KV2 is the tomb of the Twentieth Dynasty pharaoh, Ramesses IV, situated in the Valley of the Kings. Although the tomb design was changed after the king’s death, an ancient papyrus plan of the original design on was found and now resides in the Turin Egyptian Museum. The tomb was visited many times in antiquity, as shown through the multiple examples of graffiti found within. Greek, Latin, and Coptic graffiti is particularly prominent. During the nineteeth century, European explorers used the tomb as a dwelling while they investigated the wondrous sights of the Valley of the Kings. The tomb layout follows a straight axis which is typical of other tombs of the period. It consists of three sloping corridors, a chamber, the burial chamber, and another corridor with side chambers. The decoration includes many beautiful scenes such as the Litany of Ra, the Book of Caverns, the Book of the Dead, the Book of Gates, and the Book of Nut. One particularly beautiful and unique scene shows the earth god, Geb supporting the sky goddess, Nut (below). Nine foundation deposits were found in the tomb entryway, five of which were discovered by Howard Carter when he excavated the tomb. Carter and Edward Ayrton also discovered funerary items which were discarded from the tomb during antiquity. These included faience, calcite, and wooden shabtis, ostraca, glass, and potsherds. The sarcophagus was broken, probably by tomb robbers in antiquity, and the mummy of the king was re-buried in the royal cache, KV35. Ramesses IV only ruled for around six years and he doubled the number of workers at Deir el-Medina to ensure that his tomb would be impressive even after only a short reign. The alterations to the burial chamber reflect the fact that the tomb was hastily finished.
Bibliography and further reading:
Theban Mapping Project: KV2 – http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/sites/browse_tomb_816.html – including photographs, description and tomb plans.
Tour Egypt: The Tomb of Ramesses IV, Valley of the Kings, Egypt – http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/ramesses4t.htm – including images and description.
Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R.H. 1996. The Complete Valley of the Kings. Thames and Hudson: London.