The tomb TT280 had been plundered in antiquity, and the burial did not survive. However in 1920 Winlock re-examined the tomb and found a small undisturbed chamber beneath the floor of a corridor that contained a collection of magnificent tomb models.
On February 25 1920, Winlock's team began clearing the rubbish from the tomb in order to make a proper plan, but on the evening of March 17 they discovered a side chamber on one of the passages (see illustration). Winlock wrote:[On looking through the first opening ...] we realized exactly what we had. The chamber was not, as we had at first surmised, a little burial chamber made for some relative or servant of the great man. In fact, it was not a burial chamber at all but a little secret room in which part of the tomb equipment of Mehenkwetre himself was placed. A thousand years before his day it had been the custom for the tombs of the wealthy to contain such a chamber - called by the modern Arabs the "serdab" -in which the dead man's statue was walled up. Later it had been the custom to put beside the statue a few figures of servants at their daily tasks eternally preparing food and drink for the dead owner of the tomb. Gradually these servants had been multiplied and the statue of the man himself been made smaller until at last his figure had been reduced to the same scale as the servants.
Winlock-1975, pp. 56-71