Necropolis of Thebes Things to Do

  • Offering Scenes
    Offering Scenes
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  • Dwellings at Deir el Medina
    Dwellings at Deir el Medina
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  • Village of Deir el Medina
    Village of Deir el Medina
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Best Rated Things to Do in Necropolis of Thebes

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    Tomb of Sety II

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 26, 2007

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    As the second of my three tombs I chose the tomb of Sety II which has the number KV15.

    The entrance to KV 15, like that of his wife Tausert (KV14), is cut directly into the vertical cliff face at the head of the branch valley running southwest from the main valley.
    The entrance to the tomb was cut into the cliff with projecting rubble-built side walls. These walls were smoothed over with a layer of white plaster, as elsewhere in the tomb.
    Maximum height: 3.5 m
    Mininum width: 2.17 m
    Maximum width: 8.06 m
    Total length: 88.65 m
    Total area: 298.11 m²
    Total volume: 816.53 m³
    I suppose my choice was good because I was alone in the tomb, nobody bothered me and I could watch the drawings attentively.

    You may examine this tomb here.

    Valley of the Kings - Tomb of Sety II Valley of the Kings - Tomb of Sety II
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    Tomb of Ramesses II

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 26, 2007

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    According to your ticket you may choose 3 tombs among 62 tombs in the valley. Most of tourists usually go to the Tomb KV7 because it is one of the firsts. I’ve made the same. Now I think it was not the best choice because it was almost overcrowded with tourists.

    Tomb KV7 in the Valley was the final resting place of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II ("Ramesses the Great"). It is located in the main valley, opposite the tomb of his sons, KV5, and near to the tomb of his son and successor, Merenptah, KV8.
    KV7 follows the bent-axis plan of tombs. The burial chamber has a sunken central area and a vaulted ceiling. Much of the decoration has been damaged beyond repair – its section of the Valley is particularly susceptible to flash floods.
    KV7 is one of the largest tombs in the Valley. Three sloping corridors lead to a well chamber and a pillared chamber with two side chambers. A central descent and two corridors lead to another chamber.

    Maximum height: 5.82 m
    Mininum width: 0.74 m
    Maximum width: 13.06 m
    Total length: 168.05 m
    Total area: 868.4 m²
    Total volume: 2286.43 m³

    You may examine this tomb here .

    Valley of the Kings - Tomb of Ramesses II
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    Tomb of Tausert and Setnakht

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 26, 2007

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    As the third of my three tombs I chose the tomb of Tausert and Setnakht which has the number of KV14.

    The tomb entrance of KV14 is cut into the base of the cliff face at the end of the southwest branch of the main valley. The short open entryway is followed by three corridors decorated in sunken relief with scenes of the queen and her son.
    Maximum height: 6.01 m
    Minimum width: 0.89 m
    Maximum width: 13.31 m
    Total length: 158.41 m
    Total area: 628.55 m²
    Total volume: 2128.83 m³

    The tomb was fully at my disposal and I walked there alone.
    You may examine this tomb here .

    Tomb of Tausert and Setnakht
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    Tomb of Tutankhamun

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 26, 2007

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    Tomb KV62 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings is the Tomb of Tutankhamun. It became famous for the wealth of treasure it contained. The tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. He underneath the remains of workmen's huts built during the Ramesside Period. This explains why it was spared from the worst of the tomb depredations of that period.

    The tomb was densely packed with items, but they were in great disarray. Carter was able to photograph garlands of flowers, which disintegrated when touched. Due to the state of the tomb, and to Carter's meticulous recording technique, the tomb took nearly a decade to empty, the contents all being transported to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

    It is often said that Tutankhamun's tomb was never violated, but this is not true. In fact, it was entered at least twice, and not long after he was buried. There is clear evidence that the sealed doors were breached in the upper corners, and later resealed. It is estimated that 60% of the jewellery which had been stored in the so-called "Treasury" was removed (in my opinion 60% were added!).
    You have to buy an additional ticket to enter this tomb. I didn’t make it. I was full of my three tombs. You may be not agreeing with me? Come on!

    You may examine this tomb here .

    Tomb of Tutankhamun
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    Valley of the Queens

    by MM212 Updated Feb 23, 2008

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    Situated to the south of the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens was first used as a burial place for some princes and members of the royal family during the 18th Dynasty. It was not until the Ramesside period that this valley became the chosen burial place for the wives of the Pharaohs, most notably Queen Nefertari. Although smaller and less elaborate than the Valley of the Kings, the tombs are nevertheless impressive. Only three tombs are open to visitors, so this valley is usually skipped by tour groups, making it a much more pleasant experience than the overcrowded Valley of the Kings.

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    Tombs of the Nobles

    by MM212 Updated Feb 23, 2008

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    Often referred to as the Valley of the Nobles, this necropolis is not much of a valley. It is located on the lower slopes of the Theban desert hills facing the Nile Valley and is made up of a couple of large areas around the town of Old Gurna (Assasif, Old Gurna and Dra Abu'l Naga). This necropolis was the burial place for high officials and notables during the New Kingdom. Although their number exceeds royal ones (over 400), these tombs are much less elaborate, not only because they were not made for royals, but also the poor quality of the limestone in this area. Most of the tombs are painted with vivid colours and scenes. Many of these tombs are open to the public.

    Tombs of the Nobles towering above Old Gurna Tombs in the cliffs Dra Abu'l Naga Tombs Assasif Tombs
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    The Colossi of Memnon

    by MM212 Updated Feb 4, 2008

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    The twin Colossi of Memnon once guarded the entrance of the mortuary temple of the 18th Dynasty pharoah, Amenhotep III. They were named "Memnon" by early Greek travellers who associated them with the son of Aurora. However, the statues are of Amenhotep III (accompanied by his mother in one and his wife in another) who, like other pharaohs of the new kingdom, built his mortuary temple in the Necropolis of Thebes (around 1350 BC). The two giant statues, measuring 23 metres in height, are all that remains of the temple. Amenhotep III is best known for the construction of the Temple of Luxor on the eastern bank of the Nile. For tourists today, the impressive colossi are frequently the first stop along a journey through the mortuary temples and tombs of the western bank of Thebes

    The Colossi of Memnon
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    Deir el-Bahri

    by MM212 Updated Feb 29, 2008

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    With desert cliffs towering above, Deir el-Bahri is the most dramatic of all temples in Thebes. In fact, it is a complex of mortuary temples and chapels built by several pharoahs from the Middle and New Kingdoms in the Necropolis of Thebes near the edge of the fertile valley. Its name, Deir el-Bahri, derives from the Christian monastery that was established within one of the temples in later periods (deir means monastery). The most famous and best preserved structure in the complex is the Temple of Hatshepsut, the first woman Pharaoh who ruled Egypt for 21 years during the 18th Dynasty (15th century BC). Hatshepsut is depicted as a man in her own mortuary temple as a show of strength - powerful enough to rule as a man!

    More photos are shown in my tips and in the travelogue: Deir el-Bahri - Temple of Hatshepsut.

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    Valley of the Artisans

    by MM212 Written Feb 7, 2008

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    The community of artisans who dedicated their life to the construction and decoration of nearby royal tombs in the Necropolis of Thebes resided in this small valley. Overtime, a sizeable village - now referred to as Deir el-Medina - developed specifically for the artisans and their families. It was uncovered by archeologists and is one of the few residential areas remaining intact from the Pharaonic period. Much like their royal superiors, these artisans were equally obsessed with the afterlife and utilised their advanced skills to build for themselves and their families simple, yet highly ornate, tombs in and around their village of Deir el-Medina. On the surface, the archeological area of Deir el-Medina looks like a Pompei of Ancient Egypt, except the painted walls and frescoes are found in tombs rather than in villas!

    Pyramidal Tomb in Valley of the Artisans
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    Madinet Habu

    by MM212 Updated Mar 1, 2008

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    Referred to as Madinet Habu, this temple complex is the largest in Western Thebes and second only to the Complex of Karnak in size. The complex is made up several temples and structures built by various Pharaohs, but the largest and most dominant is the Funerary Temple of Ramses III, a 20th Dynasty Pharaoh. Modelled after the Ramesseum, his funerary temple was built in the 12th century BC and records his victories in battle against the Libyans. The Temple owes its excellent state of preservation to its conversion into a Christian church/monastery in later periods. Despite its great condition, grand size, and fantastic decorations, Madinet Habu is often skipped by tourist groups. All the better for the independent travellers who do visit, as it makes our experience much more pleasant.

    For more photos, check out further tips, and also my travelogue: Madinet Habu - Temple of Ramses III

    Temple of Ramses III - First Pylon
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    Valley of the Kings

    by MM212 Updated Feb 7, 2008

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    Hidden behind the barren desert cliffs of the west bank of the Nile, the Valley of the Kings was the burial place for many of Ancient Egypt's kings. Although some kings were buried here as early as 2100 BC, it was not until the 18th Dynasty around 1500 BC that the Valley of the Kings gained its importance. Successive Pharaohs, including the famous Tutankhamun and Ramses, built elaborate tombs cut through the rocks and filled them with countless treasures for the afterlife. The choice of this hidden and largely inaccessible valley was deliberate to prevent tomb theft, but it also lay in the shadow of the symbolic al-Qurn mountain, which naturally looks like a pyramid. Visiting a couple of tombs in the Valley of the Kings is a must for any visitor to Luxor. Hopefully you are not with a tour group, in which case you will need to ensure that your taxi wait for you to take you to the next site.

    Entrance to one of the tombs Valley of the Kings Excavations continue Miniature Valley of the Kings
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    Valley of the Queens - Tomb of Prince Khaemwast

    by MM212 Updated Feb 25, 2008

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    Opened in 1903, the Tomb of Prince Khaemwast was the 44th tomb to be discovered in the Valley of the Queens. It is currently one of only three tombs open to visitors in this valley. Prince Khaemwast was a son of Ramses III and is thought to have died a teenager. His tomb is beautifully decorated with coloured sunken reliefs that are well preserved, despite pillaging and reuse of the tomb over history. Ramses III, his father, is depicted on the walls along with the young prince himself.

    Due to the prohibition on photography inside the tomb, I have no photos of the interior to share.

    Tomb of Prince Khaemwast
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    Valley of the Kings - Tomb of Thutmosis III

    by MM212 Updated Feb 21, 2008

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    Discovered by Victor Loret in 1898, the Tomb of Thutmosis III (also referred to as Thutmes III), the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh, was one of the first to be built in the Valley of the Kings. Thutmosis III, who ruled from 1479 to 1425 BC, chose the location of the tomb, hidden between high cliffs at the end of the Valley, deliberately to prevent tomb robberies. This did not work, however, as the tomb was robbed in later history. Upon modern discovery, mummies dating from the Ptolomaic period were found in the tomb, but that of the Pharaoh Thutmosis III himself was missing. In fact, his mummy had been found earlier in a cache of many royals mummies at Deir el-Bahri. The tomb is open to visitors, but beware, one must be in GREAT shape to be able to enter it, as its entrance is located up numerous steep steps. Once inside, one has to descend an equal height to reach the end of the tomb (see depiction in attached photo). The inner chambers are decorated with a register of various gods, though I have no photos of the interior to share due to the prohibition on photography which I dutifully respected.

    Note: Thutmosis is pronounced Too-hot-mossis".

    Tomb of Thutmosis III Many steps to climb to the entrance
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    Colossi Of Memnon...

    by coceng Updated Jul 7, 2005

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    One The Way :
    First, from Luxor take the boat or felluca; Cross The Nile & off from the boat at a small dock.
    Then, walk to Theban Necropolis !
    You could take a taxi if you don't want to talk as it's quite a distance from the boat dock anyway.
    The best sight along this road is :
    Colossi Of Memnon...

    Colossi Of Memnon, Theban Necropolis...
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    The Inscriptions...

    by coceng Updated Jul 7, 2005

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    On The Way :
    Spend a few minutes or so near The Colossi Of Memnon.
    There would be many tourists there as well; Just ignore them all & 'survey' the site.
    The photo is showing some inscriptions by the site of 'The Memnon...

    Colossi Of Memnon, Theban Necropolis...
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