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Valley of the Kings - Ancient Egypt
Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings, in ancient Egyptian, was known as, “The Great, Noble Necropolis of Millions of Years of Pharaoh,” or, more simply, “The Great Place.”

It was the burial place of pharaohs and many others in Egypt’s New Kingdom (18th-20th Dynasties). The Valley of the Kings lies on the west bank of the Nile (25°45′ N, 32°36′ E), across from modern Luxor. There are many valleys in the rugged Theban hills adjacent to the Nile, and there are several reasons why the Valley of the Kings was selected from among them as the site of the royal burials.

There are actually two Valleys of the Kings: the West Valley (WV), which is by far the larger of the two, in which were cut at least three royal tombs; and, immediately beside it, the much smaller East Valley (KV), in which over sixty tomb entrances were dug. The East Valley is the better known of the two.

Map of the Valley of the Kings - Egypt

KV 1, Ramesses VII: Type 3, 40m long; open since antiquity.

KV 2, Ramesses IV: Type 3, 66m long; an ancient plan of this tomb is found on a papyrus now in Turin; never completely cleared, but accessible in Graeco-Roman times.

KV 3, a son of Ramesses III: non-royal, 37m long; cleared by Harry Burton (1912).

KV 4, Ramesses XI: Type 3, 93m long; open since antiquity, cleared by the Brooklyn Museum expedition (1979).

KV 5, originally a late 18th Dynasty tomb, reused by Ramesses II for at least three of his sons: largely inaccessible since then; unique, complex plan; clearance by the Theban Mapping Project began in 1989.

KV 6, Ramesses IX: Type 3, 86m long; open since antiquity, cleared by Georges Daressy (1888).

KV 7, Ramesses II: Type 3, over 100m long; one of KV’s largest tombs, partly dug in 1913, but still largely uncleared.

KV 8, Merenptah and perhaps Isinefret, his wife: Type 3, 115m long; open since antiquity, dug by Howard Carter (1903).

KV 9, double tomb of Ramesses V and Ramesses VI: Type 3, 104m long; open since antiquity, cleared by Daressy (1898).

KV 10, Amenmesse and family members: Type 3; open since antiquity, currently being cleared.

KV 11, Sethnakhte, completed by Ramesses III: Type 3, 125m long; open in antiquity, but never fully cleared.

KV 12, Unknown. Thought to be from the 18th dynasty.

KV 13, perhaps tomb of Bay (under Tawosret): seriously damaged by flooding in 1994.

KV 14, Tawosret and her husband Seti II, then usurped by Sethnakhte: Type 3, 110m long; some digging in 1909.

KV 15, Seti II: Type 3, 72m long; perhaps the digging of this tomb was started, abandoned, then hastily resumed but never completed; open in antiquity, cleared in modern times.

KV 16, Ramesses I: 29m long; dug by Giovanni Belzoni (1817).

KV 17, Seti I: Type 2, one of the largest and longest KV tombs (over 230m, including an enigmatic passageway extending 90m beyond the burial chamber); dug by Belzoni (1817).

KV 18, Ramesses X: 20th dynasty.

KV 19: Mentuherkhepshef, a son of Ra-messes IX, was perhaps hastily buried in this hardly begun (20m long) and never finished tomb; found by Belzoni, cleared by Edward Ayrton (1905).

KV 20, Tuthmose I: Type 1, 200m long; perhaps the first tomb dug in the Valley of the Kings, later usurped and enlarged by Hatshepsut; first dug by James Burton (1824), later by Carter (1903).

KV 21, Unkown (2 royal females) – 18th dynasty.

KV 22 / WV 22, begun by Tuthmose IV, the tomb was used by Amenhotep III (but probably not by others of his family): Type 1, 100m long; discovered in 1799, cleared by Carter in 1915.

KV 23 / WV 23, Ay: 55m long; discovered by Belzoni (1816), but not cleared until 1972.

KV 24 / WV 24, Unknown

KV / WV 25, possibly begun for Amenhotep IV, although Tuthmose IV or one of his sons, Amenhotep III, Smenkhkare, or Tutankhamen have also been suggested: unfinished; found by Belzoni (1817) and only recently cleared.

KV 26, Unknown

KV 27, Unknown

KV 28, Unknown

KV 29, Unknown

KV 30, Unknown

KV 31, Unknown

KV 32, Tia’a – New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, Amenhotep II

KV 33, Unknown

KV 34, Tuthmose III: Type 1, 55m long; cleared by Loret (1898).

KV 35, Amenhotep II: Type 1, 60m long; reused as one of the two caches in which priests of the 20th Dynasty reburied royal mummies; opened by Loret in 1898.

KV 36, Maiherpri

KV 37, Unknown

KV 38, perhaps dug by Tuthmose III for the re-burial of Tuthmose I (moved from KV 20): Type 1; cleared by Loret (1899).

KV 39, Unknown

KV 40, Unknown

KV 41, Unknown

KV 42, perhaps intended for Hatshepsut, but never used by her; may have been used by the mayor of Thebes, Sennefer, and his family: Type 1; cleared by Carter (1900).

KV 43, Tuthmose IV: Type 1, 90m long; cleared by Carter (1903).

KV 44, Unknown

KV 45, Userhet / Merekhons. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, Thutmes IV (or early during the reign of Amenhetep III). Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 22, Osorkon I

KV 46, Yuya and Tuya, parents of Amenhotep III’s wife, Tiye: they were buried at different times (Yuya first), and shortly after the last interment the tomb was plundered of valuable items, later robbed again, resealed in the reign of Ramesses III, robbed yet again and finally resealed by Ramesses XI; when found by Theodore Davis (1905), it still contained numerous artifacts.

KV 47, Siptah and his mother: Type 3, 89m long; dug by Ayrton (1905), Harry Burton (1912) and Carter (1922).

KV 48, Amenemopet

KV 49, Unknown

KV 50, Unknown

KV 51, Unknown

KV 52, Unknown

KV 53, Unknown

KV 54, a small pit, in which embalming materials of Tutankhamen were buried: opened in 1907.

KV 55, this small unfinished tomb is late 18th Dynasty, but its attribution (to Tiye or Akhenaten or Smenkhkare) and true purpose remain hotly debated: cleared by Ayrton for Davis (1907). Amarna Cache.

KV 56, Unknown, Gold Tomb

KV 57, Horemheb: Type 2, 114m long; elegant examples of wall decoration in various stages of completion; dug by Ayrton for Davis (1908).

KV 58, Unknown

KV 59, Unknown

KV 60, Sitre/In – New Kingdom, Dynasty 18

KV 61, Unknown

KV 62, Tutankhamen: the most famous (and most carefully recorded) tomb in the Valley of the Kings; twice robbed, but nevertheless found almost perfectly intact by Carter in November 1922; still largely unpublished.

KV 63, Unknown

KV 64, Nehemes-Bastet

KV 65, Unknown

KV A, Unknown

KV F, Unknown