As I sorted through some old tour schedules, memories from the early days at Mara House came flooding back, like treasures from a distant past unearthed by time. Amidst these forgotten recollections, one story with a paranormal twist stood out, begging to be shared – the story of the Tomb of Thutmose III in the Valley of the Kings. As with so many other strange events in my life (though they seemed perfectly ordinary to me at the time) I am grateful to have had so many opportunities to visit and re-visit this particular tomb.
KV 34: The tomb of Thutmose III, currently inaccessible due to the rotation of openings, is definitely not your usual run-of-the-mill burial site. It has a strange energy, a vibe that’s unique and unlike any other tomb in the valley, – it’s as if the tomb is calling out and wanting to envelop one, but not in a frightening or evil way.
And those strange experiences people talk about, they are not just stories to entertain tourists. I’ve had my own share of odd sensations down there. Maybe it’s because the first Egyptian personality in history that I felt a connection to was Hatshepsut and her stepson, Thutmose III. Or perhaps it’s the way history wraps around you in Egypt, tangling your reality with the ancient past. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s this odd affinity I feel for that tomb, like a whisper of an old friend from another time. I have had a similar experience in Tutankhamun’s tomb, but only once – yet another tale for another day.
The Tomb that WANTS you to S
Tales of visitors fainting within its chambers and not wanting to leave seem almost surreal, until I found myself living one such moment with a particular group tour from Mara House. Everything was going well that day until a young girl, a member of our group, succumbed to the overwhelming sensations of the tomb. She was one of the last to leave the lower chamber and fainted at the bottom of the second set of steps as we were leaving. I remember saying, at the time, that had we not done our routine count on exiting the tomb, we might not have missed her until later. Not a good thought!
KV 34 – you have to see where it is located to believe it – KV34 is only accessible via a long series of steps, half way up a cliff face near the rear of the valley of the kings, and the mind boggles just trying to figure out how they constructed it. I remember being told the workmen carved out steps to facilitate them, and when the tomb was finished, they chiseled away the steps, leaving no sign.
From an Egyptology point of view, KV 34 is important for a few reasons – the burial chamber is oval, which is the same shape as the Egyptian cartouche, and paintings on the wall portray the earliest funerary text of what is known as the Amduat. The Amduat is the story of the sun god’s journey through the twelve divisions of the underworld. Thutmose III was the fourth tomb made in the Valley of the Kings, and here, for the first time, is the Litany of Ra, which was used at the entrance of all later tombs in the valley. There is also a unique drawing on the first pillar of Thutmose being nursed by Goddess Isis, in the form of a tree. It was important for the Pharaohs to show they were in good standing with the deities, and it became common for them to portray this on their temples as well as their tombs.
Thutmose III’s sarcophagus, made of red quartzite, is still in his tomb, and it is possible to shine a light under the slightly raised lid and see that not only the outside is covered in carvings but so is the interior. His mummy, however, was not found in his tomb but in a cache of mummies found, quite damaged, near Hatshepsut’s Temple (Deir el-Bahri) in 1881.
Even though the tomb of Pharaoh Thutmose III, the Napoleon of Egypt, remains closed, that connection, that strange beckoning, lingers for those of us who have visited and experienced its atmosphere. It serves as a reminder that we are all intertwined with the stories of those who came before us, regardless of our origins. Its enigmatic vibes and peculiar energy remind us that the past is not confined to the annals of history; rather, it can be palpably felt in the present for those who choose to tune into it.
A really, really great video of the tomb KV34, brilliant interpretations.
Mara’s Egypt Travel Guide