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Tomb entrance of KV 12.
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Entryway A

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This roughly cut entryway is offset to the northwest of the tomb's main axis. It is similar in design to those of KV 5 and KV 38. The stairway is broken.

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    1.68 m Irregular
  • Length:

    3.32 m
  • Area:

    5.8 m2
  • Orientation:

    345.09°

Descent B

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A set of steps is cut in the floor at the rear of chamber B, left (west) of gate C, between the central pillar and the rear (north) wall. The steps descend towards the northwest corner, and part of the rear wall has been cut back above the right (north) side of the stairway. The edges of the steps near the bottom are not parallel to the upper ones but are skewed to the southwest.

Architectural Features

Steps
Overhang

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.58 m
  • Width:

    1.65 m
  • Length:

    4.48 m
  • Area:

    7.31 m2
  • Orientation:

    87.63° left from chamber B

Gate B

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The left (west) jamb of this gate is thicker than the right (east) one and roughly parallel to the left side of the entryway. The face of the right thickness is roughly parallel to the right and left walls of chamber B. The rough gate has now been provided with a wooden door. The three lower steps of the entryway that pass through the gate have been repaired in cement.

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Excavated
Undecorated
Cutting finished

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.79 m
  • Width:

    1.08 m
  • Length:

    0.73 m
  • Area:

    0.78 m2
  • Volume:

    1.4 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Chamber B

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This roughly finished chamber contains a single central pillar and a stairway which descends westward below the rear (north) wall to an unfinished side chamber (Bb). A gate in the right (east) wall, near the northeast corner, opens to another unfinished side chamber (Bc), and a third unfinished chamber (Ba) opens off the front (south) wall, west of the entrance. A shallow sloping ramp is cut into the floor east of the pillar and leads to gate C in the rear wall.

Architectural Features

Pillar
Ramp
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.24 m
  • Width:

    5.55 m
  • Length:

    7.68 m
  • Area:

    41.83 m2
  • Volume:

    93.7 m3
  • Orientation:

    18.46° right from entryway A
  • Number of pillars:

    1
  • Average pillar width:

    0.96 m

Gate Ba

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The gate is cut in the front (south) wall of chamber B.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting unfinished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.53 m
  • Width:

    1.06 m
  • Length:

    0.99 m
  • Area:

    1.04 m2
  • Volume:

    1.59 m3
  • Orientation:

    177.68° left from chamber B

Side chamber Ba

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This side chamber is unfinished.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.53 m
  • Width:

    1.92 m Irregular
  • Length:

    1.62 m
  • Area:

    2.66 m2
  • Volume:

    4.07 m3
  • Orientation:

    177.68° left from chamber B

Gate Bb

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The gate is cut in the left (west) wall of chamber B and is accessible by a stepped descent.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting unfinished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.85 m
  • Width:

    1 m
  • Length:

    1.22 m
  • Area:

    1.21 m2
  • Volume:

    2.01 m3
  • Orientation:

    95.09° left from chamber B

Side chamber Bb

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This is an unfinished chamber. Only the lower right (south) part of the front (east) wall was fully cut.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.68 m Irregular
  • Width:

    2.83 m Irregular
  • Length:

    1.18 m
  • Area:

    3.4 m2
  • Volume:

    5.18 m3
  • Orientation:

    95.09° left from chamber B

Gate Bc

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The gate is cut in the right (east) wall of chamber B.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting unfinished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.43 m
  • Width:

    0.94 m
  • Length:

    1.21 m
  • Area:

    1.14 m2
  • Volume:

    1.63 m3
  • Orientation:

    111.7° right from chamber B

Side chamber Bc

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This unfinished side chamber lies to the right (east) of chamber B.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.31 m
  • Width:

    1.34 m
  • Length:

    1.13 m
  • Area:

    1.42 m2
  • Volume:

    1.86 m3
  • Orientation:

    111.7° right from chamber B

Gate C

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The gently sloping ramp in chamber B passes through this gate to form the floor of corridor C. The opening of this gate widens from south to north (front to back).

Architectural Features

Ramp

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.94 m
  • Width:

    1.26 m
  • Length:

    1.18 m
  • Area:

    1.48 m2
  • Volume:

    2.86 m3
  • Orientation:

    1.3° right from chamber B

Corridor C

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The slope of the floor is greater than that of the ceiling. The cutting is smoother and the height is greater at the rear (north) end than the front (south) end of the corridor.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.23 m
  • Width:

    1.6 m
  • Length:

    9.59 m
  • Area:

    15.35 m2
  • Volume:

    34.3 m3
  • Orientation:

    1.3° right from chamber B

Stairwell D

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This long, narrow, and low chamber has three side chambers (Fa, Fb, Fc) off the left (west) wall and one side chamber (Fd) off the right (east) wall. The gates to Fa and Fd are nearly opposite each other, and there are outlines in paint for two additional uncut gates on the east wall opposite gates Fb and Fc. Outlines for a third gate are visible on the rear (north) wall left of gate G.

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    5.42 m Irregular
  • Width:

    1.56 m
  • Length:

    4.06 m
  • Area:

    10.3 m2
  • Volume:

    23.79 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor C

Gate D

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The soffit and threshold of this simple gate are level.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.99 m
  • Width:

    1.25 m
  • Length:

    1.09 m
  • Area:

    1.36 m2
  • Volume:

    2.55 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor C

Gate E

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The soffit and threshold of this gate slope down from south to north (front to back).

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.07 m
  • Width:

    1.25 m
  • Length:

    1.06 m
  • Area:

    1.32 m2
  • Volume:

    3.16 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from stairwell D

Corridor E

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The sloped floor of corridor E connects stairwell D to chamber F.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.12 m
  • Width:

    1.64 m
  • Length:

    5.46 m
  • Area:

    9 m2
  • Volume:

    18.81 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from stairwell D

Gate F

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This is a simple gate with a short lintel, a flat soffit and a barely sloping threshold.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.86 m
  • Width:

    1.24 m
  • Length:

    1.02 m
  • Area:

    1.24 m2
  • Volume:

    2.34 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor E

Chamber F

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This long, narrow, and low chamber has three side chambers (Fa, Fb, Fc) off the left (west) wall and one side chamber (Fd) off the right (east) wall. The gates to Fa and Fd are nearly opposite each other, and there are outlines in paint for two additional uncut gates on the east wall opposite gates Fb and Fc. Outlines for a third gate are visible on the rear (north) wall left (west) of gate G.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.94 m
  • Width:

    3.67 m
  • Length:

    10.66 m
  • Area:

    39 m2
  • Volume:

    75.08 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor E

Gate Fa

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The gate is cut in the left (west) wall of chamber F.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.55 m
  • Width:

    0.97 m
  • Length:

    0.87 m
  • Area:

    0.84 m2
  • Volume:

    1.3 m3
  • Orientation:

    90.56° left from chamber F

Side chamber Fa

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The cutting of the rear (west) wall of side chamber Fa is unfinished, probably due to a vein of hard calcite. The longitudinal axis of this chamber is parallel to chamber F.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.89 m
  • Width:

    5.3 m
  • Length:

    3.06 m
  • Area:

    16.15 m2
  • Volume:

    29.68 m3
  • Orientation:

    90.56° left from chamber F

Gate Fb

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The gate is cut in the left (west) wall of chamber F.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.62 m
  • Width:

    0.96 m
  • Length:

    0.9 m
  • Area:

    0.86 m2
  • Volume:

    1.4 m3
  • Orientation:

    90° left from chamber F

Side chamber Fb

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Side chamber Fb was unfinished due to a slanting vein of calcite in its rear (west) wall.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.87 m
  • Width:

    3.13 m
  • Length:

    3.83 m
  • Area:

    11.73 m2
  • Volume:

    21.77 m3
  • Orientation:

    90° left from chamber F

Gate Fc

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The gate is cut in the left (west) wall of chamber F.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.58 m
  • Width:

    1.02 m
  • Length:

    0.77 m
  • Area:

    0.79 m2
  • Volume:

    1.27 m3
  • Orientation:

    90.53° left from chamber F

Side chamber Fc

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The cutting of side chamber Fc was unfinished due to a vein of hard calcite in its rear (west) wall.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.84 m
  • Width:

    2.79 m
  • Length:

    4.53 m
  • Area:

    11.88 m2
  • Volume:

    23.3 m3
  • Orientation:

    90.53° left from chamber F

Gate Fd

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The gate is cut in the right (east) wall of chamber F.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.57 m
  • Width:

    1.01 m
  • Length:

    0.89 m
  • Area:

    0.9 m2
  • Volume:

    1.42 m3
  • Orientation:

    91.13° right from chamber F

Side chamber Fd

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The cutting of side chamber Fd was unfinished due to a vein of hard calcite in its rear (east) wall. The longitudinal axis of the chamber is parallel to that of chamber F.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.84 m
  • Width:

    5.32 m
  • Length:

    3 m
  • Area:

    15.86 m2
  • Volume:

    27.73 m3
  • Orientation:

    91.13° right from chamber F

Gate G

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In 1997, a low wall was constructed across the threshold of gate G to prevent water from reaching the break into KV 9

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.57 m
  • Width:

    1.03 m
  • Length:

    0.86 m
  • Area:

    0.9 m2
  • Volume:

    1.4 m3
  • Orientation:

    4.99° right from chamber F

Chamber G

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A breakthrough took place at the bottom of the right (east) wall during the construction of KV 9.

Condition

Cutting finished
Damaged structurally
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.94 m
  • Width:

    3.24 m
  • Length:

    10.56 m
  • Area:

    33.43 m2
  • Volume:

    64.85 m3
  • Orientation:

    4.99° right from chamber F

Gate Ga

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The gate is cut in the left (west) wall of chamber G.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.48 m
  • Width:

    1.06 m
  • Length:

    0.89 m
  • Area:

    0.94 m2
  • Volume:

    1.39 m3
  • Orientation:

    89.91° left from chamber G

Side chamber Ga

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The cutting of the walls is irregular. The chamber is undecorated, but a graffito (no longer visible) was reported on the front (east) wall by James Burton.

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.95 m
  • Width:

    3.1 m
  • Length:

    4.49 m
  • Area:

    13.92 m2
  • Volume:

    26.94 m3
  • Orientation:

    89.91° left from chamber G

Graffiti

  • Hieratic text:

    cited by James Burton, but unverified front (East) wall

Details

About

The plan of KV 12, particularly of its lower chambers, suggests that it was intended for multiple burials of royal family members. It lies on a south-north axis and is unusual in several ways. The slightly offset entryway (A) opens into a chamber (B) with a single pillar, three unfinished side chambers (Ba-c), and a stairway, rather than into the long first corridor typical in other tombs in the Valley. This first chamber is followed by two corridors (C and E), separated by a chamber with descent (D).

Corridor E opens to a chamber (F) flanked by four side chambers (Fa-d), and a last chamber (G) with side chamber (Ga). The outermost chambers are roughly hewn, while the innermost chambers are more meticulously cut. Although the inner chambers of the tomb appear to be asymmetrical, the inked outlines of uncut gates show that a balanced set of side chambers was originally intended. It is possible that these side chambers were not cut due to veins of calcite in the rock. The tomb is undecorated, but Burton reported a graffito on the front (east) wall of side chamber Ga.

Noteworthy features:

The builders of KV 9 accidentally broke into this tomb when carrying out their excavations. Where we would expect the first corridor, the tomb builders cut a chamber (B) with central pillar, side chambers, and lateral descent. The unusual design of the tomb with its multiple side chambers is similar to KV 5 (but on a smaller scale), and also to KV 27 and KV 30.

Site History

Because KV 12 is not decorated, and because it has been thoroughly plundered, the exact dates of construction and use are unknown. It was probably begun in Dynasty 18 and used in Dynasty 19 or 20 for multiple burials, perhaps for royal family members, as KV 5 was used by Rameses II. The lower chambers pre-date Rameses VI since the east wall of chamber G was broken through by the tomb cutters of KV 9. If there had been any earlier burials, they may have been plundered at that time.

Dating

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

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
New Kingdom
Dynasty 19

Exploration

1817: Mapping/planning
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
1994: Photography
Brock, Edwin C.
1825: Mapping/planning
Burton, James
1825: Visit
Burton, James
1920-1921: Excavation
Carter, Howard
1908-1909: Excavation
Jones, Ernest Harold
1737-1738: Mapping/planning
Pococke, Richard
1994: Photography
Schaden, Otto J.
1825-1828: Mapping/planning
Wilkinson, John Gardner

Conservation

Conservation History

Wooden steps and a wooden door were built at the entrance in 1994, and the lower steps were repaired with cement. Only a small amount of water entered the tomb during the 1994 flood. Because of the possibility of greater flooding in the future, however, a low wall was erected in gate G in 1997 to protect KV 9.

Site Condition

The walls and ceiling of the first chamber B, the first corridor C and stairwell D are covered with soot. The lower chambers are clean.

Resources

Bibliography

See All

Porter, Bertha and Rosalind Moss.  Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Text, Reliefs, and Paintings. I, 2. The Theban Necropolis: Royal Tombs and Smaller Cemeteries.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964.  Pp. 527.

Reeves, Carl Nicholas.  Valley of the Kings: The Decline of a Royal Necropolis (= Studies in Egyptology).  London:  KPI, 1990. Pp. 133.

Thomas, Elizabeth.  The Royal Necropoleis of Thebes.  Princeton: privately printed, 1966.  Pp. 115-116.

Weeks, Kent R. (ed.).  Atlas of the Valley of the Kings (= Publications of the Theban Mapping Project, 1).  Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2000.  Map sheet 29. 

Wilkinson, Richard H. and Carl Nicholas Reeves.  The Complete Valley of the Kings.  London:  Thames and Hudson, 1996.  Pp. 154.

Measurements

Maximum height:

5.42 m

Minimum width:

0.94 m

Maximum width:

5.55 m

Total length:

92.33 m

Total area:

253.84 m²

Total volume:

476.78 m³

Additional Tomb Information

Owner type:

Unknown, possibly royal

Entrance location:

Hillside

Entrance type:

Staircase

Interior layout:

Corridors and chambers

Axis type:

Straight

Categories of Objects Recovered

Human mummies
Tomb equipment