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KV 16
Rameses I

About the image
Book of Gates on walls; sarcophagus in center.
More Details

Entryway A

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Modern steps lead down from the present wadi surface to the ancient steps. The ancient undecorated entrance stairs that follow are now covered by a modern wooden stairway. The entryway is surrounded by modern walls.

Architectural Features

Overhang
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    2.88 m
  • Length:

    17.42 m
  • Area:

    51.65 m2
  • Orientation:

    240.41°

Gate B

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Following the overhang of the cliff face is the undecorated first gate of the tomb, which contains four steps. A pair of modern brick jambs have been set against the thicknesses of the original jambs to support the gate.

Porter and Moss designation:

A

Architectural Features

Compound jambs
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Undecorated
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.56 m
  • Width:

    1.63 m
  • Length:

    1.08 m
  • Area:

    2.12 m2
  • Volume:

    4.4 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Corridor B

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A pair of beam holes for lowering the sarcophagus with the aid of ropes were cut in the side walls two-thirds of the way down the sloping corridor B. The passage is well carved, but undecorated.

Porter and Moss designation:

A

Architectural Features

Beam holes

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.63 m
  • Width:

    2.61 m
  • Length:

    9.33 m
  • Area:

    24.34 m2
  • Volume:

    63.89 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Gate C

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The gate was undecorated. The slope of the floor in corridor B continues through this gate and the slope of the soffit beneath the lintel is continued in the ceiling of corridor C. Both Burton and Lane reported traces of plastering and remains of blocking in this gate.

Porter and Moss designation:

B

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.36 m
  • Width:

    2.11 m
  • Length:

    1.09 m
  • Area:

    2.29 m2
  • Volume:

    5.42 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor B
  • Number of pillars:

    0

Stairwell C

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This stairwell was well carved, but undecorated. The unfinished trapezoidal recesses in the left (southeast) and right (northwest) walls are wider than usual for royal tombs of this period. There is an overhang above the lower part of the stairs.

Porter and Moss designation:

B

Architectural Features

Overhang
Recesses
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    4.96 m
  • Width:

    2.6 m
  • Length:

    7.66 m
  • Area:

    19.77 m2
  • Volume:

    78.28 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor B

Gate J

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There is a sloping soffit beneath the high lintel. The threshold slopes slightly downward from front (northeast) to back (southwest).

Porter and Moss designation:

Sarcophagus chamber C

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.74 m
  • Width:

    2.06 m
  • Length:

    0.59 m
  • Area:

    1.22 m2
  • Volume:

    3.33 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from stairwell C

Burial chamber J

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This rectangular chamber with a flat floor and ceiling has side chambers off the right (northwest), rear (southwest) and left (southeast) walls. Pairs of magical brick niches are placed high in the left and right walls, opposite the foot and head ends of the sarcophagus. The painted decoration on a thick coat of plaster shows the king accompanied by deities on the front (northeast) and rear walls and on the left wall, east of gate Ja. Excerpts from the Book of Gates are found on the right and left walls.

  • Chamber plan:

    Rectangular
  • Relationship to main tomb axis:

    Perpendicular
  • Chamber layout:

    Flat floor, no pillars
  • Floor:

    One level
  • Ceiling:

    Flat

Porter and Moss designation:

Sarcophagus chamber C

Architectural Features

Magical brick niches
Sarcophagus
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Decorated
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.23 m
  • Width:

    6.26 m
  • Length:

    5.16 m
  • Area:

    32.2 m2
  • Volume:

    104.07 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from stairwell C

Decoration

  • Deceased with deities

    Ptah, Nefertem, Ma'at front (Northeast) wall
  • Book of Gates

    second division (P)/third hour (H), middle and lower registers right (Northwest) wall
  • Deceased with deities

    Horus, Anubis left (Southeast) wall
  • Book of Gates

    third division (P)/fourth hour (H), middle and lower registers left (Southeast) wall
  • Deceased with deities

    Souls of Pe and Nekhen, Atum-Ra-Kheperi, Neit, Horus, Atum, Osiris rear (Southwest) wall
  • Deities

    two figures of Ma'at front (Northeast) wall
  • Amuletic representations

    djed-pillar, tyet-knot front (Northeast) wall
  • Kheker frieze

    All walls

Sarcophagus

  • Extant remains:

    Box and lid
  • Sarcophagus form:

    Cartouche-shaped
  • Material:

    Red granite
  • Length:

    2.76 m
  • Width:

    1.22 m
  • Height:

    1.87 m
  • Orientation:

    northwest
  • Emplacement:

    Floor
  • Comments:

    The outer surface of the box was covered with a coat of red paint on which the figures and texts were painted in yellow, with details in black. Texts on the lid were incised in longitudinal and lateral bands. When the lid was pried off the box, damage occurred on the upper edge of the corners of the foot end of the box and at the corners of the lid, which also suffered a lateral crack. Most of the painted decoration has been lost on the left side and head end. Drawings by Robewrt hay in the firsdt quarter of the nineteenth century, show much of this lost decoration.
  • Decoration:

  • Deities:
    four sons of Horus, Anubis, Thoth, Isis and Nephthys Box exterior
  • Amuletic representations:
    eye panel Box exterior
  • Amuletic representations:
    eye panel Lid exterior

Side chamber Ja

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The walls of this side chamber, off burial chamber J, were smoothed, but not plastered or decorated.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.69 m
  • Width:

    2.54 m
  • Length:

    2.08 m
  • Area:

    5.23 m2
  • Volume:

    8.74 m3
  • Orientation:

    90.9° left from burial chamber J

Gate Ja

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The gate leads from burial chamber J to side chamber Ja.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.71 m
  • Width:

    1.55 m
  • Length:

    0.38 m
  • Area:

    0.59 m2
  • Volume:

    1.01 m3
  • Orientation:

    90.9° left from burial chamber J

Side chamber Jb

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This small side chamber at the rear (southwest) end of burial chamber J with an upward sloping floor and downward sloping ceiling, may represent an abandoned cutting originally intended to extend the burial chamber to the southwest. A scene from the third division (P)/fourth hour (H) from the Book of Gates decorates the rear wall. In it, the ram-headed form of Anubis embraces an enshrined Osiris before the serpent-goddess Nesert. The right (northwest) and left (southeast) walls are undecorated.

Porter and Moss designation:

Sarcophagus chamber C

Condition

Cutting finished
Decoration unfinished
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.6 m
  • Width:

    1.29 m
  • Length:

    2.11 m
  • Area:

    2.72 m2
  • Volume:

    4.34 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from burial chamber J

Decoration

  • Book of Gates

    third division (P)/fourth hour (H) rear (Southwest) wall

Gate Jc

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The gate leads from burial chamber J to side chamber Jc.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.81 m
  • Width:

    1.54 m
  • Length:

    0.39 m
  • Area:

    0.59 m2
  • Volume:

    1.07 m3
  • Orientation:

    90° right from burial chamber J

Side chamber Jc

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The walls of this side chamber were smoothed but never plastered or decorated. Belzoni found a wooden ka statue here.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    1.78 m
  • Width:

    2.54 m
  • Length:

    2.05 m
  • Area:

    5.22 m2
  • Volume:

    9.29 m3
  • Orientation:

    90° right from burial chamber J

Details

About

KV 16, located in the southeast wadi, was unfinished at the time of Rameses I's death. Its axis is oriented roughly to the southwest. The tomb is of a simple plan, and has a stepped entryway (A), a sloping corridor (B) and a stairwell (C), followed by the burial chamber J with three side chambers (Ja-c). A pair of holes in the walls of corridor B served to hold a beam for lowering the sarcophagus with the aid of ropes. The unfinished trapezoidal recesses in corridor C are unusually wide.

The burial chamber J may have been intended to be larger if side chamber Jb is an abandoned cutting. Two pairs of magical brick niches are set high up on the side walls of burial chamber J, and side chamber Jb may have served as the emplacement for the now-missing canopic chest. The tomb is decorated with scenes from the Book of Gates (burial chamber J, side chamber Jb) and scenes of the deceased with deities (burial chamber J). KV 16 has suffered from flood damage.

Noteworthy features:

Burial chamber J comes immediately after the second corridor B.

Site History

Only the entryway and the first two corridors of KV 16 had been cut when Rameses I died. The broken condition of the sarcophagus lid and the upper edge of the box show that the tomb was plundered, perhaps at the end of Dynasty 20 or in Dynasty 21. The mummy was eventually cached in TT 320 in the tenth regnal year of Saamen after previously being hidden in KV 17. The tomb entrance subsequently was covered over, as the absence of any Greek or Latin graffiti attests.

Dating

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

New Kingdom
Dynasty 19
Rameses I

Exploration

1817: Excavation
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
1817: Discovery
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
1825: Mapping/planning
Burton, James
1828-1829: Epigraphy
Franco-Tuscan Expedition
1826-1827: Visit
Lane, Edward William
1844-1845: Epigraphy
Lepsius, Carl Richard
1957: Epigraphy
Piankoff, Alexandre

Conservation

Conservation History

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has installed four ceiling supports in the burial room around the sarcophagus, the sarcophagus lid has been placed on the box with repairs in tinted plaster made to breaks in both box and lid. Wooden walkways, stairs and fluorescent lighting have been added.

Site Condition

The stone in the tomb is fractured and has suffered from flood damage. Rain water entered the tomb through joints and faults in the surface limestone. The painted decoration has also suffered from the floods: paint has flaked off and the walls have cracked because of rock movement.

Resources

Articles

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Bibliography

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Belzoni, Giovanni Battista.  Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs, and Excavations, in Egypt and Nubia, and of a Journey to the Coast of the Red Sea, in Search of the Ancient Berenice, and Another to the Oasis of Jupiter Ammon.  Two vols.  London: Murray, 1821.  Pp. 229-230.

Cauville, Sylvie and Mohammed Ibrahim AliLa Vallée des Rois: Itinéraire du Visiteur. Leuven: Peeters, 2014. Pp. 387-397.

De Jong, W.J.  Het garf van Konig Ramses I.  De Ibis 9 (1984): 34-76.

Helck, Wolfgang.  Königsgräbertal.  Wolfgang Helck, Eberhart Otto and Wolfhart Westendorf (eds.).  Lexikon der Ägyptologie.  7 vols. Wiesbaden, 1972-1992. 3: 518-519.

Hornung, Erik. The Tomb of Rameses I.  In: Kent R. Weeks (ed.).  The Treasures of the Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Temples of the Theban West Bank in Luxor.  Vercelli: WhiteStar, 2001; Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2001.  Available in English, Italian, French, German, Spanish.  Pp. 190-193.

Johnson, George B.  KV 16: The Tomb of Ramses I in the Valley of the Kings.  KMT 11, 4 (2000-2001): 62-75.

Lefebure, Eugène.  Les hypogées royaux de Thèbes, seconde division: Notices des hypogées (=Mémoires publiés par les members de la mission archéologie française au Caire 3, 1).  Paris, 1889.  P. 157-160.

Piankoff, Alexandre.  La tombe de Ramsès Ier.  Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale du Caire 56 (1957): 189-200.

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. 534-535.

Measurements

Maximum height:

4.96 m

Minimum width:

1.29 m

Maximum width:

6.26 m

Total length:

49.34 m

Total area:

147.94 m²

Total volume:

283.84 m³

Additional Tomb Information

Owner type:

King

Entrance location:

Base of sloping hill

Entrance type:

Staircase

Interior layout:

Corridors and chambers

Axis type:

Straight

Decoration

Painting

Categories of Objects Recovered

Human mummies
Sculpture
Tomb equipment

Hieroglyphs

Rameses I

King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Eternal is the Strength of Ra; Son of Ra, Ra has Fashioned Him