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The largest tomb in the Valley of the Kings, discovered in October of 1817, by Giovanni Belzoni. It is identified as KV 17, per Sir John Gardner Wilkinson’s initial numbering system for the tombs of the valley. Seti I is believed to have died in 1279 B.C., though his tomb was likely built while he was still among the living.

The Tomb of Seti I, at over 130 meters in length, is not only one of the longest Egyptian tombs ever found, but one of the most elaborate. It established an entirely new type of tomb - an extensive corridor layout, with 7 unidirectional passageways connecting several chambers, nearly all of them heavily adorned in paintings and bas-relief. The decorations are highly refined, with figures having larger ears and smaller mouths than in earlier tombs. Some of the mythological figures and scenes represented in the tomb include: The Solar Boat, the Litany of Ra, the Book of the Dead, The Book of Gates, and the mysteries of solar rebirth. An entire chamber is dedicated to Osiris, and another to the Ritual of the Opening of the Mouth. Also a first for Egyptian tombs are the structural and decorative themes within the burial chamber. The crypt area has a vaulted ceiling which is painted with astronomical decorations that record each constellation of the night sky, along with its corresponding decan.

The first complete version of The Book of the Heavenly Cow was found in one of the side rooms of the main burial chamber, along with a prominent sculpted detail showing Seti I offering wine to the goddess Hathor. This book, a partial copy of which was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, tells of how the Golden Age ended, the Netherworld was created and of Pharaoh's ascension into the sky.

A very mysterious feature of the tomb is a hidden passageway that was discovered under Seti's sarcophagus, which descends steeply for over 100 meters into the bedrock below the tomb. It is theorized that this was an attempt to join the king’s burial chamber with groundwater. This conjecture stems from the existence of a natural spring at the Osireion in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, which provided a pool of water within the structure symbolizing the primeval waters of creation.

The discovery of the tomb was big news in Europe, and attempts to move reliefs from the walls to European museums did serious damage to the tomb. When Belzoni reached Seti's burial chamber, he found that tomb robbers had smashed the lid of the sarcophagus, but that Seti's mummy remained intact. The well-preserved mummy of Seti I now rests in Cairo's Egyptian Museum, the sarcophagus in the Sir John Soane Museum, London.

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