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|Burial site of Sons of Ramesses II|
|Location||East Valley of the Kings|
|Excavated by||Kent R. Weeks|
Tomb KV5 is a subterranean, rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It belonged to the sons of Ramesses II. Though KV5 was partially excavated as early as 1825, its true extent was discovered by Kent R. Weeks and his exploration team. The tomb is now known to be the largest in the Valley of the Kings. Weeks' discovery in 1995 is widely considered the most dramatic in the valley since the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.
Standing near the entrance to the Valley, over the centuries it suffered the fate of other low-lying tombs, which was to be filled with rubble washed down in the flash floods that accompany thunderstorms over the Valley. In addition, it was robbed in antiquity.
The tomb was examined several times once exploration of the Valley in relatively modern times started, first in 1825 (by James Burton), and later in 1902 (by Howard Carter, discoverer of the tomb of Tutankhamun, who used KV5 only as a dumping ground). However, they were not able to penetrate past the first few rooms, and thus saw nothing unusual about the tomb.
It was not until the Theban Mapping Project, under Kent R. Weeks, decided to clear the tomb (in part to see if it would be damaged by proposed building works nearby, and in part so that it could be mapped) that the stage was set for the discovery of its true nature. During the initial stages of their work, from 1987 to 1994, the team was unaware of the true scope of the tomb.
It was only in 1995, after doing substantial clearing in the outer chambers of the tomb, that they were stunned to discover the long corridors, lined with rooms (approximately seventy in all: bear in mind that Ramesses sired at least that many sons), running back into the hillside; a discovery which amazed the world and reignited popular interest in Egyptology. Finds so far have included thousands of potsherds, ushabiti, faience beads, hieratic ostraca, glass vials, inlays and even a large statue of Osiris, the god of the afterlife.
Further excavations have revealed that the tomb is even larger than was first thought, as it contains more corridors, with more rooms, running off from other parts of the tomb. At least 130 rooms or chambers have been discovered as of 2006 (only about 7% of which have been cleared), and work is still continuing on clearing the rest of tomb. 
In the proximity to the tomb of Ramesses II, this tomb contained most of his children, both male and female, including those who died in his lifetime in particular. The skull fragments of Amun-her-khepeshef, among others, were found inside and reconstituted.
In popular culture
- KV5 was featured in the game Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation as a level
- Kent R. Weeks, The Lost Tomb. New York: William Morrow, 1998. Includes a description of the discovery and excavation of KV5. ISBN 0-688-17224-5
- Kent R. Weeks, KV 5: A Preliminary Report on the Excavation of the Tomb of the Sons of Ramesses II in the Valley of the Kings. Cairo: American University Press, 2000 ISBN 977-424-574-1
- 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, Dr M.Swales,
- Kent R. Weeks, The Lost Tomb. New York: William Morrow, 1998.
- "Audio - Atlas of the Vallley of the Kings - Theban Mapping Project".
- "Valley of the Kings - KV5". Ancient Egypt - History & Chronology. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
- Theban Mapping Project – Plan of the tomb and other details.
- KV5 Progress Reports – Considerable detail of the work performed each year