Tomb of Merenptah in the Valley of the Kings Luxor Egypt | KV 8 | Book of Gates | Litany of Ra | Book of Earth | Book of Dead | Opening of the Mouth | Astronomical Scenes.

The Tomb of Merenptah in the Valley of the Kings Luxor Egypt | KV8 | Facts, discovery, tomb robberies, Pharaonic Tombs, ancient Egyptian history.

Tomb of Merenptah in the Valley of the Kings Luxor Egypt | KV 8

Who is Merenptah? Facts About King Merenptah

Merenptah was the 4th king of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt History, The New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, and the 13th son of the great Pharoah son of Ramesses II and Queen Isis-Nofret. The Pharaoh Merenptah succeeded his long-lived father and he ruled for 10 years only.

Pharoah Merenptah ruled Egypt between 1212-1202 BC and we know two wives for his Queen Isset Nefert II, and Queen Ta Khaaet. Meanwhile, we know from his sons and daughters King Seti II, Queen Ta Useret, and Amun Mess.

Where is Merenptah Tomb?

Merenptah tomb is one of the most impressive Pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile River. Merenptah Tomb (KV8) is located between Tomb of Tutankhamun and Ramesses II tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

 Facts about the King of Merenptah tomb KV8, Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt

  1. The 8th tomb was discovered in the Valley of the Kings.
  2. The tomb was discovered in 1903 by Howard Carter.
  3. Merenptah tomb is one of the longest tombs in the Valley of the Kings 165 meters.
  4. One of the deepest tombs in the Valley of the Kings together with The Tomb of Seti I (KV17)
  5. KV8 has one of the biggest sarcophagi found in the Valley of the Kings.
  6. The Burial place of Merenptah has a lot of Pharaonic religious books such as Book of the Gates, Litany of Ra, Book of Earth, Book of Dead, and Opening of the Mouth.
  7. Astronomical Scenes
  8. The design of the tomb changed many times and two maps were found for this tomb
  9. The sarcophagus was found empty without the King’s mummy.
  10. Another sarcophagus was found in the tomb and we do not know when, whom, and why they put it there
  11. The tomb of Merenptah covers more than 2700 square meters
  12. The tomb is finished like a plan but not finished as a decorated tomb.
  13. The Mummy of Merenptah was found in the tomb of King Amenophis II in 1898.

Merneptah sarcophagus

Merneptah sarcophagus is the largest ancient Egyptian sarcophagus that has been identified in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It is made of Red Granite and it supposes to be the first and the biggest out of the 4 sarcophagi we suppose to see inside any tomb. According to what we found inside Tutankhamun’s tomb; the four sarcophagi were one inside the other

1st and biggest is the stone one

2nd is the wooden one inside the stone one

3rd is the wooden gilded one and it should be inside the wooden one

4th is the smallest one and it supposes to be the solid gold one

Who is the discoverer of the tomb of Merenptah KV8?

The British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Merenptah in 1903 and later in 1922, he discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Restoration work in the Merenptah tomb

Putting in mind that the Merenptah tomb is one of the top Luxor tourist attractions and one of the most visited tombs in the Valley of the Kings, so it is necessary to make restoration work from time to time. After the turmoil in Egypt since the 2011 January revolution, the Ministry of Tourism closed the tomb for 3 years for restoration.

Restoration works aim to fix and repair the deterioration of architectural features and decorations of the tomb resulting from natural causes or the misuse of the tomb visitors.

The walls were reinforced, cracks removed, reliefs, and colors consolidated. Since then, new wooden stairways, flooring, lighting, and special ventilation systems have been installed.

 The plan & Layout

First of all, to reach the tomb of Merenptah at the Valley of the Kings, you have to climb some steps as the tomb is a bit higher than the ground floor of the Valley. The tomb starts with

  1. Steps
  2. Entrance
  3. 3 Corridors, one after another
  4. Well small chamber
  5. 2 pillared room
  6. Side chamber with 2 pillars
  7. Descending corridor
  8. Another chamber has Sarcophagus but not for Merenptah, it was found there
  9. Another descending corridor
  10. Burial Chamber
  11. 6 small side chambers
  12. From the burial chamber, there is another one
  13. Side chamber at the end of the last chamber

More details about the Tomb of Merenptah

Maximum height: 6.47 m

Minimum width: 0.76 m

Maximum width: 14.87 m

Tomb total length: 164.87 m

Covered area: 772.55 m²

Total volume: 2622.08 m³

DECORATION of the tomb of Merenptah

  1. Raised relief
  2. Sunk relief
  3. Paintings

Things found inside the tomb

  1. Tomb equipment
  2. Vessels
  3. Writing equipment

Tomb Robberies at the End of the New Kingdom

Tomb robbing in ancient Egypt was recognized as a serious problem since antiquity. Tutankhamun tomb gave us a perfect example of what we can find inside a royal tomb. That was the reason why the tombs were targeted for tomb robberies right after burying the kings. Merenptah’s tomb was one of these tombs and all the tomb treasures were totally stolen by the thieves of the cemetery.

The inscriptions & reliefs

  1. At the top of the entrance and in the middle, we will see a circle and inside scarab and the Ram Headed God Khnum. Under the circle, there is the crocodile god Sobek. To the right and left of the circle, we can see the goddess Isis(left) and the goddess Nephites (right). On both sides of the entrance, there are the names of King Merenptah written inside the Cartouches. At the top, is the winged sun disc symbol of protection.
  2. The first slopping corridor is decorated to the left-hand side with a relief representing the king in front of Ra-Horakhty giving him the Key of Life, the Was Scepter, and the Djed pillars. The whole scene is part of the Litany of Ra. To the right-hand side of the entrance, there are texts of the Litany of Ra.
  3. This first sloping corridor has a lot of Graffiti for example twenty-seven graffiti left walls, ten graffiti right walls, and one demotic text on the right wall.
  4. The next corridor is decorated on both sides with the 3rd and the 4th hours of the Book of the Gates.
  5. In the same corridor, the Litany of Ra and the second and third hours of the Imy dwat are shown under the Litany of Ra. Also, God Anubis, Goddess Isis, and Goddess Nephthys are portrayed here.
  6. The ceiling of this corridor is decorated with yellow stars on a blue background.
  7. Again, in this corridor, there are twelve graffiti left wall, eleven graffiti right wall, and one Coptic graffiti on the right wall.
  8. The third corridor is decorated with the fourth and fifth hours of the Imy dwat.
  9. The ceiling like the previous corridor decorated with painted blue with yellow stars
  10. Concerning the graffiti, we have sixteen graffiti left walls, thirty-nine graffiti right walls plus three graffiti right walls written in Demotic, and two Latin graffiti right walls. Finally, there is one graffiti written in Anatolian on the left wall.
  11. The well chamber is decorated with Osiris and two sons of Horus and four deities on the left wall and the right wall repeats the same scenes. Once we can see Anubis and two sons of Horus and once the king instead of Anubis.
  12. This corridor shows Merenptah with many Deities such as Imsety, Duamutef, Anubis, Khery-Baqef, Isis, and Neit left wall. Meanwhile, Hapi, Qebehsenuef, Anubis, Thoth, Nephthys, Serqet right wall
  13. The pillared room (2 Pillars) but it was 4 pillared room has reliefs representing the fourth, fifth, and sixth hours of the Book of Gates.
  14. The same chamber has a scene of the king offering Osiris in a shrine some offerings.
  15. Moreover, the two pillars are decorated with scenes of the king making offerings to Osiris, Ptah, and Maat standing before Ra-Horakhty and receiving the key of life from Anubis.
  16. The graffiti in this room is between Greek graffiti and Demotic ones. three Greek graffiti left wall, and two Demotic graffiti left wall.
  17. The next corridor suffered serious damage but we still can see the Opening of the Mouth ritual.
  18. The next chamber with a sarcophagus shows the Final Judgment and Negative Confession and the denial of sins from the Book of the Dead.
  19. The next sloped corridor to the burial chamber is unfinished and nothing is clear here
  20. The burial chamber is supported by 8 columns, 4 on each side. Thus, here almost all the scenes are lost except a few from the ninth hour of the Book of Gates is visible on the left wall. Other scenes represented are the Book of the Earth and the Book of Caverns.
  21. The burial chamber ceiling has astronomical scenes including representations of deities in the bark.
  22. All the side chambers around the burial chamber have no interesting scenes or nothing at all.

Visiting Hours of KV8?

As long as the tomb of Merenptah is one of the Valley of the Kings tombs, the visiting hours to the tomb are the same as the opening hours of the Valley of the Kings. Valley of the kings is open daily from 06.00 am to 17.00 pm but ticket windows close at 16.30 pm. That means you can visit the tomb daily between 06.00 am to 17.00 pm.

How much is Merenptah’s tomb ticket?

kindly put in your mind that you will need to purchase two tickets. Entrance ticket for the Valley including access to 3 tombs and a ticket for the electric car. Ticket windows are next to each other. The entrance ticket includes 3 opened tombs and nowadays Merenptah tomb is included in the ticket. This means no extra charge to visit the Merenptah tomb.

Tips for visiting the tomb of Merenptah

  1. The first piece of advice we can tell, visit the valley of the Kings and the tomb of Merenptah with an archaeologist guide. They will provide you with a detailed explanation of the development of the tombs from the hole underground to the Pyramidical shape of the tombs in the Valley.
  2. Read before you go
  3. Take extra water with you and some snacks, especially in the summer months, and drink at least 5 small bottles of mineral water to not hydrate.
  4. Small change for the WC
  5. Do not forget to take your hat, sunglasses, and suncream with you
  6. Cotton dress during summer
  7. There is a café facing king Tutankhamun’s tomb in the valley of the kings if you like to drink something or have an ice-cream

Kindly Note:

That was a brief idea about the tomb of one of the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs and an example of one of the Pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings. If you like to visit more Pharaonic tombs and learn more about the best things to do in Luxor, Egypt Palma Tours highly recommend

  1. KV2 The Tomb of Ramesses IV
  2. KV6 The Tomb of Ramesses IX
  3. KV11 The Tomb of Ramesses III

If you like to know about the best tombs you can visit against the charge, here are the three extra ones

  1. KV9 – Ramesses V, Ramesses VI
  2. KV17 – Seti I
  3. KV62 – Tutankhamun tomb

That was about the Valley of the Kings and the Pharaonic tombs but if you like to know more about Egyptian history and can visit by our Luxor Tours, Ancient Egyptian civilization, and Pharaonic temple, we recommend the following sites

Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut

Medinet Habu Temple

Colossi of Memnon

Valley of the Queens


Tombs of the Nobles

Karnak temple

Luxor Temple