Tombs KV15 - KV17


Tomb KV15


Tomb KV15, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of the 19th dynasty pharaoh Seti II and was first explored by Howard Carter in 1902/03. The tomb has been open since antiquity, over sixty Greek and other graffiti found on the walls of the tomb evidence that it remained open throughout the later Graeco-Roman period.

KV15 - EntranceThe tomb entrance (at the top of the steps in the photo) is cut directly into the vertical cliff face at the head of a branch wadi.

From the short entrance three long corridors lead to the Hall of Waiting, which is minus its well shaft. The Hall of Waiting opens onto the four pillared Chariot Hall which has a central descent leading directly to the burial chamber, which was adapted from an unfinished corridor.

The decoration of the tomb appears to have been completed in a rush, probably due to the kings death. The first corridor and the Chariot Hall are decorated in sunk and raised relief, but the decoration in the remainder of the tomb is done in paint alone; in the second and third corridors, only preliminary sketches were painted on a grayish-brown plaster surface.
KV15
Tomb of Seti II

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: Howard Carter
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.i.iExcavated: 1902/03
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ikiTotal area: 298.11m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Raised relief
Sunk relief

..
........Objects:
Human mummies
Tomb equipment


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Over the entrance to the first corridor is a sun disk with a scarab and a ram headed god, framed by the kneeling figures of the goddesses Isis and Nephthys. Inscribed on the jambs of the doorway are the names of Seti II with an image of Ma'at, also shown kneeling. On the left wall of the first corridor are images of Seti II making offerings to Re-Horakhty and Nefertem while the right wall shows scenes of Sokar and Seti II making offerings to Re-Horakhty. The remainder of the corridor shows scenes from the Litany of Re, while the ceiling is painted with winged vultures (below right).

The second corridor, whose decoration consists of preliminary sketches, displays further scenes of Seti II with dieties and sections from the Litany of Re. In addition there are scenes from the Amduat which continue in the third corridor. The Hall of Waiting is not decorated with the usual scenes of the king with dieties, but rather the entire chamber contains representations of funerary objects, including statuettes of gods and kings.

The Chariot Hall is decorated with scenes from the Book of Gates. On the rear wall is a double scene of Seti II offering an image of Ma'at and two vases to Osiris. The small burial chamber is decorated with the Book of Gates and further scenes of the king with dieties.
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KV15 - Litany of Re - from the first corridor

KV15 - Makeshift burial chamber of Seti II

KV15 - Burial chamber and sarcophagus
KV15 - Ceiling of the first corridor
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Fragments of his red granite sarcophagus lid were present within this tomb, but no trace of the actual box was ever discovered. These fragments have been restored and reassembled to give an impression of the original appearance of the sarcophagus (pictured left and bottom left). The top of the lid is missing, along with the face of the king. However, the head of the goddess Nut is now in the Egyptian collection at the Louvre in Paris (pictured below).
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KV15 - Sarcophagus fragment
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The history of KV15 is not fully known. There is definite evidence of the erasure of Seti II's names followed by their recarving, and these deletions may have taken place either during the usurpation of Amenmesses (most likely) or during the reign of Siptah and later restored by Twosert.
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It is possible that the body of the king was initially interred in KV14 with his wife, Twosert, then reburied by Setnakhte in the abandoned KV15, which was then quickly finished. Whether this was so, or the king was initially buried in his own unfinished tomb, the body was later removed and placed in a coffin in the KV35 cache.


Tomb KV16


Tomb KV16, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of the founder of the 19th dynasty, pharaoh Ramesses I. It was first explored by Giovanni Belzoni in 1817. The tomb entrance was hidden sometime during the 21st dynasty, as the absence of any Greek or Latin graffiti attests.

KV16 - Burial chamber - Ramesses I flanked by figures representing Nekhen and PeTomb KV16 is one of the smallest tombs in the Valley of the Kings, its construction being cut short by the death of the elderly pharaoh.

From the stepped entrance, a single, short corridor leads to a second stairway. This second stairway opens directly onto the burial chamber, which has two side chambers and a niche in the rear wall. In the centre of the burial chamber is the kings large, red granite sarcophagus. Like the rest of the tomb, the sarcophagus is unfinished, its decoration hurriedly painted on, rather than being carved. The sarcophagus has sustained damage to its lid and the upper edge of the box, perhaps caused when the tomb was robbed sometime during the 20th dynasty.
KV16
Tomb of Ramesses I

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: In antiquity
..
iiiiExcavator: Giovanni Belzoni
..
.i.iExcavated: 1817
..
ikiTotal area: 147.94m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
Painting

..
........Objects:
Human mummies
Sculpture
Tomb equipment


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KV16 - Burial chamber - Ramesses I being led by Horus
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KV16 - Burial chamber - Book of Gates
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KV16 - Burial chamber - sarcophagus
The decoration of the tomb, although painted, bears a strong resemblance to the style found in the tomb of Horemheb (KV57). Presumably many of the artists worked in both tombs. The scenes are related to the Book of Gates, and all have blue backgrounds. Above the Osiris niche in the rear wall (pictured above), there is a depiction of Ramesses I in a ceremony of jubilation, flanked by the falcon-headed 'soul of Pe' and the jackal-headed 'soul of Nekhen', the traditional regions of upper Egypt.
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KV16 - Burial chamber - Osiris and Iwnmutef priest
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On the rear wall Ramesses I is led into the presence of Osiris by Horus. The burial chamber and left side chamber are the only rooms in the tomb that are decorated.

The mummy was eventually cached in DB320 in the tenth regnal year of Saamen after previously being hidden in KV17.
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The stone in the tomb is fractured and has suffered flood damage. Rain water entered the tomb through joints and faults in the surface limestone. The Supreme Council of Antiquities has installed ceiling supports in the burial chamber around the sarcophagus (left) to prevent further damage.


Tomb KV17


Tomb KV17, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of the 19th dynasty pharaoh Seti I. It was first explored by Giovanni Belzoni in 1817. After Sety I's burial the tomb was used as a temporary cache for other royal mummies including Ramesses I and Ramesses II. These mummies were all subsequently moved to DB320.

KV17 - Wall decorationTomb KV17 is the longest (137m) and deepest of all the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It was the first tomb to be decorated with a complete programme of religious texts. From the stepped entrance three corridors lead to the Hall of Waiting, complete with well shaft. Beyond the Hall of Waiting is the four pillared Chariot Hall with a descent on its left side. At the rear of the Chariot Hall is a large two pillared side chamber.

From the sloping descent two further corridors lead to the antechamber, followed by the two level burial chamber. The upper level has six pillars, of which one is destroyed. The ceiling of the lower level is vaulted. There are small side chambers on either side of the upper burial chamber. Further side chambers off the lower level include a small annex off the right side, a large two pillared chamber to the back left, and a four pillared chamber at the rear. From the centre of the lower level a long corridor leads down to possibly a symbolic burial chamber.
KV17
Tomb of Seti I

..ii..Location: East Valley
..
.iDiscovered: In antiquity
..
iiiiExcavator: Giovanni Belzoni
..
.i.iExcavated: 1817
..
ikiTotal area: 649.04m²
..
.ki.Axis Type: Straight
..
kiDecoration:
Painting
Raised relief

..
........Objects:
Mammal mummies
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vessels
Writing equipment

..
The tomb is decorated with highly refined bas-reliefs and once bright, colourful paintings, which have now faded with time. The first corridor is decorated with scenes from the Litany of Re together with the images of the king before Re-Horakhty. The second and third corridors have scenes from the Amduat (the third hour). Within the Hall of Waiting, decorations show the king before various dieties.
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KV17 - corridor
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KV17 - Chariot Hall - Book of Gates

KV17- Burial chamber - Upper level

KV17 - Burial chamber - lower level ceiling
KV17 - Chariot Hall
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The Chariot Hall (above and second top left) is decorated with scenes from the Book of Gates (fith and sixth hours, each hour starting with a richly decorated gate, guarded by snakes) and another innovation, the Osiris shrine which marks the transition into the lower reaches of most Ramessid period tombs. The side chamber off the Chariot Hall has sketched scenes from the Amduat and the king before various deities.

KV17 - Burial chamber - lower level
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The lower corridors display scenes from the Opening of the Mouth ceremony. In the antechamber, Seti I is again shown before various deites.

The decorative theme of the burial chamber includes passages from the Book of Gates and the Amduat. Some of the decorations on the pillars have been taken to museums in Europe. Flooding, inadvertently caused by Belzoni, has caused damage to large areas of walls and ceilings.

For the first time, the burial chamber (the lower section) contains an astronomical ceiling (above and bottom left). It records specific constellations of the night sky along with the various decans or calendar units.

On the upper level, the left chamber is decorated with the fourth hour from the Book of Gates, while the right chamber has an entire copy of The Book of the Celestial Cow. On the lower level the right chamber was called the 'Chamber of Djed' (a symbol of Osiris). The two pillared room is large, and completely decorated, Osiris in various shapes decorating the pillars. On the upper walls are scenes from the sixth through eighth hour of the Amduat.

Belzoni uncovered several items of funerary equipment, the most important of which was an elegant empty alabaster sarcophagus. Upon it were engraved passages from the Book of Gates as well as passages from the Book of the Dead. This sarcophagus can now be seen in the Soane Museum in London.

The kings well preserved mummy was found in the cache at DB320 contained in a restored version of his original outer wooden coffin.



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