Tomb V at Umm el-Qa'ab


Khasekhemwi built his tomb at Umm el-Qa’ab, at some distance to the south of the tomb of Qa’a. His was the last royal tomb to have been built at this site, his successors favouring the Memphite region, in the North, just below the Nile Delta. This can be seen as move of Egypt’s central authority from the Abydene area to Memphis.

View on the tomb of Khasekhemwi at Umm el-Qa’ab. Source:

Map of tomb V at Umm el-Qa’ab.

The tomb was excavated by Petrie during his 1901 expedition at the site and named “Tomb V” by him.
Its trapezoid shape measuring 68.97 metres long by 10.04 metres on its shortest side and 17.06 metres on its longest side, makes it stand apart from the other royal tombs at Umm el-Qa’ab.
It consists of a centrally located burial room constructed of dressed limestone blocks. It is surrounded by several smaller, inter-connecting chambers with mudbrick walls, that were probably used for storage.
Unlike the other royal tombs at Umm el-Qa’ab, Khasekhemwi’s tomb has two entrances, one in the north, the other in the south.

Among the finds in this tomb are several ointment jars made of stone with a golden lid, a pitcher, a bronze basin and a 60 cm. long ceremonial sceptre made of highly polished beads, copper and gold. The delicate make of the sceptre suggests that it was intended for ritual purposes, perhaps, even, just to be buried along with the king. 

One of the golden rimmed stone ointment jars found in Khasekhemwi’s tomb, now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Source: Zahi Hawass, Inside the Egyptian Museum with Zahi Hawass, The American University in Cairo Press, 2010.

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017