Tomb of Tuthmose IV (KV43)
The tomb of Tuthmose IV Menkheperure, sited high in the southern cliff of the Kings Valley, was discovered in 1903 by Howard Carter. Although the tomb had been stripped of valuable items in antiquity there were some funerary objects found during excavation. The most interesting point of the tomb is the construction and decoration which shows the development of style in tomb building during Dynasty XVIII.
Similar to the earlier tombs, two flights of stairs and steeply descending corridors lead to a well-shaft, but in this case the chamber was more completely decorated with beautifully painted scenes of the king before Osiris, Anubis and Hathor, set against a light yellow background. The ceiling is painted with yellow stars on a blue background and a khekher-frieze around the top of the walls. A small chamber leads off to the south at the bottom of the shaft.
A chamber set at 90 degrees to the well-chamber contains two square pillars but the walls were left unfinished, showing only the guidelines for the decoration. A staircase descends to another sloping corridor and staircase and into a vestibule. Two of the walls of this antechamber to the burial chamber are painted with scenes of the king receiving life from Osiris, Anubis and Hathor similar to the well-chamber. On the west wall you can see hieratic graffiti, by Maya, ‘Overseer of the Treasury’, and Djutmose, ‘Steward of Thebes’ who ‘renewed the burial’ of Tuthmose during the time of Horemheb. The chamber has a star ceiling and khekher-frieze at the top of the walls.
The burial chamber contains six square pillars and four annexes or storage chambers leading off the main room. The walls of the main burial chamber were left undecorated but we can see two small niches, one on the southern wall and another on a pillar, which were the first occurrence of ‘magical niches’ which became popular in subsequent tombs. The end part of the burial chamber is sunk to contain the king’s fine quartzite sarcophagus, still in situ, with figures painted in yellow and beautiful depictions of Nephthys and Isis on the ends. The mummy of Tuthmose IV was found in the cache of royal mummies in KV35, the tomb of Amenhotep II.
Tickets for the King’s Valley cost EGP 80 for three tombs and can be bought at the gate. Photography inside the tombs is strictly forbidden and can incur heavy fines. There is a little train – the taftaf – that runs from the coach park to the entrance to the monument area and costs EGP 2.