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KV 01
Rameses VII

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KV 1: Tomb entrance (A) with modern revetments and gate.
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Entryway A

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The tomb's entrance is cut in the end of the spur at the head of the first northwest branch inside the main wadi, just above the convergence of two water courses descending from the cliff face to the west and northwest. The sides of this open entry were plastered. Two short rubble walls run perpendicular to the beginning of the entry walls and a modern revetment of rubble has been added to the upper edges of the sides and across the top of the entry.

Architectural Features

Overhang

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    3.69 m
  • Length:

    13.71 m
  • Area:

    50.55 m2
  • Orientation:

    327.72°

Graffiti

  • Greek text:

    four graffiti left (Southwest) wall
  • Modern European language text:

    H. Brugsch (in 1854 and 1857), and C. Wescher (signed in pencil "VIDI ET MIRAVI") right (Northeast) wall

Gate B

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Pivot holes in the outer corners of the ceiling recess, and in the floor beyond the threshold of the gate, show that the entrance was originally closed by double doors. The outer face of the lintel displays the king's names in a horizontal row at the top, while below there is a large sun disk with a scarab and ram-headed man in the center. Kneeling figures of the king flanking the disk appear in this scene for the first time, followed by the standing figures of Isis on the left and Nephthys on the right. The reveals and thicknesses display the names of Rameses VII and there are traces of a winged figure and a winged sun disk on the soffit.

Porter and Moss designation:

A

Architectural Features

Door pivot holes
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Decorated
Decoration damaged
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.99 m
  • Width:

    2.81 m
  • Length:

    0.61 m
  • Area:

    1.7 m2
  • Volume:

    6.8 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Decoration

  • Sun disk on the horizon

    Rameses VII flanking disk with Isis and Nephthys Lintel
  • Names and epithets

    Reveals
  • Names and epithets

    Thicknesses
  • Winged sun disk

    only part of wing remains; it could also be a vulture soffit

Graffiti

  • Greek text:

    nine graffiti right (Northeast) jamb
  • Demotic text:

    one graffito right (Northeast) jamb

Corridor B

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The decoration on the walls is painted sunk relief, and the ceiling is painted plaster. On the left (southwest) wall are three scenes. In the first, the king offers incense and libations to a seated figure of Ra-Horakhty-Atum-Khepri before offering stands bearing a sacrificial oryx, bouquets and food. The second scene is the initial scene and first division of the Book of Gates. The third is the Iwnmutef priest purifying the king as Osiris, derived from the Opening of the Mouth Ritual.

The right (northeast) wall also displays three scenes: the king offering incense and libations to Ptah-Sokar-Osiris; the first division of the Book of Caverns, and the Iwnmutef priest purifying the king as Osiris, again from the Opening of the Mouth ritual. A frieze of cartouches flanked by lion-headed uraei alternating with winged scarabs appears on each wall after the first scene.

The ceiling recess shows traces of two gods and kneeling goddesses flanking a djed-pillar. On the ceiling, vultures with outspread wings holding fans in their claws alternate with text bands giving the king's names and epithets. The king's names and epithets also adorn the beginning of the two walls of the corridor.
There are graffiti on the walls of this corridor.

Porter and Moss designation:

A

Architectural Features

Ceiling recess

Condition

Cutting finished
Decorated
Decoration damaged
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    4.04 m
  • Width:

    3.17 m
  • Length:

    15.28 m
  • Area:

    48.13 m2
  • Volume:

    197.04 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Decoration

  • Deceased with deities

    Ra-Horakhty-Atum-Kheperi left (Southwest) wall
  • Book of Gates

    first gate and first division left (Southwest) wall
  • Opening of the Mouth ritual

    priest purifying Rameses VII as Osiris left (Southwest) wall
  • Deceased with deities

    Ptah-Sokar-Osiris right (Northeast) wall
  • Book of Caverns

    first division right (Northeast) wall
  • Opening of the Mouth ritual

    priest purifying Rameses VII as Osiris right (Northeast) wall
  • Flying vultures

    Ceiling
  • Names and epithets

    Ceiling
  • Deities

    kneeling Isis and Nephthys flanking a djed-pillar with standing gods behind Ceiling recess
  • Amuletic representations

    djed-pillar Ceiling recess
  • Names and epithets

    left (Southwest) wall

Graffiti

  • Greek text:

    seventy graffiti, two give dates equivalent to 75 B.C. and A.D. 112 left (Southwest) wall
  • Demotic text:

    eleven grafitti left (Southwest) wall
  • Coptic text:

    one graffito left (Southwest) wall
  • Greek text:

    thirty-five graffiti right (Northeast) wall
  • Demotic text:

    seven graffiti right (Northeast) wall
  • Coptic text:

    one graffito right (Northeast) wall
  • Pictorial:

    two Coptic crosses right (Northeast) wall

Gate J

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The outer lintel of this gate has a winged disk, while texts on the reveals and outer thicknesses give the king's names and titles. The undecorated inner thicknesses contain numerous graffiti. Door pivot holes at the top and bottom between the inner and outer thicknesses show that the gate was once closed by a pair of wooden door leaves.

Porter and Moss designation:

B

Architectural Features

Compound jambs
Door pivot holes

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated
Decoration damaged

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.69 m
  • Width:

    2.74 m
  • Length:

    1.97 m
  • Area:

    5.98 m2
  • Volume:

    23.39 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor B

Decoration

  • Winged sun disk

    Lintel
  • Names and epithets

    Reveals
  • Names and epithets

    Outer thicknesses

Graffiti

  • Greek text:

    Inner thicknesses
  • Modern European language text:

    Inner thicknesses
  • Demotic text:

    one graffito left (Southwest) jamb
  • Greek text:

    one graffito left (Southwest) jamb
  • Greek text:

    four graffiti right (Northeast) jamb

Burial chamber J

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The burial chamber has a barrel-vaulted ceiling. It was originally intended to be a second corridor. Evidence of this change can be seen in the uneven finish of the floor near the walls compared to the smoothness of the central area.

A two-tiered pit in the floor of the chamber, covered by a granite sarcophagus box, formed the burial place. The exterior sides and ends of the lid were incised and painted with the figures of Serqet, Neit, Nephthys, Isis and the four sons of Horus. Two semi-circular canopic jar emplacements were cut into the sides of the upper tier of the pit.

The front (southeast) wall shows Sekhmet-Bastet-Weret-Hekau on the left (northeast) side of the gate and Weret-Hekau on the right (southwest) side. The upper registers of the two side walls contain several enigmatic scenes. Both middle registers display scenes from the Book of the Earth, including four women kneeling before fans on the left (southwest) wall. The king faces gate K on either side of the rear (northwest) wall. A dado of kneeling bound enemies alternating with serekh-gates occurs on every wall.

The vaulted part of the ceiling is decorated with two elongated figures of Nut placed back to back and flanked by duplicate representations of circumpolar constellations and decans. The lower, flat portions of the ceiling contain a grid of stars above kneeling figures, representing star clocks.

Graffiti are found on the walls throughout the chamber. Many of the figures of deities have been damaged, particularly their faces, hands, and feet, most likely by the Coptic inhabitants of the tomb.

  • Chamber plan:

    Rectangular
  • Relationship to main tomb axis:

    Parallel
  • Chamber layout:

    Flat floor, no pillars
  • Floor:

    One level
  • Ceiling:

    Vaulted

Porter and Moss designation:

B

Architectural Features

Burial pit
Canopic chest emplacement
Sarcophagus
Sarcophagus emplacement
Vaulted ceiling

Condition

Cutting finished
Decorated
Decoration damaged
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    4.25 m
  • Width:

    5.18 m
  • Length:

    8.53 m
  • Area:

    44.26 m2
  • Volume:

    188.1 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor B

Decoration

  • Deities

    Weret-Hekau and lion-headed Sekhmet-Bastet-Weret-Hekau front (Southeast) wall
  • Book of the Earth

    left (Southwest) wall
  • Book of the Earth

    right (Northeast) wall
  • Deceased

    two figures of Rameses VII facing gate rear (Northwest) wall
  • Astronomical scenes

    circumpolar stars and decans flanking Nut figures back-to-back Ceiling
  • Star clocks/tables

    Ceiling
  • Bound enemies

    All walls
  • Deities

    Nut Ceiling
  • Names and epithets

    cartouches of Rameses VII rear (Northwest) wall
  • Enigmatic compositions

    right (Northeast) wall
  • Enigmatic compositions

    left (Southwest) wall

Graffiti

  • Greek text:

    three graffiti left (Southwest) wall
  • Demotic text:

    one graffito left (Southwest) wall
  • Greek text:

    five graffiti right (Northeast) wall

Sarcophagus

  • Extant remains:

    Box
  • Sarcophagus form:

    Cartouche-shaped
  • Material:

    Red granite
  • Length:

    2.98 m
  • Width:

    1.7 m
  • Height:

    1.49 m
  • Orientation:

    northwest
  • Emplacement:

    Pit
  • Comments:

    This roughly finished box was inverted and placed over the pit as a cover. The incised and painted (mostly green) decoration was executed to be correctly oriented in the inverted position.
  • Decoration:

  • Deities:
    four sons of Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Serqet, Neit, winged uraei, Anubis jackal
  • Amuletic representations:
    djed-pillar, tyet-knot, eye panel Box exterior

Gate K

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The lintel shows a winged disk, while the reveals and thicknesses give the king's names and titles. Door pivot holes show that this gate was intended to be closed with large wooden double doors. A step in the gate creates a descent from burial chamber J to chamber K.

Porter and Moss designation:

C

Architectural Features

Door pivot holes
Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated
Decoration damaged

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.44 m
  • Width:

    2.77 m
  • Length:

    0.63 m
  • Area:

    1.74 m2
  • Volume:

    5.99 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from burial chamber J

Decoration

  • Winged sun disk

    Lintel
  • Names and epithets

    Reveals
  • Names and epithets

    unfinished cutting of text recently plastered over by Supreme Council of Antiquities restorers Thicknesses

Chamber K

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This small chamber, unfinished at the time of the king's death, may have been intended as another corridor. There is evidence of beam holes in the right (northeast) and left (southwest) walls. The left and right walls show the king offering to Osiris, and presenting an image of Ma'at to Osiris. A central recess in the rear (northwest) wall is flanked by personified djed-pillars with sacrificial animals in between. At the top is an extract from the fifth gate of the Book of Gates depicting a pig and two apes in the sun boat. The ceiling is decorated with cartouches and squatting deities. Pivot holes in the floor and ceiling inside the gate attest to the presence of a double leaf door.

Porter and Moss designation:

C

Architectural Features

Beam holes
Door bolt hole
Recess

Condition

Cutting finished
Decorated
Decoration damaged
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.72 m
  • Width:

    3.13 m
  • Length:

    3.58 m
  • Area:

    11.21 m2
  • Volume:

    41.7 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from burial chamber J

Decoration

  • Deceased with deities

    Osiris enshrined left (Southwest) wall
  • Deceased with deities

    Osiris enshrined right (Northeast) wall
  • Book of Gates

    fifth gate detail: pig and apes in solar bark rear (Northwest) wall
  • Deities

    Eight squatting deities Ceiling
  • Names and epithets

    Ceiling

Graffiti

  • Greek text:

    four graffiti, one dating to ca. A.D. 135 left (Southwest) wall

Details

About

The entrance is cut into the base of a hill at the end of the first northwest branch wadi. This unfinished tomb comprises an open entryway ramp (A), corridor B, vaulted burial chamber J, and an unfinished chamber (K) with a rear recess. The walls are decorated with excerpts from the Book of Gates (chamber K), Book of Caverns (corridor B), Book of the Earth (burial chamber J), Opening of the Mouth ritual (corridor B), and the deceased with deities (corridor B, chamber K, burial chamber J). The ceilings are painted with motifs of flying vultures and astronomical figures. There are 135 Greek, and several demotic, Coptic, and nineteenth century graffiti in the tomb, indicating that KV 1 has been accessible since antiquity.

Noteworthy features:

The conversion of the second corridor to a burial chamber is noteworthy. Its central two-tiered pit in the floor, provided with canopic jar niches in the sides, is unique. The figure of the king with the goddesses adoring the sun disk on the outer lintel of gate B is a first. This is one of the latest tombs to be cut in a side wadi. It was used as a dwelling by Coptic monks.

Site History

At the time of the king's death in his seventh regnal year, work on the tomb's third corridor (now chamber K) was abandoned and the second corridor was enlarged and became burial chamber J. A break in the end of the granite pit cover was made by robbers to gain access to the burial. The tomb was used by Christian monks or hermits as a dwelling.

Dating

This site was used during the following period(s):

New Kingdom
Dynasty 20
Rameses VII
Byzantine (Coptic) Period
Graeco-Roman Era

Exploration

1983-1984, 1990, 1994: Excavation
Brock, Edwin C.
1828-1829: Epigraphy
Franco-Tuscan Expedition
1825-1835: Mapping/planning
Hay, Robert
1826-1827: Visit
Lane, Edward William
1844-1845: Epigraphy
Lepsius, Carl Richard
1799: Mapping/planning
Napoleonic Expedition
1958: Photography
Piankoff, Alexandre
1737-1738: Mapping/planning
Pococke, Richard
1952 or later: Excavation
Service des Antiquités
1825-1828: Visit
Wilkinson, John Gardner
1825: Mapping/planning
Burton, James
1906: Excavation
Ayrton, Edward Russell

Conservation

Conservation History

In 1994, the Supreme Council of Antiquities cleaned the tomb's walls and filled cracks in walls and ceiling with plaster. Some ancient graffiti were covered over in the process. In the same year, the Supreme Council of Antiquities created a walkway from the paved road to the tomb entrance and built a wood shelter with cement benches nearby. A wooden floor, railings, and large glass panels have been installed throughout the tomb.

Site Condition

There are major cracks in the walls and ceilings of corridor B. The plaster is intact where it is not damaged by cracks, vandalism, or later graffiti. The paint is in good condition, although much blue pigment has fallen away.

Resources

Articles

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Geography and Geology of the Valley

The Valley of the Kings actually consists of two valleys that run northeast from the slopes of a prominent ridge along a high plateau into the Western Desert.

Bibliography

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Brock, Edwin C.  The Clearance of the Tomb of Rameses VII.  In: Richard H. Wilkinson (ed.).  Valley of the Sun Kings: New Explorations in the Tombs of the Pharaohs. Tucson: University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition, 1995.  Pp. 47-63.

Cauville, Sylvie and Mohammed Ibrahim AliLa Vallée des Rois: Itinéraire du Visiteur. Leuven: Peeters, 2014. Pp. 205-221.

Dodson, Aidan.  Royal Tombs in the Twentieth Dynasty.  In: Richard H. Wilkinson and Kent R. Weeks (eds.).  The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.  Pp. 218-229.

Engelbach, Reginald.  Notes of Inspection April 1921.  Annales du Service des Antiquités égyptiennes 21 (1921): 188-196.

Hornung, Erik.  Das Buch von den Pforten des Jenseits: Nach den Versionen des Neuen Reiches.  Aegyptiaca Helvetica.  Basel: Agyptologisches Seminar 7/8 (1979-1980).

Hornung, Erik.  Zum Grab Ramses VII.  Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 11 (1984): 419-424.

Hornung, Erik.  Zwei Ramessidische Königsgräber: Ramses IV und Ramses VII (= Theben, 11).  Mainz: von Zabern, 1990. 

Lefebvre, Eugene.  Les hypogée royaux de Thèbes, seconde division: Notes des hypogées.  (= Mémoires publiés par les members de la Mission archéologique française au Caire 3, 1).  Paris, 1889.

McCarthy, Heather.  Iconography, Palaeography, Decorative Elements, Distribution, and Development of Scenes. In: Richard H. Wilkinson and Kent R. Weeks (eds.).  The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.  Pp. 166 ff.

Measurements

Maximum height:

4.25 m

Minimum width:

2.74 m

Maximum width:

5.18 m

Total length:

44.31 m

Total area:

163.57 m²

Total volume:

463.02 m³

Additional Tomb Information

Owner type:

King

Entrance location:

End of spur

Entrance type:

Ramp

Interior layout:

Corridor and chambers

Axis type:

Straight

Decoration

Painting
Sunk relief

Categories of Objects Recovered

Architectural elements
Domestic equipment
Furniture
Tomb equipment
Vegetal remains
Vessel stands
Written documents

Hieroglyphs

Rameses VII

The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the strong one belonging to the Maat of Re, beloved of Amen, chosen by Re, son of Re, fashioned by Re, the father of Amen, the ruling god of Heliopolis