Tombs KV7 - KV10


Tomb KV7


Tomb KV7, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of the 19th dynasty pharaoh Ramesses II. The tomb has been open since antiquity, although it has been almost completely filled with flood debris since then. Located at the foot of the northern side of the main valley, the tomb was first explored by Henry Salt in 1817.

KV7 - Plan and elevation of the tombKV7 is one of the larger tombs in the Valley of the Kings, extending to over 860 in area. The tomb has the older 18th dynasty layout incorporating a bent-axis plan (pictured left), perhaps to avoid a bed of shale encountered during construction.

From the entrance (A), three sloping corridors lead to the Hall of Waiting (B) and the Chariot Hall (C), which has two side chambers. A central descent and two further corridors then lead to an antechamber (D). In this chamber, a change of axis occurs to the right (northeast) finally leading to the burial chamber (E) with its six adjacent side chambers.
KV7
Tomb of Ramesses II

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: Henry Salt
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.i.iExcavated: 1817
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ikiTotal area: 868.40m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Bent
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Raised relief
Sunk relief
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........Objects:
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vessels

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KV7 - Mummy of Ramesses IISince the entrance to the tomb lies at a low point in the Valley, it has been liable to flooding over the centuries, with evidence of several incidents preserved in the layers of debris fill. Because of the flooding, much of the decoration in the tomb is either damaged or missing, but most of the original scenes can be reconstructed from fragments.

Decoration of KV7 begins at the entrance. Above the doorway is a solar disc flanked by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys, while on either the side there are images of the goddess Maat kneeling above lily plants.

The first two corridors are decorated with scenes from the Litany of Re, while the third is decorated with scenes from the Amduat.

The Hall of Waiting with its well shaft is decorated with scenes of the deceased accompanied by various deities. The Chariot Hall, which follows the Hall of Waiting, is decorated with an Osiris shrine and scenes from the Book of Gates. On the northeast side of this four pillared hall is a smaller four pillared chamber complete with side chamber.
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KV7 - Nerertari, principal wife of Ramesses IIThe two corridors between the Chariot Hall and the antechamber are decorated with scenes from the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony. The antechamber itself contains scenes from the Book of the Dead, a innovation that future kings would follow.

The burial chamber is decorated with scenes from the Book of Gates, and the Amduat. Eight square pillars, in two lines of four, support the ceiling. Four small decorated side chambers lead directly off the burial chamber, while there are two, larger, pillared rooms on the northeast side.

Both these rooms have twin pillars supporting the ceiling and are decorated with scenes from the Amduat. The easternmost room leads to a plain, large room that had four containers for canopic jars, guarded by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys. This room in turn leads to the final two pillared chamber which is decorated with scenes from the Book of the Dead.

As mentioned above, the tomb was open in antiquity. According to the 'Strike Papyrus' in the Turin Museum, two tomb robbers tried to enter KV7 during the regnal year 29 of Rameses III by stripping stones from the entrance. The mummy of Ramesses II was discovered in the DB320 cache. The body was reasonably intact, and when the outer bandages were removed, a hieratic docket revealed that Ramesses II had been rewrapped and reburied in the tomb of Seti I (KV17) before eventually being interred at Deir el Bahri where it was found in 1881.


Tomb KV8


Tomb KV8, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of the 19th dynasty pharaoh Merenptah and was first explored by Henry Salt in 1817. Parts of the tomb have been open since antiquity. Certainly the upper chambers of the tomb were accessible during Greek and Roman times because of the 135 graffiti written on the walls, although it has been almost completely filled with flood debris since then.

KV8 - From left wall of First CorridorFrom the entrance three sloping corridors lead to the Hall of Waiting. Beyond this lies the Chariot Hall with a pillared side chamber on its right. Through the middle of the Chariot Hall a central stair feeds onto a sloping corridor which in turn leads to a small antechamber.

Beyond this antechamber a second corridor slopes down to the large vaulted burial chamber which has four side chambers, one in each corner. A further chamber, with three additional chambers leads off the rear wall.

Royal tomb design was simplified under Merenptah by abandoning the jogged axis used since the time of Horemheb and instead used a single axis which led directly from the entrance to the burial chamber.
KV8
Tomb of Merenptah

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: Howard Carter
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.i.iExcavated: 1903/04
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ikiTotal area: 772.54m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Raised relief
Sunk relief
..
........Objects:
Tomb equipment
Vessels
Writing equipment

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KV8 - Chariot HallKV8 is one of many tombs in the Valley of the Kings that has been damaged by flash floods. Most of the tomb has been excavated, but the side chambers off the burial chamber are still full of debris. The paint and plaster that survived the floods are in good condition.
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The entrance to the tomb is decorated with images of the sun god flanked by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys. The first corridor has an image of the king in the presence of Re-Horakhty (above left) and scenes from the Litany of Re. The second corridor has more scenes from the Litany of Re as well as scenes from the Book of Gates. The third corridor and the Hall of Waiting have texts and images from the Amduat. The Chariot Hall is decorated with scenes from the Book of Gates and Osiris shrine (pictured above) while the lower corridors have depictions of the Opening of the Mouth ceremony and other devine scenes. The antechamber between these two corridors is decorated with scenes from the Book of the Dead and contains the discarded sarcophagus lid.

KV8 - Sarcophagus Flooding badly damaged the lower chambers of the tomb. With the exception of scenes high on the walls and ceiling of the burial chamber most of the decoration beyond the Chariot Hall was destroyed.

The vaulted ceiling of the burial chamber is supported by eight pillars arranged in two rows. Here the main decoration is based on the Book of Gates, though on the right hand wall there are solar oriented scenes from the Book of Caverns while the ceiling has an astronomical theme.

In the center of the burial chamber is the lid of the king's second sarcophagus made of pink granite (pictured left). There were originally four stone sarcophagi, consisting of three outer containers of pink (or red) Aswan granite, and a fourth innermost sarcophagus of creamy white calcite. The lid of the outermost sarcophagus measured over 4m long and was moved in antiquity to the antechamber where it can be seen today.


Tomb KV9


Tomb KV9, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of the 20th dynasty pharaohs Ramesses V and Ramesses VI and was first explored by James Burton during the 1820s. The tomb has been known of since antiquity, attested to by numerous graffiti, and was known to the Romans as the tomb of Memnon. It was cleared of debris by George Daressy in 1888.

KV9 - Sarcophagus fragmentVirtually everything found in the tomb was prepared for Ramesses VI although it seems that Ramesses V began the tomb and was interred there in a double burial with his successor.

The entrance to KV9 leads on to the first of three gently sloping corridors. The corridors terminate at the Hall of Waiting which is minus the usual well shaft. This in turn leads onto the pillared Chariot Hall.

From a central descent in the Chariot Hall the two lower corridors lead to the antechamber and burial chamber. The fifth and last corridor is steeper than the preceeding ones in order to cut below the structure of KV12. The vaulted burial chamber has a pit in centre of the floor, which was never finished. The unfinished inner sarcophagus of Ramesses VI had been shattered in antiquity; a fragment (pictured above) is now in the British Museum.
KV9
Tomb of Ramesses V and Ramesses VI

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: James Burton
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.i.iExcavated: 1820/30
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ikiTotal area: 510.07m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Sunk relief
..
........Objects:
Furniture
Numismatics
Tomb equipment
Vessels
Written documents


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KV9 - Burial chamber
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KV9 - Burial chamber
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KV9 - Burial chamber
KV9 - Horus and Amon
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From the entrance, decorated with a solar disc flanked by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys, the first three corridors are decorated in painted, sunk relief with scenes from the Book of Gates and the Book of Caverns. The third corridor also has scenes from the Book of the Heavenly Cow, the Book of Day and the Book of Night.
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KV9 - ceiling of Burial chamber
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The Hall of Waiting and the Chariot Hall are both decorated with scenes from the Book of Gates, the Book of Caverns, the Book of Day and the Book of Night. In the fourth and fifth corridors there are passages from the Amduat, and in the antechamber sections of the Book of the Dead and images of the deceased with deities. The walls of the burial chamber are painted with illustrations from the Book of the Earth, while the astronomical ceiling (pictured above) has decorations from the Book of the Day and the Book of the Night.

The mummies of Ramesses V and Ramesses VI were not found in the tomb, but were part of the cache found in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV35). An account of the theft from KV9 is the subject of the tomb robbery document Papyrus Mayer B.


Tomb KV10


Tomb KV10, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of the19th dynasty pharaoh Amenmesse and was first explored by Edward Ayrton in 1907. The tomb has been partially open since antiquity, and there are Greek, Arabic, and modern inscriptions on the walls at the entrance to the tomb.

KV10 - General planFrom the entrance (A) three corridors lead down to the Hall of Waiting (B) which is without its usual well shaft. The Hall of Waiting leads on to the Chariot Hall (C), a four pillared chamber showing signs of considerable damage due to flooding, with only one of the pillars still relatively intact. The Chariot hall has a side chamber (D) which was never finished. The ceiling of this chamber was penetrated by the tomb of Ramesses III (KV11).

The corridor leading from the Chariot Hall has a vaulted ceiling (the last two corridors are not shown on the accompanying plan as it was drawn in the early 1800s). The fifth and last corridor is unfinished but would have led to the burial chamber if completed. Instead the corridor served as the burial chamber.

The tomb was originally decorated for Amenmesse, with raised relief on the lintel and jambs at the entrance. The remainder of the decoration was in sunk relief, extending as far as pillared Chariot Hall, the first two corridors being decorated with scenes from the Litany of Re while the third corridor bore evidence of scenes from the Anduat. All of this decoration was subsequently erased and replaced with painted plaster scenes for the royal women Takhat and Baketwerel.
KV10
Tomb of Amenmesse

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: Edward Ayrton
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.i.iExcavated: 1907
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ikiTotal area: 350.27m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Raised relief
Sunk relief
..
........Objects:
Human mummies
Tomb equipment
Vessels


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The decoration of the Hall of Waiting consisted of scenes of Takhat making offerings to a number of deities. This theme was repeated in the Chariot hall, where Baketwerel was portrayed making the offerings The Chariot Hall was also decorated with scenes from the Book of the Dead.

As a result of flooding at various times over the centuries most of the wall decoration has been destroyed. Three mummies were found within the tomb, those of two women and a man. They have never been identified. However, fragments of canopic jars and part of a red granite sarcophagus lid, both inscribed with the name of Takhat, probably indicate that at least she was buried here.


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