Giovanni Belzoni/Narrative of Operations and Recent Discoveries in Egypt and Nubia

Frequently dismissed as a tomb robber, Belzoni was actually a more disciplined archaeologist than many of his peers. He relied on state-of-the-art surveying techniques to locate his finds and prepared careful drawings and maps of most of his excavations. This watercolor from Belzoni’s Narrative of Operations painstakingly recreates one of his most celebrated finds—the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I (1318–1304 B.C.) in Thebes. Also known as Belzoni’s Tomb, Seti’s burial chamber was one of the most intact pharaoh’s tombs unearthed in modern times. Belzoni’s discovery of the tomb in 1817 quickly drew other archaeologists and tomb-hunters to the Valley of the Kings.