Tombs KV1 - KV6


Tomb KV1


Tomb KV1, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of twentieth dynasty pharaoh Ramesses VII. Although open since antiquity, it was only properly investigated and cleared by Edwin Brock in 1984 and 1985.

KV1 - EntranceThis tomb is much smaller than those of the immediately preceding pharaohs, consisting simply of an entrance ramp, a corridor and a vaulted burial chamber. Beyond the burial chamber is a small unfinished chamber with a recess in the rear wall.
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This unfinished chamber was initially intended to be the third corridor, but due to the pharaohs death in his seventh regnal year, work on this corridor was abandoned and the second corridor was enlarged to become the burial chamber.
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The tomb walls are decorated with excerpts from the Book of Gates, the Book of Caverns, the Book of the Earth, the Opening of the Mouth ritual, and images of the deceased. The scene from the Book of Gates (below right) shows the barque of Re being pulled through the Underworld by attendants.
KV1
Tomb of Ramesses VII

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: Edwin Brock
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.i.iExcavated: 1984/85
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ikiTotal area: 163.56m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Sunk relief
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........Objects:
Architectural elements
Domestic equipment
Furniture
Tomb equipment
Vegetal remains
Vessel stands
Written documents

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The ceilings are painted with motifs of flying vultures, astronomical figures and the pharaoh's cartouche. The burial chamber (pictured below, left) retains much of its decoration.
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KV1 - Burial chamberKV1 - Wall decoration
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The sarcophagus was cut directly into a pit in the floor of the tomb and over this was placed a massive stone covering. Two niches intended for canopic jars are cut in the sides of the pit. A break in the end of the granite pit cover was made by robbers to gain access to the burial.
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Through history the tomb was used by Christian monks as a dwelling. There are 135 Greek, and several demotic, Coptic, and nineteenth century graffiti in the tomb, indicating that it had been accessible since antiquity.


Tomb KV2


Tomb KV2, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of twentieth dynasty pharaoh Ramesses IV. The tomb has been open since antiquity. During the first half of the nineteenth century the tomb was often used as a dwelling by European explorers investigating the Valley. It was finally excavated by Edward Ayrton in 1905/06.

Ramesses IV - ShabtiThe tomb consists of three gently sloping corridors leading to an ante-chamber followed by the burial chamber. Beyond the small burial chamber is a fourth corridor with side chambers.

The corridors are unusual for their width and height, measuring in places 3 metres wide by 4 metres high, the third corridor having a barrel vaulted ceiling. The first two corridors are decorated with scenes and text from the Litany of Re, their ceilings painted with vultures, falcons and winged scarabs. The third corridor with its vaulted ceiling (below left) contains scenes from the Book of Caverns. From this corridor, a ramp leads through the ante-chamber into the burial chamber.

Construction of the tomb was cut short by the pharaoh's death when little beyond the Chariot Hall was completed. The chamber which would have been the Chariot Hall was used instead as the burial chamber while the Hall of Waiting became an ante-chamber.This ante-chamber is decorated with scenes from the Book of the Dead.
KV2
Tomb of Ramesses IV

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: Edward R Ayrton
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.i.iExcavated: 1905/06
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ikiTotal area: 304.88m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Sunk relief
..
........Objects:
Architectural elements
Human mummies
Furniture
Tomb equipment
Vegetal remains
Written documents

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KV2 - Corridor leading to the burial chamber
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KV2 - Burial chamber
The annexes behind the burial chamber contain parts of the Book of Caverns. Other parts of this annex are painted with burial offerings such as beds, shrines and canopic jars.

KV2 - Book of Gates - representing the passing of the hours















The burial chamber itself is decorated with scenes from the Book of Gates, the Amduat, the Book of Nut and the Book of Night. When the Chariot Hall was converted into the burial chamber the pillars were removed and the floor lowered to accommodate the massive sarcophagus.

During antiquity the tomb was robbed and the sarcophagus broken into. The king's mummy was reburied in a re-used coffin in the cache in KV35. Open since antiquity, the tomb bears evidence of Greek and Latin graffiti and Coptic texts.


Tomb KV3


Tomb KV3, located in the East Valley, was probably the burial place of a son of Ramesses III. The tomb has been open since antiquity. The tomb was first excavated by Harry Burton in 1912, though Ayrton and Quibbell had excavated in the vicinity.

Ramesses III - Princes ProcessionThe open entryway leads to a single corridor from which side chambers open off on either side. The corridor in turn leads to a 4 pillared hall, also with side chambers. Directly beyond the pillared hall are three smaller chambers, one a vaulted burial chamber.

Only traces of the tomb's decoration survives, in the form of painted sunk relief on plaster, in the entrance and first corridor. The principal decorative theme consisted of depictions of Rameses III followed by a prince, before various deities, the compositions presumably being based on the Litany of Re. The photo above is of a procession of the sons of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu temple.
KV3
Tomb of a Son of Ramesses III

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: Harry Burton
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.i.iExcavated: 1912
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ikiTotal area: 193.36m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Sunk relief
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........Objects:
Architectural elements
Vessels

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A hieratic ostracon in the Berlin Museum records that in regnal year 28 of Ramesses III a group of workmen went to the Valley of the Kings to 'found the [tomb] of a prince of His Majesty'. The tomb is probably KV3, but the name of the prince is unknown, although some have suggested that it was intended for the prince who succeeded his father as Rameses IV. There are no indications that the tomb received a royal burial. Tomb KV3 was later used as a Christian chapel during the Byzantine period.


Tomb KV4


Tomb KV4, located in the East Valley, was intended to be the burial place of Ramesses XI, but it was abandoned without being used for the king's burial. It was the last royal tomb to be cut in the Valley of the Kings.

KV4- Tomb entranceThe tomb has been open since antiquity and has been put to many uses in its long history, including being used as a residence and a stable during the Christian period. Later, Howard Carter used the tomb as a storeroom and dining hall while he worked to clear the tomb of Tutankhamun.

It was eventually cleared in 1978/80 by John Romer for the Brooklyn Museum.

From the initial entrance, three gently sloping corridors lead to the Hall of Waiting which is undecorated and without its usual well shaft.

Following this is the Chariot Hall, again undecorated. Beyond this, a ramp leads to a short corridor which, in turn, leads to the unfinished burial chamber, whose vaulted ceiling is sustained by four rectangular pillars. In the centre of the chamber is a deep burial shaft.
KV4
Tomb of Ramesses XI

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: In antiquity
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iiiiExcavator: John Romer
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.i.iExcavated: 1978/80
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ikiTotal area: 503.50m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
..
........Objects:
Architectural elements
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Vessels
Written documents

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Decoration of the tomb was only in its early stages when work ceased. Only the first corridor received attention with preliminary sketches of Ramesses XI, accompanied by dieties, in red ink on a thick, yellowish coating of plaster.

Although the tomb never contained the body of Ramesses XI, a XXII dynasty wooden coffin was discovered in the central shaft of the burial chamber together with the skeletal remains of three bodies.


Tomb KV5


Tomb KV5, located in the East Valley, was the burial site of at least six of the sons of Ramesses II and is the largest tomb in the valley. Still under excavation, the tomb has so far revealed 121 corridors and chambers, covering an area of over 1250.

Ramesses II with prince Amun-her-khepsef The tomb was first explored in modern times by James Burton, who mapped its first nine chambers.

The tomb was revisited by the Theban Mapping Project. For the first few years the tomb was generally considered 'unremarkable'.

However, in 1995 the group discovered long corridors lined with over 120 rooms, some most likely containing the burials of the sons of Ramesses II. At least six sons of Ramesses II are known to be buried here, including the eldest son Amun-her-khepsef (pictured above with Ramesses II), Meryamum and Seti.

The Theban Mapping Project believes that since more than 20 representations of sons decorate the walls, at least that many sons were buried here (Ramesses II is believed to have had in the order of 50 sons and an equal number of daughters).

The tomb is decorated with scenes from the Opening of the Mouth ceremony and representations of Ramesses II, his sons and deities.
KV5
Tomb of the Sons of Ramesses II

..ii..Location: East Valley
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.iDiscovered: Before 1799
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iiiiExcavator: Kent R. Weeks
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.i.iExcavated: 1987/--
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ikiTotal area: 1,266.47m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Raised relief
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........Objects:
Human remains
Jewellery
Mammal remains
Religious objects
Tomb equipment
Transport
Vessels
Written documents


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Like the majority of the tombs in the valley, KV5 was robbed in antiquity. The tomb has been subjected to severe damage in the past due to flash floods which filled the tomb with debris and did irreparable damage to the wall decoration. The tomb's structure integrity has also been put in jeopardy in recent times by the vibrations caused by tourist traffic.


Tomb KV6


Tomb KV6, located in the East Valley, was the burial place of twentieth dynasty pharaoh of Ramesses IX. The tomb has been open since antiquity. The tomb was partially excavated by Henry Salt in 1817 and a number of objects from KV6 now form part of the Salt Collection in the British Museum.

KV6 - Tomb of Ramesses IXFrom its entrance, a ramp leads to the first of three corridors. This corridor has four side chambers, of which only three were ever completed. The two succeeding corridors lead to the Hall of Waiting which is without the customary well shaft.

Directly following the Hall of Waiting is the Chariot Hall which has a central ramp leading to the burial chamber. It appears that the tomb was far from complete at the time of the pharaoh's death, the normal corridor beyond the Chariot Hall being truncated and widened to form the burial chamber. A pit was cut into the floor of the burial chamber to accomodate the king's body, but no trace has been found of the lid required to cover it. The mummy of the king was found in the Deir el Bahri Cache (DB320) in 1881 in a coffin originally prepared for Nesikhons, wife of High Priest of Amun Pinudjem II. DB320 is thought to be the tomb of Pinedjem II, his wife Nesikhons and other close family members.
KV6
Tomb of Ramesses IX

..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: 396.41m²
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.ki.Axis Type: Straight
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kiDecoration:
Grafitti
Painting
Sunk relief
..
........Objects:
Sculpture
Tomb equipment
Transport
Written documents


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At the time of the death of Ramesses IX, only the first two corridors had been plastered, and only the first corridor had seen its decoration completed. After the death of the king, the remaining plastering and painting of the ceiling and walls of the tomb were hastily finished.
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KV6 - Burial chamber















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KV6 - Burial chamber
Decoration of the tomb begins with the king's adoration of the sun disk, accompanied by Isis and Nephthys on the lintel over the entrance. Variations of this are also found on the door lintels of the second and third corridors. The art in this tomb is similar to that of Ramesses VI, though here, the first two corridors have passages from the Litany of Re, rather then the Book of Gates.

KV6 - Burial chamber
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In the second and third corridors, in addition to the Litany of Re, there are also passages from the Book of the Dead, the Book of Caverns and scenes from the Amduat. The Hall of Waiting is decorated with the Opening of the Mouth ceremony. The Chariot Hall contains four large columns, but neither the stonecutting nor the decoration work were completed.
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The burial chamber has a vaulted ceiling with a double representation of the goddess Nut and passages from the Book of the Earth, the Book of Caverns and the Book of the Night. The far wall depicts Ramesses IX on his barque, surrounded by a host of gods (centre left). The yellows, dark blues, and blacks used to decorate this chamber are visually striking and unusual among the tomb decorations in the Valley.

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