KV 13 (Bay)



General Site Information
Structure: KV 13
Location: Valley of the Kings, East Valley, Thebes West Bank, Thebes
Owner: Bay
Other designations: 19 [Hay], Commencement d'excavation ou grotte fermée [Description], E [Burton], G (?) [Pococke]
Site type: Tomb


The tomb of Bay is situated at the end of the southwest branch of the southwest wadi, close to the tombs of Sety II, Tausert and Siptah.The architecture and decoration closely resemble that of the tomb of Queen Tausert.

It consists of three corridors (B, C, D) followed by two chambers (E, F), two further corridors (G, H), two side chambers off the second (Ha-b), and a burial chamber (J). The tomb has suffered structural damage from floods, and all the ceilings of the tomb have collapsed.

The walls were probably decorated originally with painted plaster and relief. Severe floods have caused the loss of the plaster, however, and now only traces of decoration remain in places where the artist was working on thin plaster and the chiseling cut into the bedrock. The remaining decoration echoes that in KV 14 and represents the deceased with deities (corridor B, corridor D) and parts of the Book of the Dead (corridor C).

Noteworthy features

This is one of the rare non-royal tombs cut in the Valley during Dynasty 19. The tomb also demonstrates the late Rameside practice of re-using abandoned tombs for the burial of royal family members, containing two sarcophagi from this period.

Site History
The tomb was built for Bay, originally a royal scribe of Sety II and later chancellor under Siptah. The privilege of being granted a tomb in the Valley of the Kings reflects his status. The tomb, however, was left unfinished and was later reused by the royal princes Amenherkhepshef and Mentuherkhepshef in Dynasty 20.

A slight deviation in orientation between corridor G and corridor H led Altenmüller to suggest that originally the tomb was only finished until corridor G, and that corridor H and the burial chamber J were additions in Dynasty 20. The tomb was partly accessible since antiquity, but no late graffiti are recorded.

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

New Kingdom, Dynasty 19, Siptah
New Kingdom, Dynasty 20, Rameses III

History of Exploration
Pococke, Richard (1737-1738): Mapping/planning
Napoleonic Expedition (1799): Mapping/planning
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista (1817): Visit
Burton, James (1825): Mapping/planning
Altenmüller, Hartwig (1988-1994): Excavation

 -  Conservation history: During clearance, plaster was applied to the walls and ceiling in the rear chambers. Following the 1994 floods, a covered passage was built over entryway A.
 -  Site condition: The tomb is located beneath a cascade from the Valley of the Kings drainage basin above the cliff. This position has made it particularly susceptible to flooding. At least four floods were responsible for the extensive damage to decoration and architecture, and they filled the tomb with debris. As a result, most of the painted plaster sunk relief decoration on the walls has been lost, with traces preserved only when the artist cut into the stone surface beneath the plaster coating.


Printable Tomb Drawings


Axis in degrees: 292.91
Axis orientation: West

Site Location
Latitude: 25.44 N
Longitude: 32.36 E
Elevation: 184.87 msl
North: 99,406.200
East: 93,967.825
JOG map reference: NG 36-10
Modern governorate: Qena (Qina)
Ancient nome: 4th Upper Egypt
Surveyed by TMP: Yes

Maximum height: 2.75 m
Minimum width: 0.85 m
Maximum width: 5.09 m
Total length: 71.37 m
Total area: 168.68 m²
Total volume: 381.67 m³

Additional Tomb Information
Entrance location: Base of sheer cliff
Owner type: Official
Entrance type: Ramp
Interior layout: Corridors and chambers
Axis type: Straight

Sunk relief

Categories of Objects Recovered
Tomb equipment