Tomb of - Valley of the Kings (KV16)
KV 16, the tomb of Rameses I, is located opposite to the tomb of Horemheb, in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The tomb is rectilinear and is just 29 meters long. The tomb was discovered in October 1817 by Belzoni.
Theories explaining the small size of the tomb KV 16
There are three theories explaining that why the size of this tomb is so small, which are
- It’s believed that the king was already too aged when he ascended the thorne of the Horus, which is why the tomb must have been made in a hurry.
- Another theory says that the first room after being dug would have acted as the antechamber and the same was transformed into the resting place of the king when he died.
- It’s even believed that the initial design of the tomb was expected to be for a larger monument but due to the sudden illness of Ramesses I, the program initially planned got drastically reduced.
The Tomb Plan
The tomb has two stairways which are separated by a corridor that ended in a small chamber flanked off one niche and two annexes. The pharaoh was buried in a sarcophagus which was made from red granite and occupied significant area of the room. It’s said that the short reign of the king, which was just two years led to the small size of the tomb. The tomb like that of Horemheb’s had decorations from the Book of the Gates. There are a number of little images of wood, well carved, representing symbolical figures.
The room has a hurried coat of plaster, where paintings of the king with his god were drawn. Osiris is allowed a prominent place in all the scenes. The sarcophagus too was painted rather than decorated, indicating the haste in preparation and leaving behind a lot of unfortunate errors.
The decoration of the tomb is done well, but there are no reliefs. An unusual depiction of the Pharaoh in a jubilation ceremony between hawk and jackal headed figures is seen on the wall. The similarities between the tombs of Ramesses I and Horemheb indicate that most probably the same craftsman must have worked on both of these. The presence of burial chamber just after the second corridor is a noteworthy feature of the tomb KV16.
The Current Theory
The most recent theory says that the mummy of Ramesses I was stolen by an Abu-Russul family of the grave robbers, which was then brought by Dr. James Douglas to North America, somewhere around 1860. After this the mummy was placed in the Niagara Museum and Daredevil Hall of Fame in Ontario. And in 1999, the mummies along with the artifacts were sold to Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta Georgia. After all the tests and scans conducted, the mummy was returned to Egypt on October 24, 2003 with full official honors and since then it has been on display at the Luxor Museum.