The royal tomb at Akhetaten stands as a silent monument both
to the destruction wrought in the Anti-Atenist backlash, and the
destruction caused in modern times by man's greed and ignorance.
The archeological evidence shows that Akhenaten was originally
buried in the tomb. Fragments of his granite sarcophagus and his
canopic chest were found both inside the tomb and in an associated
dump. There is also evidence of a second sarcophagus, that of
Meketaten. Interestingly in view of the prominence of Nefertiti
at this time, there is insufficient space in the main burial chamber
for it to have been intended for two sarcophagi.
One interesting hypothesis was that the angle of descent of the tomb passage would allow the light of the Aten to penetrate down as far as the burial chamber, to where the Sarcophagus lay.
Side view of the tomb tunnel (Not to scale)
One possible hole in this theory is that in previous 18th dynasty tombs a second passage would have descended from the pillared hall to the burial chamber and this would not have been in line with the first, so if the tomb had been completed the light of the Aten would not have penetrated to where the sarcophagus lay.
The archaeologists who excavated the tomb described the damage as 'systematic'. The shabti figures and sarcophagi were smashed and broken to such an extent that few fragments remained more than a few centimeters in size. Most of the cartouches in the main corridor and burial chamber were hacked out in antiquity, but the vast majority of the damage done to the 'Meketaten Annexe' occurred in 1931, when locals removed the plasterwork from the walls for sale on the antiquities market. It is unfortunate that no detailed study of these reliefs was carried out prior to their destruction as a great deal of information was lost.