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Tomb of Ramesses VII

The small Tomb of Ramesses VII (KV 1) is located in the Valley of the Kings, in the Western Bank of Luxor (ancient Thebes), a little way back from the road. A Greek inscription shows that this tomb was known and accessible during the Greek period. The tomb was first mentioned and described by 19th century travelers including Wilkinson, Lane, and Hay. But works at the tomb began by 1905 and 1906. The tomb’s plan is typical with the late Ramesside tomb structures. Details of the depictions ornamenting the tomb’s walls provide interesting facts and information about the Golden Age of Pharaohs and of Egypt. One reaches the tomb through an ascending passage which leads to the tomb’s entrance. This entrance is decorated with a solar disc flanked by figures of the King and some goddesses. Entering the tomb, one gets into a corridor which shows scenes of the King before various deites as well as other scenes from the Book of Gates and the Book of Caverns. Unfortunately, the walls and ceilings of the corridor suffer from some cracks. Close-by, one finds the Burial Chamber of Ramesses VII, the walls of which is decorated with scenes from the Book of the Earth. Most interesting in this chamber is the astronomical ceiling decorated with relief of double Nut (Ancient Egyptian goddess of the sky), stretching across the heavens and constellations. Following Burial Chamber is the Sarcophagus Hall which consists of a rock-cut hollow covered by a massive, roughly cartouche-shaped stone block decorated with figures of Isis, Nephthys, Selkis and the four sons of Horus. The mummy of Ramesses VII has not yet been identified. In the next unfinished extension room, the King is depicted before Osiris (god of the Hereafter). The tomb has a small niche beyond the Burial Chamber decorated with relief of the Djed Pillars. The tomb is highly decorated with relief and carvings of fine quality, though the tomb’s size indicates that the King had little time to complete the structure. Wall depictions show relief depicting: scenes from the ‘Book of Gates’; the barque of Re being pulled through the Underworld; scenes from the ‘Book of Caverns and the ‘Book of Aker’ ‘; scenes showing Ramesses VII in the form of Osiris accompanied by the Iun-Mutef priest; carvings of vultures and the King’s cartouches; relief of the Winged Disc. Other scenes show goddess Sekhmet-Bubastis-Wert-Hekau and Wert-Hekau (‘Great of Magic’).

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