Dra Abu el-Naga: Ray Stole My Tomb

   Posted by: Keith Payne   

Categories: Egypt in the News, Tombs, Valley of the Kings

dra1-tabDra Abu el-Naga is a sort of suburb, if you will, of the Valley of the Kings where some tombs belonging to Seventeenth Dynasty royalty (such as Queen Ahhotep I, to the left) have been discovered, along with the tombs of Theban priests and officials.

Zahi Hawass has released a new video, which premiered at Heritage Key, with some of the recent discoveries at Dra Abu el-Naga, including some details about the tomb of Amun-Em-Opet, the Supervisor of Hunters.


Dr. Hawass relates that his team has discovered three tombs at Dra Abu el-Naga, but previously not much had been detailed about two of them.  We knew that one of the tombs belonged to Amun-Em-Opet, a Theban court official who served as the Supervisor of Hunters at some point during the Eighteenth Dynasty, probably closer to the end than the beginning.  But all we knew about the other two tombs was that they were “undecorated.”  Odd, that, considering that they do indeed have some lovely decorations at the entrance, and are to my understanding unexcavated.

To see the video and get the rest of the details, check out Heritage Key, where I blog about it under my daytime name, Keith Payne:  Dr. Zahi Hawass’ Video with the Latest Discoveries from Dra Abu el-Naga.

One additional comment I will add here.  Ancient Egyptian tombs are often reused, so there is nothing too uncommon about that.  It turns out that Amun-Em-Opet’s tomb was commandeered at some point by someone identified only as “Ray.”  For some reason that tickled my funny bone.  There’s just something kind of, I don’t know, blues-y about having your tomb jacked by some cat named Ray.  It’s so very Third Intermediate Period..



Photograph “Queen Ahhotep I’s sarcophagus.jpg” by Hans Ollermann, is provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons  and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of those files under the conditions that you appropriately attribute them, and that you distribute them only under a license identical to this one. Official license 

ALL OTHER photographs and text are copyright by Keith Payne, 2009, all rights reserved.

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 7:17 am and is filed under Egypt in the News, Tombs, Valley of the Kings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 comments so far

Jan Bailey

I would like to remind you of the other proclamations made by Hawass that all turned out to be smoke and mirrors.
KV63 is the tomb of Kiya. No proof found!
The tomb of Ramesses VIII found. Not yet!
An unknown Queen Weret revealed. No!
part of a title only, not even in a cartouche.
A Mummy Prison found. !!!!!!!!
He hints that only one of the female babies
is the daughter of Tutankhamun, so that would be news.
Have the results been verified independently?
As for KV64, has it indeed already been found, or is it just hopes of a find, resulting from the scans done by the Americans and the information provided to Hawass by the Englishman? An all Egyptian find!!!!!
To be fully excavated this season, before Hawass moves on, would mean a
very, very rushed job. Jan

September 26th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Hi Jan!

Thanks for the list!

It does seem that there has been a rush to define KV63. First it was a tomb, then it was a mummy workshop, and now it might be both. It seems words like maybe, possibly, and could be, would be of use here!

In hindsight, weret (“great”) does seem to be unusual as a fragment of a name. The more I think about it, the less certain I am that it is even part of a title. As you mention, it doesn’t appear in a cartouche. I know this may be blasphemy, but was weret ever used in a less formal sense? In other words, rather than being used in the sense of “Great God’s Wife,” was weret ever used in the context of something like “Ramesses the Great,” where it is more of an attribute than a title? Just speculating here, folks!

I am not sure about the independence of the DNA tests, we will have to wait until the full story comes out. The tests were supposed to be submitted to an un-named journal for peer review, but I haven’t heard a word about that since the lecture at Indianapolis. Again, we hope all of this will be revealed in October.

As for KV64, I am assuming it has been located, or at least something has been located, as it is supposed to be revealed next month!

As for credit for KV64, it seems that the all-Egyptian team has made their discovery independently of the contributions of others. Again, we will have to await the details.

September 27th, 2009 at 11:32 am
Richard van Buren

Semsu, When will part 2 of the Houdin theory be available “on site”?


September 12th, 2010 at 8:36 am

Hi Richard!

As a matter of fact, I am working on that even as we speak, and you can look for it sometime in the next few days!

The rest of the series will follow pretty rapidly after that. You can expect the entire series to be wrapped up in the next two months, in preparation for the next phase of Jean-Pierre’s work to be revealed this fall!

Stay tuned, and thanks to everyone for their longsuffering patience!

September 12th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

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