Ramesses II was the third ruler of the New Kingdom Period, also known as the 19th Dynasty. He was born in 1303 B.C. and was often referred to as Ramesses ‘the Great. He is believed to have been in the biblical story of Moses, adding even more importance to his historical fame.
Tomb KV 7
The Burial place of Ramesses II, KV7, is in the Valley of the Kings and is located opposite the tomb KV5 and KV8, which are the tombs of his son and successor and Merneptah’s tomb, respectively. KV7, unlike other tombs, has an unusual location and was badly damaged by recurring floods in the valley.
Design Of The Tomb KV7
KV7 follows the bent-axis plan seen in all the old tombs and the entrance to the tomb is in the Valley floor dug into the limestone hillside at Theban. Located within the main wadi, KV7 is among the larger tombs of the area, having three sloping corridors, a good chamber, a pillared chamber, and two side chambers. A descent in the center and two more corridors lead to another chamber, where a change of axis to the right can be seen, which ends in the burial chamber.
Decorations inside the KV7 consist of scenes from the Book of the Gates, Book of the Dead, Book of the Heavenly Cow, Imydwat, Litany of Ra, and Opening of the Mouth Ritual. Also, scenes of the king and deities were seen with representations of many funerary objects in the burial chamber.
The decorative plan depicts two new features, which are the jambs of the first gate and the lintel. The plan shows similarities with the tomb of Seti I, KV 17. The most remarkable feature of KV 7 is its location, which is in the lower part of the main wadi. Several innovations in the architecture and decorations were also noted, one amongst them was the bent axis tomb plan and the decorated gate.
The Present Situation
The tomb's location led to damage throughout the years from flooding. The mummy of the king was relocated to DB320 to the mummy cache and it’s said that tomb KV7 was reused in the Roman periods and the Third Intermediate for other burials. The floods have damaged even the underlying shale where swelling due to moisture is seen. All this has perhaps made this tomb of once the greatest of rulers, unsuitable for an excursion by tourists.
A few pieces of funerary equipment were found in the tomb, including a wooden shabtis, a damaged cast bronze shabti, fragmentary Oshabty, fragments of statues, fragments of faience, bits of glass, calcite and limestone lids of vessels, among other fragments.
A robbery of Ramesses' tomb was the subject of a well-known papyrus known as the Strike Manuscript, which dates back to the 28th year, during the rule of Ramesses III. The mummy of Ramesses II was not found in his tomb.