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Mentuherkhepshef (KV19)

Mentuherkhepshef was the son of Ramesses IX and is said to have been the only prince after the sons of Ramesses II to be buried in a decorated royal tomb at the Valley of the Kings. His tomb, KV19, is believed to have been intended for Ramesses Setherkhepshef, who was to be crowned as Ramesses VII, but it later became the property and resting place of Mentuherkhepshef.


About The Tomb

KV19 lies unfinished in the Valley of the Kings, at the start of the second eastern branch of the main wadi on the west bank at Luxor. The last corridor was converted into a burial chamber, cut inside the floor and covered with stone slabs. Giovanni Belzoni discovered the tomb in 1817. Had it been finished, KV 19 would have been a substantial tomb, especially considering the gates and corridors are the widest of any tomb in the valley. The unfinished condition, however, is a benefit in that it allows people to learn about the various stages of the ancient work of the quarrymen and stonemasons by seeing the unfinished process.

Decorations Inside The Tomb

The tomb features fewer decorations than many others in the valley. Mentuherkhepshef is shown alone without being escorted by his father. The corridor has decorations of text in red and black text in three columns inside. Beneath the texts are pairs of fire-spitting cobras depicting Isis and Nepthys on one side and Serget and Neit on the other. The decoration shows the excellent work of the people who made the same. There are texts from the Book of the Dead on the corridor's walls. A peculiar feature is the detailed costumes of the devotees; a figure of Thoth is shown wearing a belt whose buckle has the cartouche of King Ramesses IX. Other scenes include the tomb owner worshiping several deities such as Osiris, Khonsu, Thoth, and Ptah.

Discoveries Inside KV19

Only a few pieces of funerary equipment were found inside the tomb, and very little was recovered. Fragments of objects made from black stone depicting a part of a casket were most probably found. Foundation deposits near the entry were found, including ostraca, faience, and calcite plagues, which bore the name of Ramesses IV. A limestone plaque bearing the name of Ramesses X was also found. Fragments of limestone stela could also be seen. Remains of multiple intrusive burials by Belzoni were later found. The number of mummies which the tomb contained remains uncertain. However, the carnage style indicates that the bodies belong to people from the 22nd dynasty in Egypt. KV19 is believed to have been built for Ramesses Setherkhepshef, whom Ramesses VII also recognized. Still, later on, it became the property of Mentuherkhepshef, and the findings also depict this.

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