Who Was Merneptah?
Merneptah, or Merenptah, was the fourth ruler of the 19th dynasty in ancient Egypt. He reigned for almost a decade from 1213 to 1203 B.C. He is said to be the thirteenth son of Ramesses II. He became ruler only after all his brothers had died, which is why he became a ruler at the older age of 60 years. He is said to have been the fourth child of Ramesses II's second wife, Isetnofret. One of Merneptah's sons was Seti II, who became Pharaoh in the later 19th dynasty. The throne of Merneptah was named Ba-en-re Mery-nether, meaning "The Soul of Ra, Beloved of the God."
Tomb KV 8, located in the Valley of the Kings, was the burial place of the Pharaoh Merneptah and is the model of royal tombs of the end of the 19th and 20th dynasties. The straight ax, concaved relief, and fewer numerous features in comparison to hypogeal and auxiliary chambers are present. Walls inside the tomb depict extracts from the Book of the Underworld. Ceilings contain astronomical symbols. The four coffins nestling the king's mummy were three of pink granite and one of alabaster.
K.V. 8 is large, but its design is more straightforward than that of Merneptah's grandfather and father. The tomb has a staircase and two descending corridors. Although most of the paintings decorating the corridors have been damaged by flooding, the ones that remain in the reliefs are lovely.
Remarkable Features Of K.V. 8
The burial chamber in K.V. 8 is unique compared to other tombs. This chamber's front and rear walls contain multiple niches, and it depicts that Merenptah rested here in a set of four stone sarcophagi. When the coffins were brought inside the tomb, the door jambs were removed and later replaced by blocks made of sandstone. Pillars were also drawn to allow the coffin to move in and out, of which two were later returned.
There are five corridors in K.V. 8. The walls of these corridors show scenes from the ‘'any of R,’' the Amduat, the ‘'ook of Gates, ' and the Book of the Dea'’ while the ceilings represent astronomical scenes. The king is shown in the ‘Opening of the Mouth Ceremony in the fourth corridor. ' The fifth corridor leads to the sarcophagus hall, the king’s actual burial chamber, with the splendidly restored lid of his anthropoid sarcophagus.
Entrance To The Tomb
KV 8 is open to the public, and tickets are available at the gate for three tombs at the Valley of the Kings for EGP 80. When inside, visitors are strictly prohibited from photography, which can lead to a heavy penalty. You can also ride on a little train, the Taftaf, which operates from the coach park to the entrance. The cost is only EGP 2 to take the train.