The Valley of the Kings is located in the heart of a hill. It is the final resting place of the great pharaohs of Egypt’s new empire (1570-1070 BC). The extraordinary Valley of the Kings served as a royal cemetery for the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties of pharaohs and privileged nobles from the 16th to the 11th century BC.
The Valley is considered one of the most valuable monuments of the ancient world for its cultural and historical importance. It contains about 63 tombs and carved rock chambers that vary in size and are decorated with beautiful scenes from ancient Egyptian mythology and images of their daily life that provide information about their history, culture, and religious beliefs during this period, but unfortunately were the objects of many robberies by looters and tomb robbers.
Throughout history, this Valley has been a mecca for archaeological exploration since the late eighteenth century, and its tombs and burial sites continue to stimulate research and interest to this day. In 1979, it was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Location of the Valley of the Kings
It is located on the western bank of the Nile, opposite the modern city of Luxor in the center of the necropolis of Thebes. The highest point of the Theban hill has a pyramidal shape when viewed from the entrance to the valley, and therefore, some Egyptologists and archaeologists believe that it must have inspired their choice to become the Valley of the Kings. It is divided into the west valley and the east valley, where most of the royal tombs are located.
The History of the Valley of the Kings
The valley is home to the familiar names of ancient kings and queens, as it contains the remains of pharaohs such as Ramses (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, IX, X), Hatshepsut, Amenhotep I, and the famous young king Tutankhamun.
The first pharaoh buried in the Valley of the Kings was Thutmosis I, while the last pharaoh was Ramses X. It also contains powerful nobles, including their wives and children. Their tombs show the level of luxury that these pharaohs enjoyed and the writings on the wall detail much information about their lives.
The Most Famous Tombs of the Valley of the Kings
One of the most famous tombs in the Valley of the Kings is the Tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, sometimes called King Tut, which was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. The tomb of Tut is an exceptionally important discovery because the mummy of the young king was very intact.
The tomb was filled with incredible artifacts, including the fully preserved mummy of King Tut, a solid gold inner coffin, a chariot, the famous golden mask, and much more. The tomb contained several chambers, the most important being; the mortuary chamber and the treasure chamber.
The Tomb of Thutmose III is considered one of the oldest tombs and is located at the far end of the eastern valley. The burial chamber is oval and is decorated with impressive inscriptions and excellent figures.
The Tomb of Ramses III contains the famous paintings of two blind harpists, while the Tomb of King Amenhotep I teaches us that it was a common practice to build the tomb closer to the Nile River. This practice of separation is likely a move to avoid the looting of their final resting places and the destruction of their legacy.
The Tomb of Ramses VI has a magnificent mortuary chamber, whose ceiling is decorated with hieratic graffiti and images of the goddess of the sky Nut swallowing and giving birth to the sun.
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Check out our Egypt travel packages and choose your fantastic trip to Egypt to discover these wonderful archaeological sites and witness many other historical tourist attractions in Upper Egypt through a magical cruise on the Nile and its valley. Enjoy the vacation you deserve in the land of the pharaohs.