Skip to main content

KV 19
Mentuherkhepeshef

About the image
Ancient cutting of entryway to KV 19 surmounted by modern retaining walls; light rectangle in foreground is modern covering of KV 60.
More Details

Entryway A

See entire tomb

The entryway to this tomb is cut into the base of a short spur projecting from the cliff face between KV 20 and KV 43, near the head of a branch wadi well above the main valley floor. The sloping entry passes over the entrance steps of KV 60, a non-royal tomb of Dynasty 18. The plastered side walls of the approach are undecorated, and a deep overhang above the first gate shelters the southeast end of the entryway.

Architectural Features

Overhang

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    3.69 m
  • Length:

    16.22 m
  • Area:

    63.43 m2
  • Orientation:

    135.47°

Gate B

See entire tomb

Door pivot holes and a ceiling recess in corridor B show that the gate was intended to be closed by a pair of wooden doors. An overhang protrudes from the lintel and partially shelters the gate. A step down to a flat landing is located at the inner edge of the gate. The reveals bear dedication texts in red, and several text columns in black occur on the thicknesses, above pairs of cobras representing Isis, Nephthys, Serqet and Neit.

Porter and Moss designation:

Corridor A

Architectural Features

Door pivot holes
Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.8 m
  • Width:

    2.81 m
  • Length:

    0.79 m
  • Area:

    2.19 m2
  • Volume:

    8.32 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Decoration

  • Names and epithets

    dedication text naming Rameses Mentuherkhepeshef, over Setherkhepeshef Reveals
  • Enigmatic compositions

    text columns over cobras named Isis and Nephthys left (Northeast) thickness
  • Names and epithets

    left (Northeast) thickness
  • Enigmatic compositions

    text columns over cobras named Serqet and Neit right (Southwest) thickness

Corridor B

See entire tomb

A flat landing on the floor behind gate B leads to the sloping floor of this corridor. The plastered walls are each painted with seven scenes, showing Mentuherkhepeshef worshipping and making offerings to various deities: Osiris, Ptah Ta-Tjenen, Khonsu, Bastet, Imsety, Qebehsenuef, and Amen-Ra are shown on the left (northeast) wall; Ptah, Thoth, Banebdjed, Hapy, Duamutef, Meretseger and Sekhmet are depicted on the right (southwest) wall. At the beginning of the corridor, beneath the ceiling recess, a door leaf has been painted on both side walls. Hieratic texts on these painted doors give spells from the Book of the Dead.

Porter and Moss designation:

Corridor A

Architectural Features

Ceiling recess

Condition

Cutting finished
Decorated
Excavated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.77 m
  • Width:

    3.14 m
  • Length:

    15.3 m
  • Area:

    47.45 m2
  • Volume:

    181.16 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Decoration

  • Book of the Dead

    door leaf inscribed with hieratic text of spell 139 left (Northeast) wall
  • Book of the Dead

    door leaf inscribed with hieratic text of spell 123 right (Southwest) wall
  • Deceased with deities

    Osiris, Ptah Ta-Tjenen, Khonsu, Bastet, Imsety, Qebehsenuef, Amen-Ra left (Northeast) wall
  • Deceased with deities

    Ptah, Thoth, Banebdjed, Hapy, Duamutef, Meretseger, Sekhmet right (Southwest) wall

Graffiti

  • Hieratic text:

    right (Southwest) wall
  • Hieratic text:

    left (Northeast) wall

Gate C

See entire tomb

Only one door pivot hole is visible in the ceiling behind the left (northeast) jamb. Since the cutting of the corridor beyond was abandoned, it is not likely that door leaves were installed.

Architectural Features

Door pivot hole

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.43 m
  • Width:

    2.74 m
  • Length:

    0.71 m
  • Area:

    1.95 m2
  • Volume:

    6.66 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor B

Corridor C

See entire tomb

The quarrying of the tomb was abandoned after the start of this second corridor, and workmen had only begun a four-tiered excavation of stone from the corridor beyond the two rectangular recesses flanking the interior of the gate. A rectangular pit, cut into the floor just inside the second gate, apparently was covered with stone slabs, and may have served for a burial, perhaps of Mentuherkhepeshef or a later intrusive one.

  • Chamber plan:

    Rectangular
  • Relationship to main tomb axis:

    Parallel
  • Chamber layout:

    Flat floor, no pillars
  • Floor:

    One level
  • Ceiling:

    Flat

Architectural Features

Burial pit
Recesses

Condition

Cutting unfinished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.6 m
  • Width:

    3.14 m
  • Length:

    5.66 m
  • Area:

    17.82 m2
  • Volume:

    44 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor B

Details

About

KV 19 is cut into the end of a short spur projecting from the cliffs between KV 20 and KV 43, at the head of a southeast branch of the southeast wadi. It lies on a northwest-southeast axis. Except for the royal tombs of Rameses VII, Rameses VIII, and Rameses IX, no tombs have entrances or corridors as wide as those in KV 19. Texts on the reveals of gate B state that the owner was a prince. Representations of the deceased in front of various deities and hieratic texts of the Book of the Dead are painted in corridor B, and enigmatic compositions occur on gate B. The quarrying of the tomb was abandoned after the start of the second corridor C. A rectangular pit just inside gate C may have served for a burial, perhaps that of Mentuherkhepeshef or a later, intrusive one.

Noteworthy features:

This tomb may have originally been intended for Rameses VIII, but was abandoned. A pit was cut in the floor at the beginning of corridor C. The well-preserved painted plaster decoration depicts the prince alone before deities.

Site History

KV 19 was originally intended for Prince Rameses Setherkhepeshef, who later became Rameses VIII. It was taken over and decorated for Prince Rameses Mentuherkhepeshef, a son of Rameses IX. When KV 19 was discovered by Belzoni in 1817, it contained an unspecified number of intrusive burials, probably dating to Dynasty 22. The mummy of the prince was never found.

Dating

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

New Kingdom
Dynasty 20
Rameses IX
New Kingdom
Dynasty 20
Rameses VIII
Third Intermediate Period
Dynasty 22

Exploration

1905-1906: Excavation
Ayrton, Edward Russell
1817: Excavation
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
1817: Discovery
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
1825: Excavation
Burton, James
1903: Excavation
Carter, Howard
1840: Visit
L'Hôte, Nestor
1826-1827: Visit
Lane, Edward William
1844-1845: Epigraphy
Lepsius, Carl Richard
1908: Visit
Weigall, Arthur E. P.
1828-1829: Epigraphy
Franco-Tuscan Expedition

Conservation

Conservation History

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has installed glass paneling, a wooden walkway and a metal gate.

Site Condition

The painted plaster decoration is in relatively good condition, although some damage has occurred to the scenes closest to the entrance. During the 1994 floods, water entered the tomb but did not reach the level of the painted decoration.

Resources

Articles

See All

Foundation Deposits

While more commonly found in association with temple constructions, foundation deposits also have been unearthed at some royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Bibliography

See All

Belzoni, Giovanni Battista.  Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs, and Excavations, in Egypt and Nubia.  London: Murray, 1820.  P. 227.

Davis, Theodore M., Gaston Maspero, Edward Ayrton, Georges Daressy and E.H. Jones.  The Tomb of Siphtah (= Theodore M. Davis' Excavations, Biban el Moluk, 4).  London, 1908.

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

Jenni, Hanna (ed.).  Das Grab Ramses’ X (KV 18)  (= Aegyptiaca Helvetica,  16).  Basal: Schwabe Verlag, 2000.

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. 164-167, pls. 69-74.

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. 546.

Reeves, Carl Nicholas.  Excavations in the Valley of the Kings, 1905/6: A Photographic Record.  Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts: Abteilung Kairo, 40 (1984): 233-234.

Reeves, Carl Nicholas.  Valley of the Kings: The Decline of a Royal Necropolis (= Studies in Egyptology).  London:  KPI, 1990. Pp. 134-135.

Thomas, Elizabeth.  The Royal Necropoleis of Thebes.  Princeton: privately printed, 1966.  P. 151.

Measurements

Maximum height:

3.80 m

Minimum width:

2.74 m

Maximum width:

3.69 m

Total length:

38.68 m

Total area:

132.84 m²

Total volume:

240.14 m³

Additional Tomb Information

Owner type:

Prince

Entrance location:

Base of sheer cliff

Entrance type:

Ramp

Interior layout:

Corridors

Axis type:

Straight

Decoration

Painting

Categories of Objects Recovered

Architectural elements
Clothing
Human mummies
Jewelry
Vessels
Written documents

Hieroglyphs

Mentuherkhepeshef

Montu is over his Strong Arm