You are here

Fieldwork

Re-Examination of KV62 - Tomb of Tutankhamun (2015 to present)

In a July 2015 publication, Dr. Nicholas Reeves proposed that more remains to be discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62). Based on numerous lines of evidence, Dr. Reeves posited that at least two additional chambers may remain undiscovered in this tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities and Heritage, Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty (accompanied by his Investigation Committee), invited the project to visit KV62 in September 2015 for an up-close empirical investigation and initial vetting of Dr. Reeves' theory. With the support of the Minister, in November 2015, the UAEE team conducted a non-invasive and non-destructive remote sensing examination of KV62 to evidence if, indeed, additional chambers are present. 

The July 2015 publication can be found here (click here) with addenda (click here).

Some press reports with images regarding the November 2015 fieldwork can be found here:
- http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34952947

- http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/151128-tut-tomb-scans-hidden-chambers/
- http://www.history.com/news/radar-points-to-secret-chamber-in-king-tuts-tomb
- http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/nation-now/2015/11/27/egypt-tomb-king-tut-queen-nefertiti-exploration/76441336/

Also in November 2015, spurred by the UAEE's work, scientific inquiries by an Egyptian and French collaborative team using infrared thermography have added to the corpus of evidence for something new in KV62:
http://www.archaeology.org/news/3867-151109-tutankhamun-tomb-temperatur 


Amarna Royal Tombs Project (2014 to present)

Under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Reeves, the "ARTP" was re-initiated after a ten-year hiatus. On November 24th, 2015, the Permanent Committee of Egyptian Antiquities formally approved re-opening the fieldwork component (link to news release in Arabic here).

Details of the project, its first four seasons in the Valley of the Kings (1998-2002), its history, collaborators and publications can be found here:

The Amarna Royal Tombs Project. Special Issue Newsletter...(2002, reissued 2014)

as well as the project's home page (click here).


Egyptian Dendrochronology Project (2013 to present)

As a result of favorable preservation and the ancient Egyptian practice of materially provisioning the dead for the afterlife, archaeological excavations in Egypt have recovered hundreds of tons of wood. The annual growth rings of these trees are an unread Rosetta Stone for the 21st century. Their immense potential spans a wide array of fields in the physical and social sciences. (Read this for a summary: Tree Rings and Ancient Egypt.)

Egypt is an essential element in the chronological and cultural tapestry of the ancient world, but two fundamental aspects remain unresolved: time (that is, chronology) and the ancient environment. Tree rings can provide a perspective on both subjects that is unmatched in its accuracy (annual precision).

This project's goal is three-fold: 1) to build a tree-ring based chronology for Egypt to enable cultural, environmental and chronological analyses, 2) to better understand ancient Egypt through the interpretation of its wooden material culture, and 3) establish a laboratory and training facility for dendrochronology in Egypt.

The first significant fieldwork toward this endeavor was conducted in 2015 and supported by the US National Science Foundation (Award # 1427574). Results are forthcoming.

Selected Publications:

P.P. Creasman. 2015. Timbers of Time: Revealing International Economics and Environment in Antiquity. In Crossroads II: There and Back Again. Eds. J. Mynářová, P. Onderka and P. Pavúk. Prague: Charles University Press, 45-58.

P.P. Creasman, J.S. Dean, and F. Babst. 2015. Eine Einführung in die Dendrochronologie für Ägyptologen. Göttinger Miszellen 245: 49-66.

P.P. Creasman and J.S. Dean (transl. N. Kawai and K. Yamamoto). 2015. 年輪年代学とエジプト学 (Dendrochronology and Egyptology). エジプト学研究第 (The Journal of Egyptian Studies) 21: 45-58.

P.P. Creasman. 2015. Exposing Ancient Egyptian Shipbuilders’ Secrets, in Egyptology in the Present. Ed. C. Graves-Brown. Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales, 13-38.

R.A. Caroli. 2015. Turning Over a New Leaf: An Assessment of the Dendrochronological Potential of Three Indigenous Ancient Egyptian Trees. MS thesis, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (94 pp).

P.P. Creasman. 2015. The Potential of Dendrochronology in Egypt: Understanding Ancient Human/Environment Interactions, in Egyptian Bioarchaeology: Humans, Animals, and the Environment. Eds. S. Ikram, J. Kaiser, R. Walker. Sidestone Press, 201-210.

Manning, S., M.W. Dee, E.M. Wild, C. Bronk Ramsey, K. Bandy, P.P. Creasman, C.B. Griggs, C.L. Pearson, A.J. Shortland and P. Steier. 2014. High-precision dendro-14C dating of two cedar wood sequences from First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom Egypt and a small regional climate-related 14C divergence. Journal of Archaeological Science 46: 401-416

P.P. Creasman. 2014. Tree Rings and the Chronology of Ancient Egypt. Radiocarbon 56.4 / Tree-Ring Research 70.3: S85-S92.

P.P. Creasman. 2014. Reflections of a Timber Economy: The Interpretation of Middle Kingdom Ship and Boat Timbers. Göttinger Miszellen 240: 19-36.

P.P. Creasman. 2013. Ship Timber and the Reuse of Wood in Ancient Egypt. Journal of Egyptian History 6.2: 152-176.

P.P. Creasman. 2013. Egyptian Chronology, in Archaeological Research in the Valley of the Kings and Ancient Thebes (Wilkinson Egyptology Series I). Ed. P.P. Creasman. Tucson: University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition, xvii-xix.


Tausret Temple Project (2004 to present)

The University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition's central archaeological project is the excavation, conservation, and publication of the remains of the temple of millions of years of Tausert (also spelled: Tausret), the 19th Dynasty queen who ruled as a king ca. 1200 BCE. The temple site was briefly examined by W. M. Flinders Petrie in 1896, but our own excavations have demonstrated that Petrie's work at the site was extremely limited. Numerous artifacts and inscriptions have been recovered from unexcavated areas and evidence has been found that the temple was structurally and functionally complete, if not entirely decorated.

Selected Publications:

P.P. Creasman, W.R. Johnson, J.B. McClain, R.H. Wilkinson. "Foundation or Completion? The Status of Pharaoh-Queen Tausret's temple of Millions of Years" Near Eastern Archaeology 77.4 (2014), 274-283.
   Click this link to read the summary at NEA (PDF file).

P.P. Creasman, "The Tausert Temple Project" The Ostracon: Journal of the Egyptian Study Society,

   2011 Season: 23 (Fall 2012), 3-7

   2013 Season and Other Notes: 24 (Fall 2013), 3-11

   2014 Season: 25 (Fall 2014), 3-13
               Co-authored with R. Caroli, T. Finlayson and B. Becktell.

P.P. Creasman, "Excavations at Pharaoh-Queen Tausret's Temple of Millions of Years: 2012 Season" Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 39 (2012/2013), 5-21.

P.P. Creasman, "An Elusive Female Pharaoh and Her 'Temple of Millions of Years'Newsletter of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (Fall 2013), 1-2. 

P.P. Creasman and R. Hummel. "Foreign Pottery at the site of Tausret's Temple of Millions of YearsJournal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 5.4 (2013), 14-16.

R. Hummel and P.P. Creasman. "Oasis Ware from the Site of Tausret's Temple in Western Thebes" in Cahiers de la Ceramique egyptienne 10 (Le Caire, in press).

R. Hummel and P.P. Creasman. "A  Curious Assemblage of Mud Vessels (from the site of Tausret's Temple)," Bulletin de liaison de Céramique Égyptienne 25 (in press).

W. M. Flinders Petrie, Six Temples At Thebes (London, 1897), pp.13-16.

R. H. Wilkinson, "The Tausert Temple Project" The Ostracon: Journal of the Egyptian Study Society,

   2004 and 05 Seasons: 16:2 (Summer 2005), 7-12

   2006 Season: 17:2 (Fall 2006), 9-12

   2007 Season: 18:1 (Summer 2007), 3-11

   2008 Season: 19 (Fall 2008), 3-8

   2009 Season: 20 (Fall 2009), 3-13

   2009-10 Season: 21 (Fall 2010), 3-11

   2010-11 Season: 22 (Fall 2011), 3-10

R. H. Wilkinson, "Six Seasons at Thebes: The University of Arizona Tausert Temple Project," Invited Chapter for Princes and Protection: Festschrift for Kent Weeks (Cairo: Supreme Council of Antiquities, 2010) pp. 219-237.

R. H. Wilkinson, "The Memorial Temple of Tausert: Was it Ever Completed? In The Temples of Millions of Years: Science and New Technologies applied to Archaeology, Acts of the International Symposium, Luxor, January 2010 (Cairo: Supreme Council of Antiquities, 2011).

R. H. Wilkinson, "The Temple of Tausret: Forgotten Monument of a Queen/Pharaoh," KMT: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt 23:3 (Fall 2012), 34-43.   

R. H. Wilkinson (ed.), The Temple of Tausret (UAEE, 2011)

R. H. Wilkinson (ed.), Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt (Oxford, 2012)


Amenmesse Project (1992 to 1993)

The Amenmesse Project, involving excavation and conservation of KV10 - the tomb of the 19th Dynasty pharaoh Amenmesse, was initially conducted under the auspices of the University of Arizona, then the University of Memphis. The project is now being completed by Dr. Otto Schaden for the Egyptian government.

Selected Publications:

E. L. Ertman, "A first report on the preliminary survey of unexcavated KV-10", KMT 4:2 (1993), 38-46.

O. J. Schaden, "Amenmesse Project report", NARCE 163 (1993), 1-9.

See also: N. Reeves and R. H. Wilkinson, The Complete Valley of the Kings (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996.


Western Valley of the Kings Project (1989 to 2002)

The first archaeological projects undertaken by The University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition in the Valley of the Kings involved excavation and research in and around tombs WV23, WV24, and WV25: work that extended over a decade.

Selected Publications:

R. H. Wilkinson, "The other Valley of the Kings: Exploring the western branch of the Theban royal necropolis", KMT 2:3 (Fall, 1991), 46-52.

O. J. Schaden, "Preliminary report on clearance of WV-24 in an effort to determine its relationship to royal tombs 23 and 25", KMT 2:3 (1991), 53-61.

R. H. Wilkinson, "The Identity of the Amarna-Age Tomb WV 25 in the Western Valley of the Kings", Journal of the Egyptian Study Society 13:1 (Spring 2002) pp. 13-16.

R. H. Wilkinson, "Finding What Belzoni Didn't Take: Foundation Pits in the Western Valley of the Kings", Bulletin of The American Research Center in Egypt 181 (Fall-Winter 2001-2002), pp. 16-18.

R. H. Wilkinson, "Controlled Damage: The Mechanics and Micro-History of the Damnatio Memoriae Carried Out in KV-23, the Tomb of Ay", Journal of Egyptian History 4 (2011), pp. 129-147.

See also: N. Reeves and R. H. Wilkinson, The Complete Valley of the Kings (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996).


Motif Alignment Project (1993 to 2003)

The Motif Alignment Project (M.A.P.) was instituted in 1993 for study of the location and alignment of reliefs and inscriptions in the royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings. While it is known that as early as the 18th Dynasty, despite actual cardinal directions, the ancient Egyptians considered the entrance to the royal tomb to be symbolically located in the south, other evidence indicates that during the 19th Dynasty another symbolic orientation was utilized in which the royal tomb was considered to lie on an east-west axis which dictated the location and alignment of a number of texts and representations placed on the walls of the royal tombs. Initial conclusions regarding this symbolic orientation were reached during the course of archaeological work in the Valley of the Kings during 1989 - 1993. In 1993, the Permanent Committee of the (then) Supreme Council of Antiquities granted permission for the specific photographing and recording of important scenes and inscriptions in a number of Ramesside tombs, and the results of the project have been published in several articles (listed below). While the Project focused primarily on KV8, the tomb of king Merenptah, it also included epigraphic and iconographic studies of many other royal tombs.

Selected Publications:

R. H. Wilkinson, "The paths of Re: Symbolism in the royal tombs of Wadi Biban El Moluk", KMT 4:3 (1993), 10-20.

R. H. Wilkinson, "Symbolic location and alignment in New Kingdom royal tombs and their decoration", Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt XXXI (1994), 79-86.

K. Kroenke, Locational Analysis of Symbolic Motifs of Royal Tombs in the Valley of the Kings, Master's Thesis (Tucson: University of Arizona, 1994).

R. H. Wilkinson, "Symbolic orientation and alignment in New Kingdom royal tombs", in Valley of the Sun Kings: New Explorations in the Tombs of the Pharaohs (Tucson, 1995).

R. H. Wilkinson, "The Motif of the Path of the Sun in Ramesside Royal Tombs: An Outline of Recent Research", Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities XXV (1995) [1999], 78-84, pl. VIII-X.

S. Onstine, "The Relationship Between Osiris and Re in the Book of Caverns", Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities XXV (1995) [1999], 78-84, pl. VIII-X.

See also: N. Reeves and R. H. Wilkinson, The Complete Valley of the Kings (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996).