Our project was developed since 2011 and officially founded in 2016, its main objectives being the publication and conservation of the tomb of Ramesses III in the Valley of the Kings (KV 11). Since 2017, it holds the concession of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities to study the tomb. The project is officially based at Humboldt-University of Berlin and cooperates with the Universities of Luxor and Qena. The long-term project combines traditional philological and archaeological research with more recent methods such as photogrammetry and virtual reality. Along with continuous fieldwork, a major focus lies on archival research that allows us to reconstruct the decoration programme of the tomb. Moreover, the project follows an interdisciplinary approach, integrating geological, petrological and hydrological studies in order to develop a strategy to preserve and protect this important part of the Egyptian World heritage.
Research by: Martina Grünhagen
In KV 11, the Litany of Re is to be found in the first and second corridor. These texts have been studied by Erik Hornung (1975), who published a hieroglyphic transcription in comparison with further textual witnesses of the New Kingdom; specifics of this version, however, are not considered. Neither the exact direction of the hieroglyphs and lengths of the gaps, nor the correct division of the columns, the canon of the colors as well as the misspellings or the distribution of the text and the figures have been detailed. In addition to an examination of these aspects, omissions and additions of the text are to be interpreted with regard to the other variants of the Litany of Re. On the basis of these results, the structure of the text published by Hornung is to be checked and corrected. Moreover, this project aims to enhance our knowledge of the relation of the Litany of Re to other texts in this tomb.
E. Hornung, Das Buch der Anbetung des Re im Westen (Sonnenlitanei), Teil 1: Text, Aegyptiaca Helvetica 2, Genf 1975.
E. Hornung, Das Buch der Anbetung des Re im Westen (Sonnenlitanei), Teil 2: Übersetzung und Kommentar, Aegyptiaca Helvetica 3, Genf 1976.
Images - Copyrights: The Ramesses III (KV 11) Publication and Conservation Project.
Research by: Gareth D. Rees, Lea Rees, Helen Strudwick
In 2017, we received the permission of the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge for a photogrammetrical record of the sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III (Inv. No. E.1.1823). A
team from Oxford Archaeology East (Gareth Rees, James Fairbairn) was able to record the lid and produce a 3D-model of it. This can be used as a basis for future reconstructions as well as for a virtual join
with the sarcophagus itself, now housed in the Musée du Louvre in Paris (Inv. No. D1). Recently, we received permission for a photogrammetry record of this object. We would like to thank our
colleagues Helen Strudwick, Vincent Rondot and Marc Etienne for their kind support.
A. Dodson, ‘Was the sarcophagus of Ramesses III begun for Sethos II?’, JEA 72 (1986), 196-198.
A. Dodson, ‘Sarcophagi’, in R. H. Wilkinson, K. Weeks, The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings (Oxford, , 255-256.
Reconstruction of the sarcophagus ensemble
Research by: Lea Rees
The famous sarcophagus that was removed from the tomb of Ramesses III in the Valley of the Kings (KV 11) in the beginning of the 19th century is nowadays housed in two different European Museums: while the lid is displayed in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (Inv. No. E.1.1823), the coffer is to be seen in the Musée du Louvre in Paris (Inv. No. D1). This sub-project of The Ramesses III (KV 11) Publication and Conservation Project deals with the object’s biography, including its original function and ownership as well as the more recent research history and changing museum displays. We also aim to create a photogrammetric 3D model in order to virtually reunite the coffer with its lid.
Along with this sarcophagus, which has been known since the 18th century, we have collected evidence that there must have been more than one sarcophagus in KV 11. Next to stone fragments of various rock materials discovered by Ted Brock in the 1980’s, another inscribed sarcophagus fragment was found in the tomb's burial chamber. Therefore, we now aim to reconstruct the multiple sarcophagi found in the royal tomb KV 11.
Yorke, Charles – Leake, Martin Les monuments principaux du Musée Brittanique et quelques autres qui se trouvent en Angleterre expliqués d’après la système phonetique, London 1827, pl. XIV.
Research by: Judith Bunbury, Klara Dietze, Karin Schinken, Anke Weber
Since thousands of years, the Valley of the Kings, which is a dried out Wadi (river bed), suffers from flash floods. The sarcophagus chamber (hall J) of KV 11 has been flooded after heavy rainfall between 1885/90 and 1910. Nowadays, the chamber is heavily destroyed and filled with debris. the
project plans to clear Hall J in order to make it accessible for researchers, conservators and for the public in near future.
Images - Copyrights: The Ramesses III (KV 11) Publication and Conservation Project.
The maximum water level which decreased gradually is still visible today by the straight separation line between remaining plaster and the destroyed lower part of
the walls in the sarcophagus chamber.
J. M. Bunbury, Geology of the Valley of the Kings, in: R. H. Wilkinson and K. R. Weeks, The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings (Oxford 2016), 15-22.
A. Dorn, The Hydrology of the Valley of the Kings: Weather, Rainfall, Drainage Patterns, and Flood Protection in Antiquity, in: R. H. Wilkinson and K. R. Weeks, The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings (Oxford 2016),30-38.
M. Marciniak, ‘Deux campagnes épigraphiques au tombeau de Ramsès III dans la Vallée de Rois (no. 11)’ ET 12 (1983), 295-305.
D. A. Werning, Das Höhlenbuch. Textkritische Edition und Textgrammatik, I: Überlieferungsgeschichte und Textgrammatik, (GOF IV/48; Wiesbaden 2011), 24 and pl. I.
Research by: Willem Hovestreydt, Anke Weber
The reconstruction of wall scenes in KV 11 will take place with modern methods and a comparison with drawings and pictures of earlier researchers. In this way, it
was possible to reconstruct the well-known bakery scene in chamber Ba, using the drawings of Ippolito Rosellini (I Monumenti
dell' Egitto e della Nubia, Teil II, Monumenti Civili, Pisa 1834, LXXXV.) as master copies. Very useful are the sketches of Robert Hay (British Library London, partly published in: F. Mauric-Barberio, ‘Reconstitution du décor de la tombe de Ramsès III (partie inférieure) d’après les manuscrits de Robert Hay’,
BIFAO 104 (2004), 389-456.) for other parts of the tomb. Since he used a camera lucida, the distortion-free recordings can be matched with modern photographs within a photo editing
programme, making it possible to reconstruct the original condition of the wall reliefs.
W. Hovestreydt, ‘Sideshow or not? On the Side-Rooms of the First Two Corridors in the Tomb of Ramesses III’, in B. J. J. Haring, O. E. Kaper, R. van Walsem (eds), The Workman's Progress. Studies in the Village of Deir el-Medina and other Documents from Western Thebes in Honour of Rob Demarée, (EU 28; Leiden, 2014), 103-132.
F. Mauric-Barberio, ‘Reconstitution du décor de la tombe de Ramsès III (partie inférieure) d’après les manuscrits de Robert Hay’, BIFAO 104 (2004), 389-456.
I. Rosellini, I monumenti dell'Egitto e della Nubia disegnati dalla spedizione scientifico-letteraria toscana in Egitto, II: Monumenti Civili (Pisa, 1834), pl. lix-lxii, lxxv, lxxx, lxxxv-lxxxvi, lxxxix, xcl-xclii, xcvil, cv, cvii-cviii, cxxi.
Research by: Lutz Popko
The depictions and texts of the so-called "Book of the Heavenly Cow" were shown in chamber Jc, which is situated close to the burial chamber. Nowadays, almost the whole decoration is lost. By aid of the RTI technique, we will be able to reconstruct the original reliefs.
E. Lefébure, Les hypogées royaux de Thèbes, seconde division: Notices des hypogées, (MIFAO 3 (1); Paris, 1889), 87-120, pl. 58-65.
É. Naville, Inscription of the destruction of Mankind in the Tomb of Rameses III, in: Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 7 (1884-1885), S. 93-94.
É. Naville, L’Inscription de la Destruction des Hommes dans le Tombeau de Ramsès III, in: Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 8 (1885), S. 412-420.
2018 Preliminary work and publications
2017 Geo-Survey and collection of picture material for comparison from the accessible
New Kingdom temples and tombs
2016 Collation of the books of the Netherworld in Hall J and recording chamber Jc
2015 Survey of hall J and preparation of a "Preliminary Report" on the state of the site
2014 Recording of all scenes in the chambers Ba-Ch, chamber Fa, and hall J
2011 Return to record the royal bakery scene in Chamber Ba
2009 First visit of the tomb KV 11 in order to document its condition
Kontakt / Contact:
+20 109 236 5891 (Ägypten / Egypt)
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Projektnr./Project no.: D.01362.00.551112)
Berliner Bank - Niederlassung der Deutschen Bank PGK AG
IBAN: DE95 1007 0848 0512 6206 01
Verwendungszweck (bitte unbedingt angeben!) /
Purpose of use (please specify!): D.01362.00.551112