, divided by a row of six pillars. The southern half of the transverse hall collapsed in antiquity and the space is entirely filled with debris.

Dr. Laurent Bavay, head of the Belgian mission, said that most of the paintings on the walls of this room are totally destroyed.  They bear cutting marks indicating that the space was probably robbed long ago, possibly in the early 19th century.  The paintings on the ceiling are remarkably preserved, featuring geometric motifs typical of the 18th dynasty, with bands of hieroglyphic texts revealing the name, title, and genealogy of the tomb’s owner.

These texts reveal that Amenhotep was the deputy of the overseer of seal-bearers.  He was the son of Ahmes, director of the cattle of Amun, and Neheh.  His wife was called Renena, daughter of the overseer of seal-bearers, Senneferi.  Senneferi’s nearby tomb, TT 99, was excavated by the University of Cambridge from 1992 – 2002.  During this excavation, a well-preserved sandstone statue dedicated to the deputy, Amenhotep, was found.  This statue was featured in the 2002 exhibition, Hidden Treasures, at the Cairo Museum.


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