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About the Tomb KV5 - The Sons Of Ramesses II

Tomb KV5 belongs to the sons of Ramesses II. It is an underground, rock-cut tomb located in Egypt's main wadi of the Valley of the Kings. Kent R. Weeks and his team began excavating it as early as 1825. KV5 is known to be the largest tomb 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; 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, pillared inside this tomb, is the largest in the whole valley.

The Decorations In KV5

At least six royal sons of Ramesses II were buried in this tomb, and more than twenty scenes of his sons can be seen on the walls. There may be even more interred in KV5, but that is not known now. 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 food and water. The Opening of the mouth ritual was thus performed so the person who died could eat and drink again in the afterlife. The ceremony involved a symbolic animation of a mummy opening its mouth to metaphorically breathe and speak—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 until its modern discovery. The tomb was excavated by James Burton in 1825. The tomb was rediscovered after being lost by Howard Carter in 1902. However, the discovery was made in 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 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 with rooms around seventy in number, that ran back into the hillside. The discovery amazed the world and reignited interest in Egyptology. The findings now include thousands of Ushabti, potsherds, glass vials, faience beads, hieratic ostraca, inlays, and a giant 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, much more than any other chamber in the Valley of the King. The size of the tomb is another remarkable feature. 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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