Tomb of Tawosret and Sethnakht (KV14)

Queen Tawosret was the Chief Wife of Seti II who reigned briefly as pharaoh at the end of Dynasty XIX after the death of her son Siptah. KV14 was subsequently usurped by the first king of Dynasty XX, Sethnakht. The tomb is located next to that of Tawosret’s husband.

The entrance to the tomb gives access to three corridors decorated with the usual scenes now seen in royal tombs and the sun disc containing scarab and ram-headed god flanked by Isis and Nephthys on the outer lintel. On the left of the first corridor in painted plaster relief, the queen is seen offering vases to Re-Horakhty, food to Anubis and an image of Ma’at to Isis. Figures on this wall were reworked to depict Tawosret as a king rather than a queen then later changed to Sethnakht on a smaller scale. On the right-hand side the queen can also be seen as a king offering Ma’at to Re-Horakhty, Hathor and Nephthys.

Scenes from Tawosret's burial chamber

The second corridor was usurped by Sethnakht, who covered the images of Tawosret with plaster over which he painted his own names. The walls contain texts from the ‘Book of the Dead’. There is also a depiction of Seti II on the right-hand wall.

The third corridor also has scenes from the ‘Book of the Dead’, showing the underworld spirits with knives. This leads into a small square chamber, probably a well-room without a shaft, decorated with images of Osiris, Isis, Anubis, and Nephthys and an Iun-Mutef priest with the Four Sons of Horus.

A staircase descends through the next room, also decorated with Underworld guardians from the ‘Book of the Dead’, and leads to another series of corridors, decorated with the ‘Opening of the Mouth Ritual’. In a side-room off the upper corridor a painting showing Anubis tending a mummy on a couch and flanked by Isis and Nephthys is also a spell from the ‘Book of the Dead’.

Scenes from the Underworld Books in Tawosret's burial chamber

Tawosret’s burial chamber is a rectangular room with four small annexes off the corners. The chamber has eight square pillars in a gallery around a sunken sarcophagus area and the walls are brightly painted with Underworld scenes from various texts (Book of Gates, Book of Caverns, Book of the Earth). The pillars are decorated with depictions of various deities and representations of funerary furniture. Tawosret’s name was usurped by Sethnakht here too. The burial chamber has a typical Ramesside vaulted astronomical ceiling showing the decans, northern constellations and their associated deities. Whilst Tawosret’s mummy has never been positively identified (possibly mummy ‘D’ in the KV35 cache) her sarcophagus was found elsewhere having been reused for a Ramesside prince.

Tawosret's sarcophagus

The tomb was extended further into the mountain by Sethnakht and there are two side rooms at the entrance to the next corridor which seem to have been abandoned before completion. The lower corridors were decorated with scenes from the Amduat and Sethnakht’s burial chamber at their end is similar to, but slightly lager than the chamber of Tawosret. The carving was never completed here and the walls are only painted and in a poorer condition than in the first burial chamber. There is an astronomical ceiling similar to Tawosret’s.

The huge red granite restored sarcophagus of Sethnakht still remains in the burial chamber, with a reclining mummiform image of the king on its lid. Sethnakht’s mummy was found in KV35 with the royal mummy cache.

Entrance

The tomb of Tawosret and Sethnakht is currently open to visitors. 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.

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~ by Su on February 5, 2009.