Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings. By Fotograf/Photographer: Peter J. Bubenik (1995) – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Archaeologists have discovered a tomb they believe was the burial place of Ramesses II’s sons, in the Valley of the Kings, the necropolis at Karnak some 300 miles south of Cairo.

The huge tomb complex, dubbed Tomb 5, is many times larger than any other tomb so far discovered and the only one known to have been used for many members of a family. Kent R. Weeks, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo and director of the project to map the ancient Egyptian capital, announced the discovery, immediately hailed as one of the most significant in Egyptology of this century.

Ramesses II, who ruled from 1279 B.C. to 1212 B.C., is the pharaoh traditionally associated with the Hebrew Exodus. Amon-her-Khepeshef, the eldest of his 52 sons (Ramesses II claimed to have fathered more than 100 children) is said by the Bible to have been killed during the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn (Exodus 12:29). The names of Amon-her-Khepeshef and three of his brothers are inscribed on the walls of Tomb 5.