Tomb of Ay (KV 23)

Valley of the kings


This tomb was a highly energetic space, and I initially had some apprehension with crossing its threshold. There is something truly strange about entering a tomb, whereas a temple holds a much different energy. There needs to be a reverence and deep respect, and also a call in for protection and light. I took in my surroundings with wonder and curiosity, and imagine (and feel) that the story of this space is very different than the narrative that is shared.

Ay was the penultimate Magician Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period and was a close advisor to 2-3 of the pharaohs who ruled before him and was said to be the power behind the throne during Tutankhamun's reign. Ay's prenomen or royal name—Kheperkheperure—means "Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra" while his birth name Ay it-netjer reads as 'Ay, Father of the God.' Although he succeeded Tutankhamun, Ay’s brief reign from 1327 to 1323 BC tends to be associated with the earlier Amarna period and Akhenaten (some Egyptologists have suggested he could have been the father of Akhenaten’s wife Nefertiti). This tomb space was also the original tomb of Tutankhamun, and after his death, was switched out with that of the magician’s, which left young Tut in a much smaller tomb, while Ay would rest in this larger space. I found the whole thing to be rather curious.