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.
Width:1.68 m Irregular
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.
Orientation:87.63° left from chamber B
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.
Orientation:0° from entryway A
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.
Orientation:18.46° right from entryway A
Number of pillars:1
Average pillar width:0.96 m
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).
Orientation:1.3° right from chamber B
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.
Orientation:1.3° right from chamber B
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.
Height:5.42 m Irregular
Orientation:0° from corridor C
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.
Orientation:0° from corridor E
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.
Orientation:90.56° left from chamber F
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.
Orientation:91.13° right from chamber F
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.
Orientation:89.91° left from chamber G
Hieratic text:cited by James Burton, but unverified front (East) wall
About the Tomb
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.
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.
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.
This site was used during the following period(s):
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.
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.
Altenmüller, Hartwig. Untersuchungen zum Grab des Bai (KV 13) im Tal der Könige von Theben. Göttingen Miszellen 107 (1989): 43-54.
Altenmüller, Hartwig. Dritter Vorbericht über die Arbeiten des Archäologischen Instituts der Universitäts Hamburg am Grab des Bay (KV 13) im Tal der Könige von Theben. Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 21 (1994): 1-18.
Altenmüller, Hartwig. Prinz Mentu-her-chopeschef aus des 20. Dynastie. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts: Abteilung Kairo, 50 (1994): 1-22.
Altenmüller, Hartwig. Zwei Ostraka und ein Baubefund: Zum Tod des Schatzkanzlers Bay im 3 Regierungsjahr des Siptah. Göttingen Miszellen. Göttingen. 171 (1999): 13-18.
Altenmüller, Hartwig. Zweiter Vorbericht über die Arbeiten des Archäologischen Instituts der Universitäts Hamburg am Grab des Bay (KV 13) im Tal der Könige von Theben. Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 19 (1992): 15-36.
Fekri, Magdi Mohammed. Une nouvelle enquête sur les tombes civiles et anonyms de la Vallée des Rois. In: Zahi Hawass (ed.), Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century: Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Egyptologists, Cairo, 2000. Cairo: AUC Press, 2003. I, 138-146.
Helck, Wolfgang. Königsgräbertal. Wolfgang Helck, Eberhart Otto and Wolfhart Westendorf (eds.). Lexikon der Ägyptologie. 7 vols. Wiesbaden, 1972-1992. 3: 516.
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. 122.
Pinch-Brock, Lyla. Collisions, Abandonments, Alterations, Tomb Commencements/Pits, and Other Features in the Valley of the Kings. In: Richard H. Wilkinson and Kent R. Weeks (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. 117-134.