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Middle East Studies Center Lecture Series: Re-excavating Ancient Egypt: The Royal Tomb of Horemheb in the Valley of the Kings
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 5:30pm
Middle East Studies Center Lecture Series: Re-excavating Ancient Egypt: The Royal Tomb of Horemheb in the Valley of the Kings

Smith Memorial Student Union, room 238, 1825 SW Broadway, Portland State University

King Horemheb, a military officer under the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, ruled Egypt after the death of Tutankhamun’s successor, King Ay. The American Egyptologist Theodore M Davis located Horemheb’s tomb--one of the largest in the Valley of the Kings--in 1908. Although excavation results were published in 1912, they are disappointingly incomplete.
In 2005-2009, the Cambridge Expedition to the Valley of the Kings set out to resolve questions and re-excavate the tomb, using modern standards that would disclose what the earlier excavation had missed.  Had Davis excavated to the bottom of the tomb shaft?  What was in the huge debris mound in an undecorated room behind the sarcophagus chamber? The Expedition also planned to investigate the magnificent sarcophagus, its skeletal remains, and to correct its wrongly positioned lid.

Not only did the Expedition clear the tomb and complete the catalog of Davis’ artifacts, they   found funerary goods, definitively listed the tomb contents and settled a controversial question regarding the true length of the King’s reign. The funerary equipment included pottery sherds from wine jars bearing the dates year 13 and 14 of the king’s reign. That finding reduces the King’s presumed reign by about twelve years, affecting the chronology of Egypt’s rulers.   

Dr Geoffrey Thorndike Martin is Edwards Professor of Egyptology, University College London, and Fellow Commoner at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he is responsible for the College archives and plate.  Dr Martin has directed excavations and made significant discoveries in Saqqara (the necropolis of ancient Memphis), including the tomb of the future pharaoh Horemheb.  He has also worked in the Valley of the Kings, undertaken epigraphic work in the tomb of Akhenaten at Amarna and consulted with many museums throughout the world. He is author of The Hidden Tomb of Memphis (1991). He recently published monographs on early stelae inscriptions at Abydos (2011) and the Tomb of Maya and Meryt (2012).


The Oregon Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt is a private, nonprofit organization that supports research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, fosters broader knowledge among the general public, and strengthens American-Egyptian cultural ties.

The Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University promotes understanding of the people, cultures, languages and religions of the Middle East. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI program, the Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Middle East Studies Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library. | | 503-725-4074