Background Research & Assessment

During the first phase of the project, an assessment of the history, significance, and condition of the tomb and its wall paintings was conducted and a comprehensive report on the findings completed. This information was used to diagnose the deterioration of the wall paintings and develop a detailed conservation proposal. Research included:
Bibliographic research: A bibliography on the tomb was compiled that includes all aspects of the tomb and the current conservation project.

Historical research: Comprehensive documentation on the condition of KV 62 at the time of discovery and during the excavation and knowledge of subsequent interventions is important for understanding the history of the tomb. An archive of historical photographs of the tomb and its wall paintings was compiled.

Significance statement: Following the research phase, a statement of significance of the tomb of Tutankhamen was drafted and revised with input from a joint experts' committee of the SCA and the GCI. This statement guides conservation interventions, as well as the management and presentation of all aspects of the tomb.

Condition recording of the wall paintings: Comprehensive photographic recording was undertaken in 2009. This work was conducted under the direction of the wall paintings conservation team, with attention to particular aspects of condition recording critical to understanding the causes of deterioration including painting technology and materials and previous treatments or interventions. The photographic documentation was used for comparison with historic photographs in order to evaluate changes in the wall paintings and to provide baseline data for future monitoring of condition. Graphic documentation was also undertaken to map areas of damage and deterioration and previous interventions.

Sarcophagus and outermost coffin: The condition of the quartzite sarcophagus and the gilded outermost coffin in the burial chamber were assessed during the first phase of the project. A joint GCI–SCA decision will be made regarding conservation needs and approaches.

At the close of Phase I the project bibliography, documentation, condition recording and significance statement have been compiled.
Tutankhamen burial chamber    North wall Tutankhamen burial chamber 
A conservator examining the paintings with a UV light. Photo: Lori Wong   Photographic documentation of the paintings on the north wall of the burial chamber. Photo: Lori Wong

Last updated: March 2013