The Tomb of Seti I
The tomb of Seti I (KV17) is also known as Belzoni’s tomb, the tomb of Apis and the tomb of Psammis. Seti I (Seti I) ruled during the nineteenth dynasty, the son of Ramses I and father of Ramses II.
This tomb is one of the greatest achievements of Egyptian art and the most beautiful in the Valley of the Kings. It was closed to visitors for a long time, but is open again and can be visited for an additional fee. The tomb was fully decorated and was beautifully preserved as Giovanni Belzoni discovered it in 1817. The paint on the walls still looked fresh, and some of the old artists’ paints and brushes were still on the floor in the grave. Of course, the precious metals and stones found were quickly put in his pocket, but many other things, such as wooden furniture and other objects that he did not notice, remained in the grave. Since the wood was corroded and the other items were probably not getting a good price, Belzoni was of little interest to them.
Although the tomb has suffered since its discovery, it still offers a breathtaking art experience and is one of the most beautiful tombs in Egypt.
It later became known as the ” Apis grave “, because when Belzoni discovered the grave, a mummified bull was found in an adjoining room of the burial chamber, representing the bull god Apis.
The grave was reopened in 2016 and is the longest grave of the whole at approx. 137m Necropolis.
KV 17 is said to be the first tomb to have a vaulted burial chamber built in the Valley of the Kings. It is one of the most decorated tombs in the valley and is covered with numerous ornaments and religious text inscriptions. There are a total of seven corridors and eleven chambers and adjoining rooms. There is also an unusually long descending passage in the floor of the burial chamber, a feature that is unique to this grave from Set I. It is an undecorated about 1 meter wide and 1.50 meter high and at least 120 meter long sloping shaft, which has not been fully excavated to date.
Its walls are filled with fabulous images from many ancient texts, including the litany of Ra, the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Gates, the Book of the Heavenly Cow, and many others. Other scenes that adorn the tomb are astronomical concepts, the deceased with deities and images of the pharaoh alone.
Unfortunately, the grave was badly damaged by researchers in the 19th century. The Pharaoh’s sarcophagus was removed in the 1820s and is now in the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London
Priceless decorations on walls, ceilings, columns, etc. were also damaged by Jean-Francois Champollion , who explored the tomb between 1828 and 1829. He removed a wall covering in one of the tomb’s corridors. Other murals were removed in 1845 by a German research team. The wonderful pictures that were stolen from the walls of the grave and show Set I with Hathor are today part of the museum collections in Berlin, Paris and Florence.
The body of Pharaoh had been taken out of his tomb in ancient Egypt and kept in a hidden place to protect his remains. He was buried again with several other famous rulers from Kemet (an ancient name of Egypt). The mummy of Set I was published in theCachette DB320 discovered.
His mummified body was properly prepared and the mummy was covered with a yellow shroud. However, marauders had played around with his bandages and smashed his stomach. Worse, Seti’s head was separated from the rest of his battered body. Fortunately, his face remained untouched. The remains of Seti I now rest among other royal mummies in the Cairo Museum.
The tomb of Set I is like a puzzle of ancient Egyptian symbolism. It was looted and damaged and is still one of the most remarkable examples of ancient Egyptian wall painting. Unfortunately, the work and earlier damage done by “legendary archaeologists” of the 19th century had a lasting impact. Failure to preserve them caused some of the grave walls to collapse or tear during archaeological work in the 1950s and 1960s.
This damage has also led to a significant change in the moisture content of the rocks surrounding this grave. After years of restoration, the grave has been open to visitors since 2016 (for an additional entrance fee).
Visit this prime example of the highly developed ancient Egyptian culture and marvel at the beautiful tomb paintings in the Valley of the Kings on your Nile cruise with trips to Egypt!