The Valley of the Kings is a canyon and a place of death, where nothing grows on the steep cliffs and it gets scorching hot - even in winter when we were there!
The valley is home to around 20 tombs - the final resting place of ancient pharaohs. It is here that the tomb of the famous pharaoh Tutankhamun can be found.
From the car park you can catch a Tuf Tuf (small road train) up to the entrance of the tomb area.
On our visit we had the chance to go into 3 tombs, and they were all spectacular inside - the walls/ceilings were covered with coloured paintings and hieroglyphs, carved into the walls.
Make sure you bring some water with you - it gets pretty hot and crowded inside some of the tombs. Oh, and no photos can be taken inside to protect the coloured hieroglyphs.
It is hard to explain how impressive it is - you will have to see it for yourself!
The real treasures here are the tombs themselves! This is the Valley of the Kings, but note that there is also a Valley of the Queens (I actually saw the Valley of the Queens first before the Kings).
Some are tombs are still under excavation, but looting has desecrated a lot of the tombs. Of course, the most memorable for me is the tomb of King Tut as I have seen movies and documentaries about this tomb several times before. It's like you can still feel the presence of Howard Carter who discovered it. I should have worn khakis to really get into the mood....hehehe
There is an eerie feeling with every tomb you enter as they were built to resemble the Underworld. The name of the Pharaoh for whom the tomb was built is marked well, but you need a really good memory to remember them all!
Be sure to go to the spectacular tomb of Ramses VI --- the wall and ceiling paintings are spectacular! As for the others, I can't remember whose tomb it was, but just be aware that each tomb looks so different and sizes also differ. Actually, Tut's Tomb was very small compared to others and there was a small fee to enter it because of the number of people who want to go in.
The Valley of the Kings (VoK) is a must-visit. By now, you probably know what to expect here - pharaonic tombs to your heart's content. A few practical tips on visiting VoK:
1) Best time to visit would be early afternoon (around 1-2 pm) when most tourists wouldn't want to venture under soaring temps. Suicidal? Not really. That would be the time when tombs have least number of visitors, when you can have them all to yourself, like me. Don't fret, there are shaded areas and the tombs are well ventilated inside-actually felt cooler inside the tombs.
2) Take some time to view the 3D fiberglass model of the site at the entrance - this gives a feel of the lay of the land, as well as clues on what to expect, and help you plan which tombs would be most fun to view.
3) Rethink plan to see Tutankhamun's tomb - most of the artifacts had been moved to the Egyptian Museum, so the empty tomb may not justify the extra fees , which you pay on top of the standard EGP 70 fee (good for 3 tombs).
4) Don't miss Tuthmosis III's tomb - one the earliest to be built, it's the least accessible, and the most fun to visit-you climb a steep hill, cross a steep ravine to the entrance, from where you descend several meters below ground, crossing a deep shaft built to entrap ancient robbers. Sounds complicated? Try it yourself and you'll know what I mean. Warning: not for the faint of heart!
5) Forget what guidebooks say about bringing water - in this most tourism-corrupted town in the world, price of bottled water should be pretty much the same everywhere. Bringing water would not only be cumbersome, water would also be useless after being exposed to the sun. You can buy water at the stores located beside the main visitors' area at the entrance.
6) Respect regulations on taking photos - being alone inside the tombs, I could have switched to my shutter-happy mode, but chose not to (taking pictures inside is not allowed). The paintings are in a delicate condition and any measure to preserve them should be encouraged.
Happy tomb viewing!
The current examination revealed that Tut's head is the only well preserved part of the whole mummy, while the rest of the body is in a very bad condition as a result of Carter's attempts to remove Tut's famous golden mask from the mummy's face.
As a work of art the painted wooden figure shown here stands out among the whole contents of Tutankhamum's tomb. It represents the infant sun god at the moment of birth emerging from the blue lotus.
The features and the shape of the elongated skull (the profile) is very close to Amarana princesses, who may have been his half-sisters.
Rumors and theories have circulated about Tut's untimely death ever since Howard Carter discovered his tomb in 1922. X-rays taken in 1968 and 1978 added to the debate. Now high-resolution CT images would probe the mysteries of this pharaoh who ruled more than 3,300 years ago.
The mummy of the young king Tut Ankh Amun was carefully removed from the sarcophagus for the CT-Scan.
As soon as the scanning was done, the resulting images revealed an important clue about the pharaoh's death: His skull was intact, putting to rest a popular theory that a blow to the back of his head killed him. In the weeks following the scan, experts from Egypt and Europe scrutinized Tut from every angle by computer. They concluded that he was a normal, healthy, well-fed young man who was about 19 when he died. Although some on the team thought he had broken his left leg just above the knee, which might have led to a deadly infection, they couldn't be sure. So what—or who—killed King Tut remains an unsolved mystery, at least until further study.
Ref. National Geography.
It graves, which is the kings and queens modern state Bnanha underground rock in this valley to be safe from tampering thieves .. It consists of several rooms and driving a burial chamber. Out of the sixty two tombs known to this day in the Valley of the Kings, only about twenty actually sheltered pharaohs : indeed, many were abandoned because the workmen came up against unsuitable rock formations. Some were only undecorated corridors with little rooms in the back, while others were used for various members of the royal family.
Among the royal tombs, fifteen are generally open to the public even though several of them may temporarily be closed for restoration works, rendered increasingly necessary both by the influx of a considerable crowd of tourists upsetting by their very presence
The most important of these graves
Cemetery Tutankhamen [[it needs extra ticket to enter other than the ticket that you get for main 3 tombs.the cost of the ticket is 70LE until the date i write this tip]]
Cemetery Ramses III
City cemetery first
Cemetery Ramses VI
Mcypr Amnanb II
Cemetery Thutmose III
In King Tut's burial chamber a team of archaeologists and technicians examines the gilded wooden lid of the teenage pharaoh's outer coffin after removing the monumental quartzite sarcophagus, so Tut can be lifted out and scanned by computed tomography (CT). Then workers carried the mummy—cradled in a shallow wooden box—to a specially equipped trailer parked just outside the rock-cut subterranean tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
In the background are wall-paintings of the rituals of death.
The Valley of Kings was the secet burial place of Middle and New Kingdom Pharaohs. The sight contains 64 known tombs and undoubtly many more are near by that have not yet been discovered. All the tombs except one (King Tut's) was robbed and contain no grave goods. However most of them include magnificent freizes, many of which preserve the original colors despite 3,000 years of aging. Unfortunately no photography is allowed in the tombs so I can not show you. It is believed that this particular site was chosen for the necropolis due to the natural Pyramidal shape of the adjoining mountain.
We purchased a separate ticket to see the tomb of Tutankhamun, which now costs 70 LE (7 GBP).
The tomb was discovered on 4th November 1922 by the English archaeologist, Howard Carter. This was the only tomb at Thebes that had not been pillaged and still contained most of it’s treasures, which are now at the Egyptian museum in Cairo. Tutankhamun ascended the throne in 1333 BC, when he was only nine. During his ninth year of reign, he was assassinated. As it was an unexpected death, the chamber does not have much wall decoration, except in the burial chamber. Despite this, it is an amazing sight to see, and we were lucky enough to be there on our own, something I did not expect.
All cameras must be left with attendant at the top of the stairs to the tomb.
Tut's skull revived using 3D graphics inserting several layers on the image of the physical mummy, according to which this bust has been sculptured by Elisabeth Daynès.
It is an imagination, but not the image; since the young king's images are available already.
I do feel that the scientitsts kept here the Tal-El-Amarna influence in mind, mainly the heads of Queen Nefertiti.
For around 500 years, some of Egypt’s most famous pharaohs were buried in tombs in the Valley of the Kings. There are 21 tombs in the Valley of the Kings of pharaohs who reigned during the 18th - 20th dynasties. Previous pharaohs had been buried in pyramids which proved too easy to rob. Theban pharaohs believed that their future life depended on keeping their mummies and goods intact, therefore, tombs were built into rock. Despite all security precautions, all the royal tombs except one were emptied of their goods during the centuries. It is still possible to see all of the beautiful hieroglyphics and paintings in the tombs illustrating the afterlife.
You can reach the Valley of the Kings, either by taxi, as we did, or by hiring your own bike or on a tour. Tickets can be purchased either at the ticket office near the Colossi of Memnon, not far from the ferry dock, or there is a ticket office close to the entrance to the Valley of the Kings.
Important: all prices for sights went up since beginning of November 2004, so many other VT pages prices will now be too low. It now costs 55 LE (5.50GBP) to see 3 tombs, excluding the tomb of Tutankhamun, which is purchased separately, just before entry to the Valley.
Opposite of Luxor on the west Bank of the Nile in the lybian mountains lie the tombs of the Pharaos of the New Kingdom (between 1400 a.c. until 1000 a.c).
63 Tombs (of 64) have been found until today.
The oldest one is the tomb of Thutmosis I, the most famous one will be the one of Tut Enk Amun, discovered by Howard Carter and haunted by a curse ... so they say.
The most beautiful one will be the tomb of Nefretiti, but if you want to visit this you must be lucky - the number of visitors per day is limited - and you have to pay more than the normal 20 EP (visit of 3 tombs included).
Be prepared for the visit. The valley of the kings can get boiling hot (40 degrees Celsius in the shadow and more) and surprisingly it is not really cooler inside the tombs. Bring enough water and a hat.
The number of visitors is also astounding. When we were it was around 40´000 visitors per day - and this was not the high season that starts in November! When you go in high season you will have to wait about 1/2 an hour before you enter any tomb.
It has the shortest entrance corridor in the valley. It has a single almost square burial chamber, containing the King’s pink granite sarcophagus. Ramses I died suddenly. The chamber is the only part of the tomb that is nicely decorated. It is interesting to note the different phases of the work, in the uncompleted corridor.
Rameses I, 1293-1291 B.C.
Paramessu, as Rameses I was called before being crowned pharaoh, was the son of a troop commander, Sety, from the eastern Delta town of Avaris. He rose rapidly through the ranks of the military and was eventually appointed vizier. After a brief period as “Deputy of His Majesty in Upper and Lower Egypt,” meaning that he was an informal co-regent with Horemhab, Paramessu was crowned king and changed his name to Rameses I. His reign was a short one, less than two years. But during that time, he added to the decoration of the Second Pylon at Karnak, built additions to the Nubian garrison at Buhen, re-opened long-closed turquoise mines in Sina, and led at least one military expedition into western Asia.
Rameses I married Sitra, the daughter of an army officer, and she bore him a son whom they named after Rameses I’s father, Sety. Sety succeeded Rameses I as the pharaoh Sety I.
Rameses I was buried in the Valley of the Kings in KV 16, a small tomb reminiscent in plan and layout of Dynasty 18 royal tombs.
The Valley of the Kings (ancient Thebes) lies about 7km from the Nile on the west bank and is one of the most amazing discoveries made in Egypt.
Here is the place where bodies of Tutankhamoun, Ramses II, Ramses IV, Tutmose III and many other kings once lay.
It is said that the Pharaoh Tutmose I decided to build this kind of burial ground due to the frequent tomb rubbings.
Inside the tombs inscriptions from the Book for the Dead provided instructions for how the Pharaoh may have a safe trip to the next world and how to avoid the dangers that lay on the way.
The tombs in the Valley of the Kings belong to the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Families.
Here are 62 tombs, including some small tombs which are not considered royal.