Tuesday Tomb – KV2


View of the burial chamber of KV2 (Source: The Theban Mapping Project).

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.

Hieroglyphic text with beginning of Rameses IV’s Horus name, surrounded by Coptic graffiti (Source: The Theban Mapping Project).

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.

Book of Gates, first division /second hour (Source: The Theban Mapping Project).

One particularly beautiful and unique scene shows the earth god, Geb supporting the sky goddess, Nut (below).

The Book of Nut (Source: The Theban Mapping Project).

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.

Ramesses IV’s titulary protected by falcons (Source: The Theban Mapping Project).

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: KV2http://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.


8 comments on “Tuesday Tomb – KV2

  1. 14 July, 2015Hello Gemma Ellen Wood,A useful summary of KV 2 provided with beautiful images, from Francis Dzikowski with whom I worked on the Theban Mapping Project.  May I suggest adding tio teh bibliography the publication of the tomb by Erik Hornung, Zwei Ramessidische Koenigsgraeber: Ramses IV. und Ramses VII (Theben XI), Mainz am Rhein, 1990. I realise this appears in the bibliography of the TMP entry as well. Sincerely, Edwin Brock

  2. “Earth god Shu…”? Geb, right? : )

  3. I do the same thing at least 2 times a day : ) Really like your blog. Peter.

  4. Thanks Gemma the pictures are beautiful

  5. Reblogged this on Clairsentient1.

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