DISCOVERY OF THE TOMB OF KHAEMWASET BY SCHIAPARELLI
The first archaeologist who conducted systematic excavations in the Valley of the Queens was the Italian Ernesto Schiaparelli, director of the Egyptian Museum in Turin (1).
Between 1903 and 1906, Ernesto Schiaparelli led two excavation campaigns in the Valley of the Queens, assisted by Francesco Ballerini, an Egyptologist from Como.
The Schiaparelli team discovered the tomb of Prince Khaemwaset (QV 44) on 17 February 1903.
A detailed description of the tomb of Khaemwaset was made by Ballerini.
He describes the central corridor and the annexes as piled up with countless mummies and sarcophagi, which clearly proves that the tomb was reused in later times as a common burial site.
The mummies and sarcophagi had already been violated by tomb robbers, who had stolen the most valuable objects.
Some sarcophagi were broken; others were empty.
Some mummies were in an awful condition and were severely mutilated.
The description by Ballerini corresponds exactly with a photograph taken by Schiaparelli after opening the tomb of Khaemwaset (2) and with later descriptions published by Schiaparelli.
Of the mortuary equipment of Prince Khaemwaset, nothing was found in tomb QV 44.
Only the broken cover of the prince’s sarcophagus was found in the burial chamber of QV 44.
This is currently on display at the Museo Egizio di Torino (Turin, Italy).
Two white limestone canopic jars with the name of a royal son, called Khaemwaset, were discovered in 1859 in the Valley of the Kings.
It is not certain if these belong to the son of Ramesses III.
Both jars are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (no. 4085).
The American archaeologist George A. Reisner gave a description of these two canopic jars in 1899 in the Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache (ZÄS; no. 37; pp. 66-67; item 20).