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Top Attractions in Valley of the Kings

KV36

Tomb KV36, located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, was used for the burial of the noble Maiherpri from the Eighteenth Dynasty. Rediscovered by Victor Loret in his second season in the Valley of the Kings, on 30 March 1899, the tomb was found to be substantially undisturbed, but as it has for a long time not been properly published, it is not as well known as other burials in the valley.  The objects found came all to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where they were published in the Catalogue General .  The only source for the arrangement of the objects in the burial chamber was a short article by Georg Schweinfurth.  He visited the tomb briefly before its contents was brought to Cairo.  However, recently the notebooks of Loret were found and published, providing a detailed list and description of the objects found and their arrangement in the tomb chamber. The tomb of Maherperi is a small shaft tomb with a chamber at the bottom on its west side.  The burial chamber was undecorated, as with all burial chambers of non-royals in the Valley of the King.  It is 3.90 m long and 4.10 m wide. Not much is known about Maiherpri as he does not appear in sources outside the tomb.  Only two titles appear on the objects within the burial: child of the nursery and fan-bearer on the right side of the king.  The mummy showed that he was a young man when he died. Maiherpri was placed in a set of three coffins.  The outer one is rectangular, painted black with gilded inscriptions and gilded decoration.  It is more a shrine than a coffin.  Inside it there were two anthropoid coffins also in black with gilded decoration.  There is a third anthropoid coffin found next to this coffin ensemble with its lid placed next to the box.  This caused some confusion and discussion in Egyptology.  It seems that the extra coffin was intended as the innermost one, but was actually too big to fit into the set and was therefore left unused next to it.  A similar situation was found in the burial of Tutankhamun, where his second coffins was also slightly too large for the outermost one.  There the coffin was shortened directly in the tomb chamber, while in the burial of Maherperi a new coffin was obtained. Maherperi mummy was adorned with a mummy mask.  At the foot end of the rectangular coffin, on the east side was found his canopic box with the four canopic jars still in it.  Next to it there was the Book of the Dead of Maiherpri and there were found several boxes with mummified pieces of meat.  At the head of the coffins were found too many pottery vessels.  Other objects from this tomb are stone vases, a senet game, a nicely painted faience bowl, a quiver, a glass vase and a funerary bed with the shape of Osiris laid out in wheat.

KV17

Tomb KV17, located in Egypts Valley of the Kings and also known by the names "Belzonis tomb", "the Tomb of Apis", and "the Tomb of Psammis, son of Nechois", is the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty. It is one of the best decorated tombs in the valley, but now is almost always closed to the public due to damage. It was first discovered by Giovanni Battista Belzoni on 16 October 1817. When he first entered the tomb he found the wall paintings in excellent condition with the paint on the walls still looking fresh and some of the artists paints and brushes still on the floor. The longest tomb in the valley, at 137.19 metres, it contains very well preserved reliefs in all but two of its eleven chambers and side rooms. One of the back chambers is decorated with the Ritual of the Opening of the Mouth, which stated that the mummys eating and drinking organs were properly functioning. Believing in the need for these functions in the afterlife, this was a very important ritual. A very long tunnel leads away deep into the mountainside from beneath the location where the sarcophagus stood in the burial chamber. Recently, the excavation of this corridor was completed. There was no secret burial chamber or any other kind of chamber at the end. Work on the corridor was abandoned upon the burial of Seti. The sarcophagus removed on behalf of the British consul Henry Salt is since 1824 in the Sir John Soanes Museum in London. KV17 was damaged when Jean-François Champollion, translator of the Rosetta Stone, removed a wall panel of 2.26 x 1.05 m in a corridor with mirror-image scenes during his 1828-29 expedition. Other elements were removed by his companion Rossellini or the German expedition of 1845. The scenes are now in the collections of the Louvre, the museums of Florence and Berlin. The tomb became known as the "Apis tomb" because when Giovanni Belzoni found the tomb a mummified bull was found in a side room off the burial hall. A number of walls in the tomb have collapsed or cracked due to excavations in the late 50s and early 60s causing significant changes in the moisture levels in the surrounding rocks.

KV6

Tomb KV6 in Egypts Valley of the Kings was the final resting place of the 20th-dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses IX. However, the archaeological evidence and the quality of decoration it contains indicates that the tomb was not finished in time for Ramessess death but was hastily rushed through to completion, many corners being cut, following his demise. It is located in the central part of the Valley. Its unusually wide entrance stands between, and slightly above, those of two other particularly interesting tombs: KV5 and KV55. Running a total distance of 105 metres into the hillside, the tomb begins with a gate and a shallow descending ramp. Following on from the ramp come three successive stretches of corridor. The first of these has four side chambers – two on each side – but none of these are decorated or finished. At the end of the corridors come three chambers. The first of these is decorated with the Opening of the Mouth ritual, and it is possible that a well shaft would have been dug here had the builders been afforded more time. The second chamber contains four large columns, but neither the stonecutting nor the decoration work were completed. At the far end of this chamber, a ramp slows down to the actual burial chamber, where the pharaohs sarcophagus was placed . The ceiling is vaulted, and is decorated with splendid pictures of the goddess Nut. The side walls show scenes from the Book of Caverns and the Book of the Earth. The far wall depicts Ramses on his barque, surrounded by a host of gods. The yellows, dark blues, and blacks used to decorate this chamber are visually striking and unusual among the tomb decorations in the Valley. While the sarcophagus itself has long since vanished, Ramesses IXs mummy was one of those found in the Deir el-Bahri cache in 1881. KV6 has been open since antiquity, as can be seen by the graffiti left on its walls by Roman and Coptic visitors.

KV46

Tomb KV46 in the Valley of the Kings is the tomb of Yuya and his wife Tjuyu, the parents of Queen Tiye, the wife of Amenhotep III, and King Ay, and grandparents of Nefertiti. It was discovered in February 1905 by James E. Quibell. Quibell was sponsored by Theodore M. Davis, who published an account of the excavation in 1907. KV 46 consists of a staircase leading down to a further descending corridor and a unique burial chamber. The walls of the tomb are not decorated and were probably never meant to be: the walls are unplastered and were not smoothed. Until the discovery of Tutankhamuns tomb in 1922, this was the richest and best preserved tomb found in the valley, and the first to be found with major items in situ apart from the Tomb of Kha or TT8 which was rather the tomb of an Egyptian nobleman. Located in a small branch of the main valley between two later Ramesside tombs, KV46 contained the mostly intact sarcophagi of Yuya and Tjuyu. Differences in the embalming techniques used for Yuya and Tjuyu indicates that they died at different times and were placed in the tomb accordingly. KV46 was robbed in antiquity, most probably three times: a first time shortly after the closure of the tomb, and then twice during the construction of the adjacent tombs KV3 and KV4. During the first looting, only perishable products such as oil were removed. The second and third times however the looters took most of the jewellery but were not able to remove Yuya and Tjuyus funerary masks.

KV15

Tomb KV15, located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, was used for the burial of Pharaoh Seti II of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The tomb was dug into the base of a near-vertical cliff face at the head of a wadi running south-west from the main part of the Valley of the Kings. It runs along a northwest-to-southeast axis, comprising a short entry corridor followed by three corridor segments which terminate in a well room that lacks a well, which was never dug. This then connects with a four-pillared hall and another stretch of corridor that was converted into a burial chamber. The walls and ceiling of the chamber were covered with plaster and painted with Anubis jackals and two rows of deities, representing the followers of Ra and Osiris, which are placed over a lower row of mummy-like figures. The winged goddess Nut appears along the length of the ceiling. and what may be a representation of the Ba of Ra is painted above her head. The paintings are conventional depictions drawn from the Egyptian Litany of Re, Amduat and the Book of Gates. Wall paintings in the well room are more unusual; they show the king in shrines in a number of different manifestations, for instance on the back of a panther or on a papyrus skiff. The objects shown in the paintings are reflected in the finds made in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Relatively little is known about the history of the tomb. Seti II was buried there, but he may have originally been buried with his wife Twosret in her tomb in KV14 and subsequently moved to the hastily finished KV15 tomb, perhaps by the later pharaoh Setnakhte, who took over KV14 for his own tomb. Setis name appears to have been carved, erased and then re-carved. Amenmesse or possibly Siptah may have been responsible for the erasure, while Twosret may have had Setis name restored. Setis mummy was later moved to the mummy cache in tomb KV35; only the lid of his sarcophagus remains in KV15. KV15 is known to have been opened in antiquity, as there are 59 examples of Greek and Latin graffiti on the walls. Richard Pococke investigated it as early as 1738, but it was not until the arrival of Howard Carter in 1903–04 that the tomb was properly cleared. The tomb has been opened to tourists with improved flooring, handrails and lighting.

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