Egypt: KV18, The Tomb of Ramesses X, Valley of The Kings, Egypt

KV18, The Tomb of Ramesses X, Valley of the Kings, Egypt

by Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews

Tomb KV18 in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) was cut for Ramesses X, the second to last ruler of Egypt's 20th Dynasty. It is located in the southwest wadi. The tomb was unfinished and has only recently been cleared, though apparently some amount of debris remains. It has had a number of visitors over the years, beginning with Richard Pococke in the early 1700s. However, no real funerary material of the owner has ever been discovered, and even the foundation deposits discovered by Howard Carter were uninscribed. Recently, beginning in 1998, the MISR Project did the work of clearing the tomb, returning for additional excavations through at least the year 2000.

The tomb consists of little more than an entranceway and two corridors (that we know of). It was probably open during antiquity, before being buried under mud and rubble. The entrance to the tomb continues with the Ramessid tendency to create ever larger facades, this one being some 10 cm (4 inches) wider than that of the previous king's tomb. However, it is simple and has little slope. There was a divided stairway, though only a few steps remain. At the end of the entrance there was a step-down into the first corridor. Here, on the reveals and thickness of the doorjamb are the remains of the king's name.

Tomb KV18 layout

The tomb's first corridor was blocked by the electric lighting installations for the Valley of the Kings which was housed there by Howard Carter in 1904. Here, Carter also had the walls whitewashed, and had a level base built as a foundation for the generating equipment! Furthermore, he constructed retaining walls at the sides and end of the chamber, adding additional roofing. Some of this equipment remains in the tomb today. There has been some ceiling collapse at the rear of this corridor. This corridor was originally fully cut and decorated.

The first corridor leads into a second corridor that was blocked by a modern wall which has recently been stripped away. There is a step down into this second corridor, that was never completely cut. There remains actual rough steps leading up to the abandoned workface. The ceiling here has collapsed, but a couple of large rectangular recess were cut in each wall near the ceiling.

Within the outer areas, little decoration remains. Due to flooding, the beautiful example of the Ramessid entrance motif of the king kneeling on either side of the su disc on the horizon and ram headed god, along with attendant goddesses (Isis and Nephthys) that was drawn by Champollion's artists in 1826 are lost to us. Most of the plaster and paint have fallen away. Only a portion of the left-hand side of the design is still visible along with modern European graffiti probably dating from between 1623 and 1905 AD. Trances of other badly damaged scenes may be found in the first corridor on the east and west walls. These include a rough head of Re-Horakhty on the left wall of the first passage. On the right wall we can also recognize the king in front of Re-Horakhty and Meretseger, followed by a sun disk. There are no decoration in the second corridor.

An image of the god Re-Horakhty

The only artifacts we are aware of that have been removed from the tomb (area) are those found in the foundation deposit by Howard Carter. They included blue glazed models of tools, mostly, including according to Carter "adze, hoe and yoke".

We know know that Ramesses X was not put to rest in this tomb, though his mummy has never been found anywhere else, either.

General Site Information

Structure: KV 18

  • Location: Valley of the Kings, East Valley, Thebes West Bank, Thebes

  • Owner: Rameses X

  • Other designations: 18 [Lepsius], 4 [Champollion], M, plan M [Pococke], V [Burton]

  • Site type: Tomb


  • Axis in degrees: 185.95

  • Axis orientation: South

Site Location

  • Latitude: 25.44 N

  • Longitude: 32.36 E

  • Elevation: 180.974 msl

  • North: 99,564.458

  • East: 94,161.915

  • JOG map reference: NG 36-10

  • Modern governorate: Qena (Qina)

  • Ancient nome: 4th Upper Egypt

  • Surveyed by TMP: Yes


  • Maximum height: 4.44 m

  • Mininum width: 2.74 m

  • Maximum width: 3.7 m

  • Total length: 42.68 m

  • Total area: 144.32 m

  • Total volume: 319.73 m

Additional Tomb Information

  • Entrance location: Base of sloping hill

  • Owner type: King

  • Entrance type: Ramp

  • Interior layout: Corridors

  • Axis type: Straight


  • Sunk relief

Categories of Objects Recovered

  • Architectural elements

  • Furniture

  • Mammal remains

  • Tomb equipment

  • Vessels


History of Exploration

  • Pococke, Richard (1737-1738): Mapping/planning

  • Napoleonic Expedition (1799): Mapping/planning

  • Burton, James (1825): Mapping/planning

  • Franco-Tuscan Expedition (1828-1829): Epigraphy

  • Lepsius, Carl Richard (1844-1845): Epigraphy

  • Lefbure, Eugne (1889): Mapping/planning

  • Carter, Howard (1902): Excavation (discovery of foundation deposits outside entrance)

  • Romer, John (1978): Epigraphy (carried out for Brooklyn Museum)

  • Projekt MISR: Mission Siptah-Ramses X (1998-1999): Excavation






Reference Number

Complete Valley of the Kings, The (Tombs and Treasures of Egypt's Greatest Pharaohs)

Reeves, Nicholas; Wilkinson, Richard H.


Thames and Hudson Ltd

IBSN 0-500-05080-5

Guide to the Valley of the Kings

Siliotti, Alberto


Barnes & Noble Books

ISBN 0-7607-0483-x

Valley of the Kings

Heyden, A. Van Der

Al Ahram/Elsevier