KV 4 (Rameses XI)



General Site Information
Structure: KV 4
Location: Valley of the Kings, East Valley, Thebes West Bank, Thebes
Owner: Rameses XI
Other designations: 2e Tombeau à l'est [Description], 4 [Hay], 4 [Lepsius], 6 [Champollion], Q [Burton]
Site type: Tomb


The tomb of Rameses XI, located in the southeast branch off the main wadi, was abandoned without being used for the king's burial. The cutting of pillared chamber F and burial chamber J was left incomplete, and decoration was started only in corridor B, where a thick coat of yellowish plaster received preliminary sketches in red ink of Rameses XI with deities. Three gently sloping corridors (B, C, D) lead to the well chamber E and pillared chamber F. From the ramped descent F, a short corridor (G) leads to burial chamber J. A deep shaft descends from the unfinished burial chamber J and its pillars are rectangular instead of square, with the ceiling between them vaulted.

Noteworthy features

This is the last royal tomb cut in the Valley of the Kings. There is a deep shaft in burial chamber J.

Site History
Rameses XI was the last pharaoh to have a tomb built in the Valley of the Kings. KV 4 was never used for the king's burial. Romer believes that during Dynasty 21 the tomb was used by Pinedjem I as a workshop when he refurbished the funerary material from KV 20 (Hatshepsut), KV 34 (Thutmes III), and KV 38 (Thutmes I). Pinedjem I added his cartouche to the wall decoration, but he did not use the tomb for his burial.

KV 4 has been open since antiquity, and its popularity as an early tourist site is indicated by the number of Demotic, Greek, Latin, Coptic, French and English graffiti on the walls. The tomb was used as a residence during the Coptic period.

This site was used during the following period(s):

New Kingdom, Dynasty 20, Rameses XI
Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21, Pinedjem I
Graeco-Roman Era
Byzantine Period

History of Exploration
Pococke, Richard (1737-1738): Mapping/planning (but not numbered)
Napoleonic Expedition (1799): Mapping/planning
Burton, James (1825): Mapping/planning
Lane, Edward William (1826-1827): Mapping/planning
Lepsius, Carl Richard (1844-1845): Epigraphy
Carter, Howard (1923): Visit (used tomb as storeroom and dining area)
Romer, John (1978-1980): Excavation (clearance of rear chambers and shaft in burial chamber for Brooklyn Museum)
Ciccarello, Mark (1979): Epigraphy
Romer, John (1979): Epigraphy

 -  Conservation history: No conservation activities inside the tomb are known, but the Supreme Council of Antiquities has recently constructed a concrete and rubble retaining wall outside the tomb entrance. At present, an auxiliary diesel electrical generator is located outside the tomb entrance.
 -  Site condition: There is no evidence of flood damage in KV 4. An apparent ancient repair was made to the lower edge of the overhang at the end of entryway A, consisting of a pair of beam holes for a supporting baulk. A large vertical crack runs through the center of the overhang and displacement slippage has subsequently occurred. Large cracks in the walls of the upper corridors have resulted in the loss of plaster and the wall surface, particularly in the first two corridors B and C.



Printable Tomb Drawings


Axis in degrees: 68.23
Axis orientation: East

Site Location
Latitude: 25.44 N
Longitude: 32.36 E
Elevation: 168.921 msl
North: 99,677.341
East: 94,170.809
JOG map reference: NG 36-10
Modern governorate: Qena (Qina)
Ancient nome: 4th Upper Egypt
Surveyed by TMP: Yes

Maximum height: 5.01 m
Minimum width: 2.75 m
Maximum width: 11.3 m
Total length: 104.09 m
Total area: 503.5 m²
Total volume: 1682.19 m³

Additional Tomb Information
Entrance location: Base of sloping hill
Owner type: King
Entrance type: Ramp
Interior layout: Corridors and chambers
Axis type: Straight


Categories of Objects Recovered
Architectural elements
Tomb equipment
Written documents