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the valley of the kings


No photography is allowed beyond the entrance gate of the valley and these images are from the public domain.  There is actually very little to see above ground, it's secrets lie beneath.........

The Valley of the Kings, or 'The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes' as it was known in ancient times, is situated on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (modern day Luxor).  It's really two valleys - East valley, which contains the majority of Royal tombs and the West valley.

The idea of pyramid tombs had been abandoned by the Theban rulers - robberies being one principal reason, and the valley was chosen as an appropriate area to excavate tombs into the limestone, under the shadow of impressive cliffs.  The tallest peak, Al Qurn, is shaped naturally as a pyramid.  It was thought to be easily guarded but all the tombs, including that of King Tutankhamen have been plundered.  When his tomb was first broken into in 1922, the discoverer looked through a small hole and said he could see "a mountain of gold."   As Tutankhamen was a relatively minor King, imagine what riches the other tombs must have contained before being robbed.




The Valley of the Kings was used for royal burials from approximately 1539 BC to 1075 BC, and contains at least 63 tombs ranging from a simple one chamber affair, to a complex tomb with 120 chambers.  Most consist of a downward sloping tunnel through one or more chambers to the final burial chamber.  The walls are decorated and painted with scenes of Egyptian mythology which give clues to the beliefs and funerary rituals of this period.














Burial chamber murals.


     Mummy of King Tutankhamen.


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