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The undecorated tomb KV64. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Smithsonian Channel.

Why Was This Valley of the Kings Tomb Undecorated? (Video)


In January 2011, Swiss archaeologists stumbled upon an unexpected find in a remote corner of the Valley of the Kings. They were initially focused on excavating the known tomb, KV40, but during their work, they made a significant discovery. Beneath layers of stones, they revealed a hidden tomb, known as KV64. This tomb stood in stark contrast to the opulence associated with pharaohs like King Tut. It was a humble chamber, characterized by its simplicity. Unlike the lavishly adorned royal tombs, KV64 remained undecorated. Its small size, just four meters in length and two meters in height, made it one of the most modest tombs found in the Valley of the Kings.

KV64, with its unadorned walls, was distinct in that it adhered to a tradition where tombs for princes, royal daughters, and royal wives were intentionally left plain. This minimalistic design was a departure from the opulent grandeur seen in pharaohs' resting places. Although this tomb was not intended for a pharaoh, its location in the Valley of the Kings still marked it with royal credentials. The discovery of KV64 raised intriguing questions about the burial practices of the time and highlighted the significance of understated tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Top image:  The undecorated tomb KV64. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Smithsonian Channel.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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