Although researchers had known of the site’s existence for over a century, it took a long time for them to realize what they had discovered.
Although many think that the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun is the most important ever found in Ancient Egypt, a discovery made in 1995 called that claim into question.
That year, American Egyptologist Kent R. Weeks observed the actual size of the KV5 tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
It is close to king Tut’s final resting place: there are only 70 meters between them. In addition, the tomb is also close to the tomb of Ramses II, KV7, also in the same Egyptian region.
Researchers have known of KV5’s existence for at least a century, however, actually investigating it was a more complex task that was undertaken only long after its first discovery. The first to attempt such a task was British archaeologist James Burton in the early 1830s.
After him, British Egyptologist Howard Carter also tried to consecrate himself through the same underground tomb, but still without success.
It was only between 1985 and 1986 that an expedition finally managed to understand the complex that characterized the tomb. The following year, in 1987, they started digging, which took more time.
Kent R. Weeks, with support from the American University of Cairo and the Theban Mapping Project, did not fully disclose the discovery to the public until May 18, 1995, when he made an announcement spelling out what they had found.
”In last February, digging through the flooded debris that fill the tomb, my team and I found a passage that ran through twenty chambers to a statue of the god Osiris. Two transverse corridors, each with twenty more chambers, extend beyond that. At the ends of the hallways, there are stairs and sloping hallways, apparently leading to even more rooms on a lower level,” explained Weeks.
What came afterward caused even more perplexity: “the tomb may be the largest ever found in Egypt, ” said the archaeologist. And he was right. KV5 was underground and contained long corridors previously unknown to researchers who had tried to excavate it in years past.