Royal Wadi and tombs

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The Royal Wadi (known locally as Wadi Abu Hassah el-Bahari) at Amarna is a where the Royal Family of Amarna were to be buried. It can be thought of as being an Amarna replacement for the Valley of the Kings.

There has been a great deal of work to ease access to the Royal Tomb, and to protect the tombs from damage by flash flooding. The wadi can now be journeyed along on a metalled road, and the tomb is protected by a covering and channels to divert water away from its entrance. The angle of the entrance and descent allows sunlight (Aten) to reach all the way down to the burial chamber, however the tomb is unfinished and had it been finished at the time, sunlight would not have been able to reach the chamber.

In the wadi itself, there are 5 tombs, the Royal Tomb of Akhenaten, three unfinished tombs in a side wadi, and what seems to be a cache, near to the Royal Tomb.

Royal Tomb[edit]

The Royal Tomb (Tomb 26) is the only decorated tomb, and contained the burial of Akhenaten. It includes a suite of chambers for his daughters, his mother and probably Nefertiti, although she was never buried there.

Tomb 27[edit]

The next of the tombs, Tomb 27, seems to have been intended for a Royal Burial, as the doorway and entrance are of a similar size to that of the Royal Tomb. However, it was never finished and no burial material has ever been found. It may have been intended for the burial of Akhenaten's successor.

Tomb 28[edit]

This is the only finished tomb in the Wadi. It may have been used by a lesser wife of Akhenaten, maybe Kiya and their child Baketaten (if she was their child and not a sister of Akhenaten).

Tomb 29[edit]

This tomb was plastered, but never decorated. It consists of 4 corridors, and in plan is similar to the suite of rooms in the Royal Tomb, and may have been intended for a lesser Royal Wife.

A docket found in this tomb refers to a Year 1, so the tomb must have been open in the time of Akhenaten's successors.


  • Gabolde M & Dunsmore A, The Royal Necropolis at Tell el-Amarna, Egyptian Archaeology, Autumn 2004

Coordinates: 27°37′26″N 30°59′02″E / 27.6239°N 30.9839°E / 27.6239; 30.9839