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About the Tomb KV5

Tomb KV5 belongs to the sons of Ramesses II. It is a subterranean, rock-cut tomb located in the main wadi of the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The excavation began as early as 1825, by Kent R. Weeks and his team. KV5 is known to be the largest one in the Valley of the Kings. It’s believed that the tomb dates back to the 18th dynasty and was the burial place of the principal sons of Ramesses II.


The Tomb's Large Size

The tomb's excavation is still in progress and so far, 121 corridors and chambers have been revealed. Since KV5 has a bilaterally symmetrical section, it’s assumed that there may be as many as 150 chambers. Chamber 3, which is pillared inside this tomb, is the largest chamber any tomb has in the whole valley.

The Decorations In KV5

It’s said that at least six royal sons of Ramesses II were buried in this tomb, as more than twenty scenes of his sons can be seen on the walls. There may be even more who were interred in KV5 but that is not known at this time. The decorations in the tomb consist of scenes from the Opening of the Mouth ritual and representations of Ramesses II, the princes, and the deities. The ancient Egyptians believed that for a person's soul to survive in the afterlife it would need to have food and water. The opening of the mouth ritual was thus performed so that the person who died could eat and drink again in the afterlife. The ceremony involved a symbolic animation of a mummy opening its mouth so that it could metaphorically breathe and speak. There is evidence of this ritual from the Old Kingdom up to the Roman Period. 

The Discovery Of The Tomb

The tomb of the sons of Ramesses II is believed to have been long since robbed and was mentioned in a papyrus in the Turin Museum of Egypt. The tomb is said to have remained lost from history until its modern discovery. The tomb was excavated by James Burton in 1825. The tomb was rediscovered after being lost by Howard Carter in the year 1902. However, the actual discovery was made in the year 1987 during the Theban Mapping Project. In a short period, the team rediscovered the entrance to tomb KV5 without knowing the scale of the find that they had made and how many years of work they would have ahead of them.

In 1995, the team was stunned to discover the long corridors, lined rooms that were around seventy in number that ran back into the hillside. The discovery amazed the world and reignited Egyptology interest among people. The findings as of now include thousands of Ushabti, potsherds, glass vials, faience beads, hieratic ostraca, inlays, and a large statue of the god of the afterlife, Osiris.

Remarkable Features


The overall plan of KV 5 is unique and different from any other royal tomb found in the valley. Chamber 3 has sixteen pillars, which is much more than any other chamber in the Valley of the King. The size of the tomb is another remarkable feature and also the sculpted figure of Osiris at the end of corridor 7 is amongst the other distinct features associated with the tomb KV5.

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