Pottery and the Valley of the Kings: »The remains of objects not worth describing«

The state-of-the-art analysis of the well-dated pottery from various New Kingdom tombs (ca. 1550–1000 BC) in the Valley of the Kings is an important contribution to the fine dating of the periods of use of the ceramic inventory throughout Egypt.



During the heyday of exploration in the Valley of the Kings, beginning with Eugene Lefèbvre’s survey in 1883 and ending with Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun in 1922, a large number of uninscribed, and evidently robbed, 18th Dynasty tombs were discovered. Of little interest to the early explorers, the fragmentary material from such tombs was generally only summarily examined and left in situ. Beginning in the 1980s, however, the Tacoma Pacific Lutheran University, under the leadership of Donald Ryan, began re-examining some of these tombs (KV 21, 27, 28, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 60) and throughout the past two decades the University of Basel, under the leadership of Hanna Jenni (KV 32) and Susanne Bickel (KV 26, 30, 31, 33, 37, 38, 40, 59, 64) has systematically re-cleared the others. Much pottery remained and this has now been systematically recorded within this project.

The pottery from the remaining tombs is in the process of being written up. In addition, thanks to the generosity of Otto Schaden (†), Salima Ikram and the Amenmesse Tomb Project, I have also been entrusted with the pottery from the intact tomb KV 63, the publication of which will also appear in due course. Currently the process of recording is continuing.

Principal investigator


since 2012