Tomb of Seti I

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Tomb KV17, located in Egypt's Valley of the Kings and also known by the names "Belzoni's tomb", "the Tomb of Apis", and "the Tomb of Psammis, son of Nechois", is the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty. It is one of the best decorated tombs in the valley. In the modern era it was discovered by Giovanni Battista Belzoni on 16 October 1817.

Burial site of Seti I
KV17, the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty, Valley of the Kings, Egypt (49846343021).jpg
Interior of the tomb (upper pillared hall)
KV17 is located in Egypt
Coordinates25°44′23.3″N 32°36′06.8″E / 25.739806°N 32.601889°E / 25.739806; 32.601889Coordinates: 25°44′23.3″N 32°36′06.8″E / 25.739806°N 32.601889°E / 25.739806; 32.601889
LocationEast Valley of the Kings
Discovered16 October 1817
Excavated byGiovanni Battista Belzoni
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Design and decorationEdit

The longest tomb in the valley, at 137.19 meters (450.10 feet),[1] it contains very well preserved reliefs in all but two of its eleven chambers and side rooms. One of the back chambers is decorated with the Opening of the mouth ceremony, which stated that the mummy's eating and drinking organs were properly functioning. Believing in the need for these functions in the afterlife, this was a very important ritual. A very long tunnel (corridor K) leads away deep into the mountainside from beneath the location where the sarcophagus stood in the burial chamber. Recently, the excavation of this corridor was completed. It turned out that there was no 'secret burial chamber' or any other kind of chamber at the end. Work on the corridor was just abandoned upon the burial of Seti.[citation needed]

In 2008, a geological survey was carried out in the mysterious Tunnel K. After his in-situ investigation, the Austrian engineer Christoph Lehmann puts forward the theses that during the excavation of KV 17 a heavy flash flood occurred, whereby approximately 1300 cubic meters of debris material were flushed into the tomb, and filled up almost the whole structure of tunnel K. So the ancient builders were forced to abandon tunnel K and construct - shortened - the tomb in its present form.[2][unreliable source?]

Archaeology and conservationEdit

Map of Belzoni's discoveries in the Valley of the Kings. KV17 is marked as "6. Great Tomb of Samathis".

It was first discovered by Giovanni Battista Belzoni[3] on 16 October 1817. When he first entered the tomb, he found the wall paintings in excellent condition with the paint on the walls still looking fresh, and some of the artists' paints and brushes still on the floor.[4] The tomb became known as the "Apis tomb" because when Giovanni Belzoni found the tomb a mummified bull was found in a side room off the burial hall.[citation needed]

The sarcophagus of Seti I, removed on behalf of the British consul Henry Salt, is located in the Sir John Soane's Museum in London since 1824. Jean-François Champollion, translator of the Rosetta Stone, removed a wall panel of 2.26 x 1.05 m (7.41 x 3.44 ft) in a corridor with mirror-image scenes during his 1828–29 expedition. Other elements were removed by his companion Rossellini or by Karl Richard Lepsius in the German expedition of 1845. The scenes are now in the collections of the Louvre in Paris, the Egyptian Museum in Florence, the Neues Museum in Berlin.[5][6]

A number of walls in the tomb have collapsed or cracked due to excavations in the late 1950s and early 1960s causing significant changes in the moisture levels in the surrounding rocks.[7][8]

Facsimiles of two rooms from the tomb, the Hall of Beauties and Pillared Hall J, were made by Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation in 2017.[9]


It is one of the best decorated tombs in the valley, but it was closed to the public for many years due to damage and to the threats that visitors posed to its conservation. It was reopened to the public in 2016.[10] As of November 2017, holders of a 1200 EGP entry ticket or a Luxor Pass can visit this tomb.[needs update]



  1. ^ Bossone, Andrew (April 17, 2008). "Pharaoh Seti I's Tomb Bigger Than Thought". National Geographic News. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  2. ^ Lehmann, Christoph (2008) The Tunnel of the Royal Tomb of Seti I - Geological Survey, Support Estimation and Contribution to the Building History, Study in the context of a project at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna
  3. ^ Dunn, Jimmy. "The Tomb of Seti I". Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  4. ^ Romer, John; Romer, Elizabeth (1993). The Rape of Tutankhamun. Michael O'Mara Books Limited. p. 107. ISBN 1-85479-169-9.
  5. ^ Coppola, M.; Bracci, S.; Cantisani, E.; Magrini, D. (2017). "The Tomb of Seti I (KV17) in the Florence Egyptian Museum. Integrated Non-Invasive Methods for Documentation, Material History and Diagnostics". International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences. XLII-5/W1: 127–135.
  6. ^ Hornung, Erik (2001). "The Tomb of Seti I". In Weeks, Kent R. (ed.). Valley of the Kings: The Tombs and Funerary Temples of Thebes West. VMB Publishers. pp. 195–211. ISBN 9788854009769.
  7. ^ Romer, John; Romer, Elizabeth (1993). The Rape of Tutankhamun. Michael O'Mara Books Limited. pp. 25–30. ISBN 1-85479-169-9.
  8. ^ Romer, John; Romer, Elizabeth (1993). The Rape of Tutankhamun. Michael O'Mara Books Limited. pp. 49–50. ISBN 1-85479-169-9.
  9. ^ Foundation, Factum. "Factum Foundation :: The Tomb of Seti: recording and facsimile". Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  10. ^ "Tomb of Seti I (KV 17) | Luxor, Egypt Attractions". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  • Reeves, N. & Wilkinson, R. H. The Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London.
  • Siliotti, A., Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples 1996, A.A. Gaddis, Cairo.
  • Belzoni, Giovanni, Narratives of the operations and recent discoveries in Egypt and Nubia:... 1820

External linksEdit