Located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes, this area played a central role in the burial of powerful nobles of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. Its most famous resident – King Tutankhamun – was uncovered in tomb KV62 by Howard Carter in 1922, in a find that would inspire a generation of archaeologists. Channel 4’s ‘Secrets of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings’ returned to the valley to reveal the contents of KV49 – a tomb uncovered in 1906, but Egyptologist Donald Ryan was convinced they missed something.
The series said in 2019: “A hidden staircase, hand chiselled out of solid limestone leads to a six-by-three chamber.
“Excavated pieces of wood are most likely from an elaborately painted coffin, with a tightly wrapped coffin that would have been locked away.
“Stored around the coffin were everyday items – everything the tomb’s owner would need for the afterlife.
“Despite finding scores of new relics, Don is no closer to uncovering who tomb 49 belonged to.
The ring is an extraordinary find
“But his team have found something that could help.”
Dr Ryan then found what he was looking for, something the previous archaeologists had missed, but it did not belong there.
He said: “Oh my gosh, woah – we’ve got some stuff here in a pile of 100-year-old excavation debris.
“This is a ring made out of glass, and on the surface, we have the name of Ramses III, one of the great warrior pharaohs of Egypt.
“This is probably the most exciting thing we’ve found so far.
“My team would be the first to hold this in over 3,000 years.
“How this object got into this tomb is the question.”
The series then explained why the ring was out of place.
It added: “The ring is an extraordinary find, but if it belongs to Ramses III, it shouldn’t be here.
“Ramses was buried in tomb number 11, not 49.”
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Dr Ryan then visited KV11, a 188-metres-long tomb across the way from KV49.
He said: “We’re in the tomb of Ramses III, perhaps the last great pharaoh of Egypt’s age of empire.
“So, of course, he’s entitled to a special beautiful tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
“He was obviously very powerful, was a great warrior, this magnificent, well-preserved temple shows him just causing havoc on foreign invaders and anyone else who gets on his way.
“On this pillar in front of me, we have a depiction of his names, we have the seated figure of the goddess Ma’at.
“On the right, we have the sign for Utho, or powerful and then a sun disc up here for Ra.
“This is a blown-up in of the ring we encounter in tomb 49 and by looking at the hieroglyphs on the ring, it’s essentially identical.”
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