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A brief history of TT99

What has happened to any ancient monument over a period of more than 3,000 years is bound to be complex, unless the archaeologist discovers something like the tomb of Tutankhamun. Such events are rather rare.

In the case of the Private Tombs at Thebes, the situation is very complex. At different periods in ancient times, it was the custom not to build new tombs but to take over and perhaps readapt older ones. Also, the tombs are not located out in the desert, a long distance from the rest of humanity, but are situated really quite close to ancient and modern centres of population. Thus they came to the attention of people who used them as homes once their original function was long past.

The following summary is based on evolving current thinking about TT99, combined with general information about tomb reuse and the development of local sites. All dates are approximate before 1895.

Last update: 25 October 2000.

Dates BC


Senneferi constructs tomb 99, cutting courtyard, chapel, and at least one shaft in the courtyard. He was buried in the deepest shaft in the courtyard.


Son-in-law Amenhotep puts his statue in tomb. Possibly also certain relatives are buried in the other shaft in the courtyard


Some people of the 21st dynasty reuse the tomb for the first time and cuts at least one new shaft in the tomb


At least one 22nd dynasty family reuses TT99, although we cannot be sure how many shafts they cut. Three or four generations of the family are mentioned, and we have the mummy cases of two generations


Priest Wedjahor almost certainly buried at this time, possibly cutting a new shaft at the rear of the chapel. Various elements of burial equipment come from this date


Priest Horenpe, son of Wedjahor, almost certainly buried now, probably cutting a new shaft


Other individuals use the tomb for further burials. Various further elements of burial equipment date here

late BC / early AD

We cannot prove this, but there may have been some attempts to use the tomb for a number of Ptolemaic or Roman burials

Dates AD

6th-8th century

Tomb used by Copts, possibly as living quarters, possibly as a dump, leaving remains of roman-type bracelets, ostraka, and masses of pottery. Follow this link for a note on Coptic Thebes by Heike Behlmer

(mediaeval Islamic)

Date very uncertain. Tomb used as habitation--pottery and glass bracelets of known Islamic types

?18th cent-1907

(Perhaps a continuation of the last?). Growth of village of Sheikh abd el-Qurna takes off subsequent to European rediscovery of Egypt and growth of antiquities trade. Burials plundered for antiquities.


TT99 first mentioned in the scholarly literature


Excavations in the courtyard by Robert Mond


Kurt Sethe copied texts in the tomb


Inhabitants, possibly Coptic weavers, expropriated by the authorities and an iron door put on the tomb


Visits by various Egyptologists, almost all unrecorded


Cambridge Theban Tombs Project begins work in the tomb

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2015