Skip to main content
About the image
Tomb entrance of KV 21 with modern enclosure walls.
More Details

Entryway A

See entire tomb

An open stairway ends in a short flat landing.

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    1.7 m
  • Length:

    4.16 m
  • Area:

    7.05 m2
  • Orientation:

    270°

Gate B

See entire tomb

The soffit and threshold slope down from front to back.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.26 m
  • Width:

    1.17 m
  • Length:

    0.99 m
  • Area:

    1.16 m2
  • Volume:

    2.62 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Corridor B

See entire tomb

The corridor is undecorated and slopes down to gate C.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.26 m
  • Width:

    1.7 m
  • Length:

    9.36 m
  • Area:

    15.87 m2
  • Volume:

    35.87 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from entryway A

Gate C

See entire tomb

The gate is undecorated and leads into corridor C. The soffit is level. The Theban Mapping Project could not survey this tomb, but it seems likely that the steps of corridor C begin in this gateway.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.21 m
  • Width:

    1.23 m
  • Length:

    0.99 m
  • Area:

    1.21 m2
  • Volume:

    2.68 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor B

Stairwell C

See entire tomb

The steep stairwell descends to gate D, ending in a short, flat landing in front of the gate. Large rectangular recesses stretch the length of the right (north) and left (south) walls at the top of the stairwell.

Architectural Features

Recesses
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    5.72 m
  • Width:

    2.19 m
  • Length:

    4.55 m
  • Area:

    9.96 m2
  • Volume:

    47.3 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor B

Gate D

See entire tomb

The soffit begins as a flat surface but then slopes down to the rear. There is a step down from the landing to the flat threshold.

Architectural Features

Steps

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.19 m
  • Width:

    1.73 m
  • Length:

    1.14 m
  • Area:

    1.97 m2
  • Volume:

    3.79 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from stairwell C

Corridor D

See entire tomb

The corridor descends gently to burial chamber J.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.33 m
  • Width:

    2.22 m
  • Length:

    6.35 m
  • Area:

    14.09 m2
  • Volume:

    32.87 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from stairwell C

Gate J

See entire tomb

The gate leads into the burial chamber and has a flat soffit and threshold. Traces of dried mud patches have been found on the jamb, indicating that this part of the tomb was blocked and sealed.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    2.33 m
  • Width:

    1.63 m
  • Length:

    1.2 m
  • Area:

    1.96 m2
  • Volume:

    4.57 m3
  • Orientation:

    0° from corridor D

Burial chamber J

See entire tomb

The burial chamber is rectangular and a single pillar stands in its center. Two steps lead down from the gate to the floor. A chamber-length recess is cut in the right (north) wall. A gate to a side chamber is cut in the right (south) end of the front (east) wall. Ryan found small stones, bits of human and animal mummies, pottery sherds, wood fragments and other fragmentary artifacts scattered on the floor.

  • Chamber plan:

    Rectangular
  • Relationship to main tomb axis:

    Perpendicular
  • Chamber layout:

    Flat floor, pillars
  • Floor:

    One level
  • Ceiling:

    Flat

Architectural Features

Benches
Pillar
Steps

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Height:

    3.12 m
  • Width:

    6.78 m
  • Length:

    8.45 m
  • Area:

    56.42 m2
  • Volume:

    176.03 m3
  • Orientation:

    90° left from corridor D
  • Number of pillars:

    1
  • Average pillar width:

    1.05 m

Gate Ja

See entire tomb

The gate is cut in the entrance wall to the south of gate J. It leads from the burial chamber into an adjoining side chamber.

Condition

Excavated
Cutting finished
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    0.89 m
  • Length:

    0.28 m
  • Area:

    0.25 m2
  • Orientation:

    90° left from burial chamber J

Side chamber Ja

See entire tomb

The floor of the small side chamber is half a meter higher than the burial chamber floor. On the ceiling is a graffito exclaiming, "Me! 1826." Numerous large pots that filled the chamber were smashed, perhaps by vandals. Embalming materials, natron, linen wrappings and a large lidded jar were also found in the chamber.

Condition

Cutting finished
Excavated
Undecorated

Dimensions

  • Width:

    2.9 m
  • Length:

    3.58 m
  • Area:

    10.36 m2
  • Orientation:

    90° left from burial chamber J

Graffiti

  • Modern European language text:

    "ME! 1826" Ceiling

Details

About

The tomb is located in the southeast branch off the main wadi, north of KV 19. It is a small, undecorated tomb, well cut with smoothed walls. The walls and ceiling bear red and black mason's marks. It lies on an east-west axis and consists of an entryway and two sloping corridors (B, D) with a stairwell (C) between them. The second corridor leads to a burial chamber (J) with a central pillar and a side chamber (Ja). There is a recess along the right (north) side of the burial chamber.

Noteworthy features:

The tomb is an example of burials of Dynasty 18 royal family members. Burial chamber J has two noteworthy features: a chamber-length recess and a single central pillar.

Site History

It has been suggested that the tomb was a queen's burial. Two female mummies were found, with their left arm crossed on their chest, a pose only used for queens. Vandals entered the tomb after its discovery in 1817, broke up the mummies, hauled them up to the first corridor B, and shattered some large white pots.

Dating

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

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18

Exploration

1817: Discovery
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
1817: Excavation
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
1825: Mapping/planning
Burton, James
1889: Mapping/planning
Lefébure, Eugène
1989-1990: Excavation
Ryan, Donald P.

Conservation

Conservation History

In 1990 a security gate was installed and to protect the bedrock during clearing, wooden steps were added. The mummies were reassembled and returned to the burial chamber in a specially constructed case.

Site Condition

The tomb suffered damage only after its modern discovery. Burton referred to it as a "clean new tomb" which had escaped even water damage. The second opening of the tomb in 1989, however, revealed that the tomb had suffered flood damage and was filling with silt debris. Standing water damaged artifacts in the burial chamber as well as mummies which had been ravaged by vandals following the tomb's initial opening in 1817.

Resources

Bibliography

See All

Aston, David,  Barbara Aston and Donald P. Ryan.  Pottery from Tombs in the Valley of the Kings, KV 21, 27, 28, 44, 45, and 60.  Cahiers de la céramique égyptienne.  Cairo, IFAO. 6 (2000): 11-38.

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. 228.

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

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. 171.

Reeves, Carl Nicholas.  Valley of the Kings: The Decline of a Royal Necropolis (= Studies in Egyptology).  London:  KPI, 1990. Pp. 153.

Ryan, Donald P., The Pacific Lutheran University Valley of the Kings Project:  A Synopsis of the First (1989) Season. Newsletter of the American Research Center in Egypt 146 (1989): 8-10.

Ryan, Donald P.  Return to Wadi Biban el Moluk:  The 2nd (1990) Season of the Valley of the Kings Project.  KMT 2/1 (1991):  29-30.

Ryan, Donald P.  Some Observations Concerning Uninscribed Tombs in the Valley of the Kings.  In: Carl Nicholas Reeves, After Tut'ankhamun: Research and Excavation in the Royal Necropolis at Thebes.  London: KPI, 1992.  Pp. 21-27.  

Ryan, Donald P.  Who is Buried in KV60?  A Field Report. KMT 1/1 (1990): 59.

Measurements

Maximum height:

5.72 m

Minimum width:

0.89 m

Maximum width:

6.78 m

Total length:

41.05 m

Total area:

120.30 m²

Total volume:

305.73 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
Minerals
Scarabs and seals
Tomb equipment
Vessels