The Royal Tomb of Akhenaton

The tomb is located six kilometres up the Royal Wadi which separates the hills surrounding Akhetaton from the East and thus separating the Northern private tomb from the Southern ones.
The entrance to the tomb is cut in the floor of the Wadi facing East.
Plan of the Tomb:

The entrance leads to a stairway of 20 steps with a central slide of about one metre in width. The side walls of the stairway were originally covered by a layer of pilaster, many parts of which has disappeared nowadays.
The staircase leads to a long undecorated sliding corridor that slopes at an angle of 16 degrees. The corridor was once covered by a layer of plaster few traces of which can still be seen.
Halfway In the right side of the corridor there opens a doorway that leads to 6 unfinished corridors and chambers. Opposite the doorway to these chambers is another rectangular opening. This opening was probably for making another room or rooms but was never finished.
At the end of the corridor there is a second sliding staircase of about 18 steps and a central slide of 1 meter in width.
The side walls are also undecorated but they were once covered by a layer of plaster.
At the top of this staircase to the right a doorway opens and leads to 3 rooms known as Alpha, Beta and Gama that were decorated.
On the wall opposite to his doorway another rectangular opening was made for making another room or series of rooms but work was abandoned.
At the foot of the staircase lies a doorway that leads to the well shaft. The walls of the room that form the upper part of the well were once decorated by scenes of the royal couple making offerings to Aton. However they all disappeared, nowadays. The function of the well is to protect the tomb from floods and severe storms.
The well room directly leads to the door of the burial chamber of the King. The entrance to this chamber was blocked by stone blocks arranged 6 horizontally and 2 vertically. The same type of these blocks was found inside the well which shows that the burial chamber was opened.
The burial chamber is squared. The floor of the Southern side of the chamber is slightly raised about 35 cm. The roof of this area is supported by two pillars. The walls and ceiling of this chamber were once coated by a layer of plaster and then painted, however only few scenes can still be seen. The area behind the pillars was used in storing funerary equipment.
In the middle of the floor area lies the base of the sarcophagus of the king. At the corner of the right wall of the burial chamber another chamber was cut but it was abandoned.
Decoration of the Royal Tomb:
1. Burial Chamber:
This chamber which is considered the largest in the tomb was the best decorated in the entire tomb as the walls, ceiling and piers were all decorated by colorful scenes. However these scenes were destroyed by the followers of Amun to take revenge from Akhenaton. Only parts that remained are those high on the walls as the destroyers couIdn’t reach them.
2. The rooms Alpha, Beta and Gama:
They were cut during the 12th regnal year of Akhenaton after the death of Maketaton. The three rooms led to one another. The walls Alpha and Gama are decorated while those of Beta were undecorated either because it was used as storeroom for the other rooms or because it was never finished.
Room Alpha:
The walls and the ceiling were coated by a layer of plaster then painted by colorful scenes. The room contains four niches on the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western walls. These niches were cut after the walls were completely decorated. They were made to contain amulets and magical bricks inscribed by chapter 151 of the book of the dead. After they were filled with their contents they were sealed with plaster. The contents of these niches were stolen. The niches imply that alpha was a burial chamber.
Gama:
The walls of the room and the ceiling were once coated with plaster. It was probably the burial chamber for Meketaton. The scenes on the walls of this room are in a bad condition.

 

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