Planning and Assessment

The first phase of the Valley of the Queens Project (2006—2010), undertaken with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), comprised research and assessment, followed by development of concept proposals for conservation and management of the site and, after Egyptian authorities' approval, by detailed implementation documents.
The planning process for the project emphasizes research and assessment before making decisions. The research component was aimed at delineating historical elements of the site and its cultural boundaries through collection and synthesis of information and documentation from the many expeditions and excavations at the Valley of the Queens.
Three types of assessment were undertaken: cultural significance, threats and physical condition, and management context. The assessments were carried out mainly from 2007 to 2009 with preliminary research and collection of information beginning in 2006 and continuing throughout the process. Volume 1 of the assesment is now available.
Activities undertaken in this phase include:

Background research and gathering of information and photography for all tombs (111 tombs total in Valley of the Queens and subsidiary valleys) and site elements related to significance, history of use, and condition

Condition assessment for rock structural stability of 18th-, 19th- and 20th- Dynasty tombs and development of intervention designs for stabilization and protection

Risk and condition assessment and treatment planning for the twenty-three tombs of the 19th- and 20th- Dynasty that have surviving plaster or decoration

Laser scanning of the Valley to produce new topographical maps and a GIS integrating TMP and CNRS tomb drawings

Geological and hydrological mapping, study, and design concepts for site-wide and tomb-specific flood protection

Assessment of site management to examine a range of issues that affect daily site operations and management of site personnel and activities directed toward achieving a requisite level of protection, conservation, monitoring, maintenance, visitor satisfaction, staff effectiveness, and morale

Visitor management and interpretation assessment to gather information on visitor services and infrastructure, site presentation and interpretation, and visitors themselves. Findings have been used to develop a plan that will provide a better visitor experience, promote good practice, and contribute to preserving the site's significance

Development of comprehensive concept designs for site and visitor infrastructure and for presentation and interpretation, based on visitor management assessment

Inventory and relocation of archaeological study materials from forty-eight tombs into secure storage and extensive site and tomb clean-up

Environmental monitoring for relative humidity, temperature, carbon dioxide, and dust in tombs open to the public (QV 44, 55, 66) and of exterior environment

Assessment of bat colonies, including identification of species, inhabiting some of the 18th-Dynasty shaft tombs, followed by research and trial tests by SCA Conservation Center for exclusion of bat colonies from most tombs, while allowing retention in a few selected tombs

New baseline digital color photographic documentation by SCA—CEDAE of 19th- and 20th-Dynasty tombs with paintings

Training of seven SCA conservators and seven inspectors who received formal and informal training, in wall paintings conservation and site management respectively, through active participation in the process. This included experience at the GCI for one month for SCA inspectors and attendance at an international conference for conservators

West Bank Coordination meetings (2006, 2007, 2008) to promote integration of site management planning efforts

Research and assessments were undertaken by the Valley of the Queens project team, which included fourteen SCA staff members. Based on the assessments, initial concept proposals were developed in 2009 and presented to the SCA for consideration, followed by revisions and further development.
Detailed plans and tender documents for flood mitigation, tomb stabilization and site and visitor infrastructure were completed by the GCI and Hamza Associates (Cairo) and issued in 2010.
The SCA was poised to undertake this work in 2011, but due to the revolution in Egypt, was unable to carry out this work at that time. Conservation of the wall paintings in most of the decorated 19th- and 20th-Dynasty tombs was undertaken in 2012.
Concept plans for presentation and interpretation of open tombs and design specifications for QV 55 have been completed.

Page updated: August 2019