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KV8: Pharaoh Merneptah

King's Valley - The Valleys - The Places

Tomb KV8 in the Valley of the Kings in the Theban Necropolis belongs to Pharaoh Merneptah of the 19th Dynasty. Pharaoh was the 13th son of Pharaoh Ramses II but due to the longevity of his father and his reign, Merneptah did not succeed to the Throne until he was roughly 60 years old and subsequently did not have a long reign. To learn more about his reign, click here.

However, his Tomb is the second largest found to date in the Valley of the Kings so we may presume that he began to have the Tomb hewn before he reached the Throne. It may well be that it the latter years of his father’s reign, the then Crown Prince Merneptah ruled jointly with his father which would have garnered him the opportunity to begin his Tomb before he succeeded to the Throne.

But this was not his final resting place. As with many of his compatriots, he was relocated by the Theban Priests to a Mummy Cache in Tomb KV35, the Tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, along with 18 other mummies.



The tomb leads downwards after its entrance through 2 corridors and a staircase which total 160 metres in length, before you reach the Burial Chamber.

Regrettably, many of the reliefs and paintings have been damaged by the Flooding which hampered the Thebans Valleys over time.

The decorations include:

  • Passages from sacred Burial texts
  • Scenes from the Litany of Re
  • Depictions from the Amduat
  • Sections for the Book of Gates
  • Passages from the Book of the Dead
  • The ceilings depict the Astronomical Scenes

The Burial Chamber

The Burial Chamber has 6 steps down to the sunken floor where the Granite Sarcophagus were located. The original burial consisted of four nested sarcophagi which were all highly decorated.

The exterior Sarcophagi was so bulky that part of the corridor of the Tomb and some of the Pillars in the proceeding chamber had to be removed in order to allow access to the Sarcophagus when Pharaoh died.

The Chamber itself has recesses and magical brick niches along the front and rear walls and is decorated by extracts from the 9th hour of the Book of Gates, the 12th hour of the Book of Gates, the Book of the Earth, the Book of Caverns, and an elaborate astronomical vaulted ceiling.


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