‘The Missing Tomb of Amenhotep I’ – links & further reading

As usual, a big thank you to everyone who tuned into to my online talk on ‘The Missing Tomb of Amenhotep I’ in February 2021. This page provides links to a few online resources, references to further reading etc. should you wish to follow-up on any of the themes discussed.

Amenhotep I was the second king of the Eighteenth Dynasty, and of the great period Egyptologists call the New Kingdom. Although all kings were semi-divine he seems to have enjoyed an unusually elevated status as a kind of ‘patron saint’ of the workmen of Deir el-Medina, who cut the royal tombs in the Valley of Kings. And yet his own tomb is one of few belonging to the kings of this period that has never been found. There are several candidate locations all of which are explored in this talk…

First of all, my slides are here.

The chart I put together to illustrate the chronological context – how Amenhotep I’s reign fits into Egyptian history – which appears on the second slide is here. And the (Google) map of the locations discussed (which actually doesn’t appear until the very end of the talk) is here.

The facsimile drawing by Norman de Garis Davies of a scene of the leaders of the ‘Aamu’ from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hasan is kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. More information is available here.

The head of Ahmose I (slide no. 6) is also in the Met, see here. The head of Amenhotep I on the same slide is in the Luxor Museum; the photo in that case is my own.

The plans of the pyramid complex of Ahmose I at Abydos and the image of the stela of Queen Ahmose Nefertari discovered there (slides 7 and 8) are taken from Lehner, M, The Complete Pyramids. The image of the Queen on the following slide comes from the decoration around a doorway in the tomb of Inherkhau (TT 359) in Deir el-Medina. The scene itself is now in the The Ägyptisches Museum in Berlin; the image I used is taken from Wikimedia Commons, here. A facsimile drawing of the entire doorway showing Amenhotep I on the other side of the door was made by the Lepsius expedition, and is accessible via the New York Public Library here.


Facsimile drawing of the doorway from the tomb of Inherkhau (TT 359) at Deir el-Medina from Lepsius, R, Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien III

The story of tomb robberies and the caching of the royal mummies at the end of the New Kingdom is summarised in my book Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt (p. 73 ff.). The most study of this most fascinating episode in Egyptian history is Reeves, N, Valley of The Kings: The Decline of a Royal Necropolis. The classic study of the ‘tomb robbery papyri’ remains Peet, T E, The Great Tomb-Robberies of the Twentieth Egyptian Dynasty: Being a Critical Study, with Translations and Commentaries, of the Papyri in which these are Recorded. I haven’t been able to find any versions of this book online (except a handful of extremely expensive second hand copies!) but this article written by the same author and published a few years earlier provides much useful information on the documents in question.

The Abbot Papyrus which describes the location of the tomb of Amenhotep I is now in the British Museum with the accession number EA10221,1. Further information and images are available via the Museum’s online catalogue here.


The Abbott Papyrus, British Museum EA 10221,1. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The wonderful black and white photos of the temple of Mentuhotep II, Deir el-Bahri, were taken during the Egypt Exploration Fund’s excavations, directed by Edouard Naville. The images are spread across several albums all of which are freely accessible in digital form via the EES’ Flickr account, including:

Deir el-Bahari Negatives, Dalison (DB.DALISON.NEG)
Deir el-Bahari Negatives (DB.NEG.04)
Deir el-Bahari Negatives (DB.NEG.05-06)
Deir el-Bahari Negatives (DB.NEG.10)


Excavations in progress at the temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahri (see here). © The Egypt Exploration Society

The three volumes of Naville’s publication of the excavations, The XIth Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari are available via archive.org, here.

The Twelfth Dynasty statues of a very miserable-looking Senusret III found at the site by Naville and now in the British Museum feature in the Museum’s online catalogue here.


Statues of Senusret III in the British Museum

The sandstone statue of Amenhotep I also discovered by Naville and now in the British Museum is BM EA 683; more information is available via the Museum’s collection online here.


Sandstone statue of Amenhotep I, BM EA 683.

Grafton Elliot Smith’s volume, The Royal Mummies, from which the black and white photo of Amenhotep’s coffin and mummy were taken was reprinted a few years ago and affordable copies are readily available see e.g. here.

The wonderful film, ‘Al-Mummia’ or ‘The Night of counting the Years’ which is a dramatisation of the story of the discovery of the royal cache is freely available via archive.org here. To turn on the English subtitles you need to click the ‘cc’ icon at the bottom right of the picture and select ‘en’. This is a classic of Egyptian cinema and was filmed mostly on location in and around the monument of the west bank in Luxor. It’s wonderfully atmospheric and highly recommended!


Screenshot from ‘The Night of Counting the Years’.

As some of you may know the Theban Mapping Project, one of the first and best Egyptological resources has recently been relaunched by the American Research Center in Egypt and the page on KV 39 is full of useful information.

A good source of information on Howard Carter’s work on tomb AN B at Dra Abu el-Naga is Reeves, N and Taylor, J H, Howard Carter Before Tutankhamun.

Ute Rummel’s concise article on K93 11/12 (= TT 293), ‘Ramesside tomb-temples in Dra Abu el-Naga’, in which she explains the arguments for identifying it with the tomb of Amenhotep I was published in issue 42 of the EES’ colour magazine Egyptian Archaeology which is available for free online here (see pp. 14-17).

The director of the Polish Clifftop Mission to Deir el-Bahri, Professor Andrzej Niwinski, explains his work at the site in much more detail than I could in the scope of my talk in his own lecture, ‘Amenhotep I, Herihor and the mysteries of Deir el-Bahari of the 21st Dynasty’ which you can watch online here:

Finally, my talk was based on the second chapter of Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt should you wish to go over things in print again.

If there’s anything I’ve missed or if you have any questions please let me know via this page. See you at the next talk!