King Mereneptah was the 11th son of King Ramses II and Queen Isis-Nofret. He was an old man and he ascended the throne after the long rule of his father. He ruled for only about ten years, but his tomb was completed before his death and only the rearmost chambers beyond the burial chamber were left undecorated and roughly cut. The Tomb of Merneptah is the second largest one in the Valley of the Kings, exceeded only by Tomb KV 5. It occupies 2472 cubic meters (87,300 cubic feet). It was not until 1903 that the rear half of the tomb was excavated; and the Burial Chamber was not excavated until 1987.
The Decoration of the Tomb of Merneptah (KV 8)
Generally, the decoration of the Tomb of Merneptah is similar to that of the tombs of his father, Rameses II, and his grandfather, Sety I. The workmanship is of a good quality. Though damaged by floods, the paint still shows traces of fine, bright blue-green, yellow, and red pigments.
- Corridor B of the Tomb of Merneptah (KV 8)
The first Corridor B is decorated with a long copy of the Litany of Ra. The ceiling has a decoration pattern of vultures which are colorfully painted. On the left (south) wall, there is a well-carved scene of the king before Re-Horakhty and the "title page" of the Litany that shows a sun disc enclosing a scarab and Re-Horakhty with a serpent and a crocodile.
- Corridor C and D of the Tomb of Merneptah (KV 8)
In Corridor C, a visitor can see large recesses at the front top of its side walls containing texts that continue the Litany of Ra. Below them are the second and third hours of the Imydwat and, then, more of the third hour and part of the fourth. At the end of the corridor, there are scenes of Anubis jackals lie above figures of Isis on the left wall and Nephthys on the right one, together with a text from Chapter 151 of the Book of the Dead. Along the sides of Corridor D, on the left wall, there is the fourth hour of the Imyduat and on the right, there is the fifth hour.
- Chamber E of The Tomb of Merneptah (KV 8)
In Chamber E of the Tomb of Merneptah (the well shaft), on the upper part of its walls, are depicted a number of figures. On the front wall of the chamber, Pharaoh Merneptah stands on the left of the door, Osiris on the right. On the rear wall, Anubis is on the left, the King as Iwnmute on the right. On the left wall, there are finely painted standing figures of Imsety, Duamutef, Anubis, Khery-Baqef, Isis, and Neith. On the right, god Hapy is followed by Qebehesnuef, Anubis, Nephthys, and Serqet.
- Chamber F of the Tomb of Merneptah (KV 8)
Chamber F of the Tomb of Merneptah (KV 8) had four pillars but two were removed before its walls were decorated. A gate into a side chamber was cut through the (north) right chamber wall after the scenes there had been painted. The side chamber has two pillars and a small shrine of Osiris cut into its (west) left wall. The chamber is closed today, used as a storeroom for fragments of sarcophagi. There is a double scene of the King making offerings to Osiris on the (west) rear wall of Chamber F, and the fourth, fifth, and sixth hours of the Book of Gates have been depicted upon the walls. The pillars have been badly damaged and it was recently repaired, but we still identify scenes of the king making offerings to Osiris, Ptah, and Horus on the left pillar, Osiris, Ptah, Re-Horakhy and Anubis on the right one.
- Corridor G and Chamber H of the Tomb of Merneptah (KV 8)
Corridor G of the Tomb of Merneptah has scenes of the Opening of the Mouth ritual on its walls. On the left wall, the King is seated before an offering table beside him two priests performing funeral ceremonies. Unfortunately, this corridor is badly damaged. Moving to Chamber H, which houses the lid of Merneptah's sarcophagus, the walls of the chamber are decorated with texts and scenes from the Book of the Dead.
- Corridor I of the Tomb of Merneptah (KV 8)
In Corridor I of the Tomb of Merneptah, there is nothing remaining of the decoration. The tomb's large Burial Chamber must have been a beautifully well-decorated room, but unfortunately has disappeared because of flooding. There are two rows of four pillars each stands before and after the lowered central floor where an anthropoid sarcophagus lid remains. The front wall of the chamber is decorated with the ninth hour of the Book of the Gates. On the right wall are scenes from the Book of Caverns and more of the Book of the Earth. On the left and rear walls are the twelfth hour of the Book of Gates and excerpts from the Book of the Earth. Only the barest traces remain of the elaborate astronomical vaulted ceiling.