Tomb of Tutankhamen's Mother Found


On top of the recent discoveries, the team and archaeology community have been excited about what's been found in KV 63.

Among the finds is a doll-size coffin hidden beneath six pillows inside another, larger coffin and decorated on the top and side with gold leaf.

"It's about 16 [inches to] 17 inches long," Schaden said. "It was probably a funeral figurine -- a mummiform figure that serves as a possible substitute for the deceased."

In essence, if you were important enough to be buried in one of the Valley's tombs, chances were you didn't want to be forced to do any kind of manual labor in the afterlife. Mummiforms were believed to act as clones, doing the work so royal members wouldn't have to get their hands dirty.

Patience Is a Virtue

All of the materials found in the tomb are now being removed piece by piece, because termites have been chewing on their wood for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Each piece will be meticulously gone over, and then conservators will pick one or two of them to begin reassembling.

Schaden says the Egyptian government would like to see everything removed, because the position of the tomb could make it vulnerable to rains or flooding.

The process of moving fragments out of the tomb piece by piece, then waiting for them to be repaired and catalogued, requires patience in the face of thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime discoveries.

Schaden says the time his team takes means preserving these priceless artifacts for years to come.

"We have some people that are so anxious that they're willing to crawl back in there and take whatever is there," he said. "Never. I don't know if it's a good point or a bad point, but I'm patient."

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