Substructure of Ptahemwia's tomb

The main shaft of the tomb is located in the centre of the courtyard. Only one of its covering slabs was found to be extant; this and the presence of drystone walls erected around its aperture betrayed it had already been entered before. The shaft proved to be 9 metres deep. It gives access to an antechamber in the south, leading to a descending corridor and burial-chamber in the west. Presumably, this west complex was originally closed off by limestone slabs laid across the stairwell halfway the corridor, with blocking stones erected on top of them. It should be noted that the west chamber lies almost exactly under the central chapel of the superstructure. A second complex, likewise once blocked by slabs of limestone, opens to the south of the antechamber. This consists of an L-shaped room, leading to a side-chamber with a 4.80 m deep pit and a further burial-chamber at the bottom. The whole underground complex was found largely filled by wind-blown sand, which had penetrated via the main shaft but also via a secondary shaft to the south of the tomb. The latter breaks through the ceiling of the L-shaped chamber. Originally it belonged to an Old Kingdom mud-brick mastaba.

The west complex was found almost empty, doubtless the result of 19th century tomb robbers. On the other hand, the deepest chamber was the only uncontaminated New Kingdom context and still contained a quantity of pottery and some decayed wood of the original coffins deposited here. Otherwise some inlays of coffins (eyes and eyebrows), a few beads, and a scarab with the name of Thutmosis IV were the only finds to attest that indeed the underground complex was used for New Kingdom interments. Unfortunately, inscribed material proving that this concerned Ptahemwia and his relatives was lacking.