Restoration

Following the excavations, the tomb was the subject of a major reconstruction project in 1980-1981. The stone pylon was rebuilt with limestone masonry to a height of 4 metres. Missing columns on the outer courtyard were reinstated in concrete. All perimeter walls and vaults were built up in mudbrick. Most significantly, the inner courtyard was roofed with reinforced concrete slabs. The purpose of this was to recreate the form of the courtyard and protect areas of relief decoration. In 1985, plaster casts of blocks in foreign museums (Leiden, London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna) were also incorporated into the reconstructed wall. However, the massive imposed loading on mudbrick walls and limestone columns had resulted in cracks appearing and emergency scaffolding being installed on the south side of the inner courtyard.

New roof on the tomb of HoremhebIn 2007-2008 the concrete roof was therefore replaced with a lightweight ventilated steel frame roof. After the careful removal of all concrete elements, a replacement steel structure was installed which avoids any superimposed load on the one surviving limestone column. Instead the load is carried on the existing reconstructed limestone columns and a substantial timber spreader plate on top of the already reconstructed north and south perimeter mudbrick walls. Above the steelwork, a sheathing of composite timber boards was fixed. This was covered by bitumen roll insulation, then by a thin screed of white cement mortar. A flat suspended timber ceiling was constructed around the perimeter of the courtyard. The whole of the roof void is naturally ventilated at its edges to avoid any possible problems caused by condensation. In order to prevent the damage to the reliefs caused by bird-droppings, the entire open area of the courtyard was covered by a galvanized steel mesh on stainless steel tension wires. A mesh door in a steel frame was also installed at the entrance to the courtyard.

On the east side of the courtyard, the roof was extended to give protection to the niches at the west end of the statue chamber. A second, much smaller, roof was installed over the entrance from the outer courtyard into the statue chamber. In the outer courtyard itself, missing sections of the reconstructed limestone masonry lining walls and missing lintels were completed with new limestone blocks. The incomplete and water-damaged reconstructed columns on the west side of the courtyard were completed, and all the holes at the top of these columns were blocked to prevent them filling with water whenever it rains. One timber cupboard was placed over a relief in the outer courtyard. Throughout the tomb, missing sections of limestone paving were replaced, using old paving stones wherever possible. Finally, some limestone masonry consolidation of the entrance gateway within the First Pylon was executed, bringing both sides of the gateway to a consistent height and protecting the original masonry. To facilitate visitor access, a new limestone path across the forecourt was laid in place of the original robbed out and decayed floor surface.