OUR MISSION IS CONSERVATION
The Valley of the Kings Archaeological and Conservation Consortium is an international group of Egyptologists, archaeologists, archaeological conservators and related professionals, dedicated to the preservation and related excavation of the Valley and its tombs. They aim not only to preserve what is already excavated but to carry on additional excavations in a responsible and professional manner, so as to salvage as much information and material remains from this important site as possible.
The tomb of Ramesses III (KV 11) is one of the Ramesside period Royal Tombs in the Valley of the Kings and is the initial target project of the Consortium. It has not been conserved or fully cleared since its âdiscoveryâ in modern times. The conserved and cleared upper portions of the tomb contain beautiful and significant decoration, some of which is shown in the accompanying photographs below.
In certain respects, the tomb is unlike many other tombs in the Valley. The tomb saw extensive flooding during its history and suffered severe damage as a result, but unlike most of the tombs, this flooding was from both outside and inside, It flooded in large part upward, from the bottom chambers, including the burial chamber, the four side chambers off of that chamber and the three small chambers beyond the burial chamber.
Before its modern discovery in the early 1800âs and work by Belzoni, who removed the top of the lid of the kingâs sarcophagus, now in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, flooding had deposited a layer of mud and stone in these chambers. In this respect, it was in distinguished company, as Maspero and Carter had both recognized in or before 1901, when a fall occurred in the tomb of Seti I, that such may have been caused by water from cracks in the roof of the tomb. The same situation applied in Luxor on New Yearâs Eve in 1990, when a light but steady drizzle resulted in several inches of water being deposited in the burial chamber of King Tutankhamun, which then had to be removed the next morning with rags and pails.
The lower portion of the tomb of Ramesses III filled with water the same way, resulting in severe damage, such that the lower portions of the tomb have been closed since. Consequently, while Belzoni was able to dig the sarcophagus lid out of the confused detritus and there was some excavation by the Service des Antiquities in 1895, the results of which apparently were unpublished, there has been no systematic clearance of these flooded and damaged tomb chambers.
Accordingly, there is a strong possibility that conservation and clearance of these chambers, once stabilized, may result in the discovery of additional small objects or fragments of objects, missed by past investigations.