Tomb Families: Tomb Distribution in the New Kingdom Theban Necropolis

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The Theban Necropolis contains hundreds of tombs belonging to elite individuals, dating from the end of the Old Kingdom through to the Ptolemaic Period, with the vast majority dating to the New Kingdom (c.1550-1077 BC). These tombs are scattered across the landscape at the edge of the desert between the Valley of the Kings to the west, and the row of royal mortuary temples along the edge of the cultivation to the east. This project focuses on New Kingdom private tomb distribution and investigates this apparently random arrangement of tombs by focusing on factors which may have influenced tomb location. GPS surveying has enabled the spatial analysis of these tombs, demonstrating that specific areas of the necropolis were popular at different times and among particular groups of people. Clusters and patterns can be identified between tombs built during the same reign(s), as well as between tomb owners with similar titles and familial connections. The orientation of specific tombs towards Karnak temple, royal mortuary temples and festival processional routes, reveals their significance to certain individuals. This research provides a deeper understanding of the necropolis, and how private tombs linked to the wider sacred landscape of Thebes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages412
ISBN (Electronic)9781803270371
ISBN (Print)9781803270364
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Publication series

NameArchaeopress Egyptology


  • Ancient Egypt
  • Royal Mortuary Temples
  • Theban Tombs
  • New Kingdom
  • Beautiful Festival of the Valley
  • Theban Necropolis


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