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.
Tut-Ankh-Amun Tomb (now permanently closed) is near Merenptah tomb, which we visited.
The tomb was discovered by the English Lord Carter under the tomb of Ramses VI.
Actually it was discovered by mistake: inside Ramses VI's funeral room was an opening going down to Tut-Ankh-Amun's tomb, the only one found intact.
All the items found in the tomb, except a sarcophagus and the Tut-Ankh-Amun's mummy, were moved to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
It's interesting that Tut-Ankh-Amun is well-known in history because of his wealthy and not because of his personal accomplishments.
The entrance fee is 20.00 LE per person. It includes visiting of 3 tombs. My advice - get 2 tickets and visit 6 tombs. Tickets for Tutankhamun`s tomb are separate and entrance fee is 40.00 LE per person.
If you want take photographs inside you'll need very sensitive film (for night shoots) because flash is not permitted. Or you can be only group (very small) in that tomb and guardian can “close his eyes” for couple of shoots. We give him at the end some “baksheesh” :)
p.s. don't tell his boss for this :)
This tomb was not suffered flood-water damage and paintings are preserved.
Thutmes IV, 1419-1386 B.C.
Son of Amenhetep II and the Royal Wife Tia'a, Thutmes IV claimed in the so-called “Dream Stela” at Giza that he had been made pharaoh because he obeyed the wish of the god Horemakhet by clearing sand away from the body of the Great Sphinx (which represented that god). This is a fiction, of course, probably meant to satisfy religious aspects of New Kingdom kingship.
Thutmes IV was not active militarily and there are fewer military officials during his reign than in his predecessors’. There was, however, a very large civil and religious bureaucracy. His building activities mainly involved adding to existing temples, but he constructed a small mud-brick temple for himself on the West Bank at Thebes immediately south of the Ramesseum, and an Egyptian alabaster shrine at Karnak, now reconstructed in the Karnak Open-Air Museum.
His tomb was unfinished at the time of his death.
One of the absolute must see's in Luxor is Valley of the Kings... and as such, it obviously gets scads and scads of tourists. (see picture of the wave of humanity walking up the hill...)
Admission is 20 EP, I believe, which will allow you entry into three of the tombs of your choosing. (I saw Ramses III, Ramses VI, and Merneptah (one of Ramses II sons))
If you want to go see King Tut's tomb it is a separate ticket for an additional 40 EP.
It is a shame though you can no longer take pictures inside the tombs... The artwork that adorn the walls of these tombs is just amazing.
Although not all the tombs are always open to visitors, the more interesting ones usually are.
We visited three tombs, Ramses IX (KV6 - 20th Dynasty), Merenptah (KV8) and Ramses IV (KV2 - 20th Dynasty) assigned by the ticketing office according to the number of visitors.
The tombs are electrically lighted and give a more impressive image, exposing more of the artistic detail.
If your legs and lungs can manage the steep long climb up the wooden steps to the tomb near the top of the cliff, it is interesting to see the simple decoration of the pharaoh called the Napoleon of Egypt. He inherited the throne from his father when only a child. His stepmother and wife Hatchepsut acted as Regent and eventually claimed the title of Pharaoh. When Tuthmosis reached manhood and took over the reins of government he proved himself the best soldier king Egypt ever had. In spite of this his tomb decorations are so simple, stick figures, rather like the hieratic hieroglyphics..
The main photo shows a representation of the layout of the tomb.
So far the valley has 62 discovered tombs. The last one was the Tutankhamun one.
The ticket allows to visit only three toms, for the Tutankhamun one it is needed to pay LE40 more.
I visited the Seti ll tomb. This is the only tomb with a mummy inside.
My second tomb was Tausert - Setnakht. There are some drawings with front faces, somethig weird on Egypcian art (the 3rd dimension). Planets, flying people...
The third tomb was Ramesses lll tomb. It was one of the most beautiful and biggest.
I visited also the Tutankhamon Tomb. It was funny because we were only two persons inside, myself and my girlfriend and a guy show us the tomb as "ilegal guide" at the end he asked for a tip...
The most famous Egyptian pharaoh today is, without doubt, Tutankhamun.
The story of Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of the young-king Tutankhamun on the 4th of November in 1922 is well known - it was the first time when a unrobbered royal tomb had been found. Of course, the tomb robbers had visited this tomb, but they only had been hurriedly "restored the order".
There are a lot of stories about Tutankhamun and The Curse of Tutankhamun.
Who knows where is the truth???
Entrance: 70,- LE
NO photo or video
We visited the Valley of the Kings in deep afternoon, in fact we were the last group. So, there were no crowds of tourists :-) And the heat wasn't so heavy as in the middle of the day. We wisited 3 tombs (as all tourists) - in reality i doesn't remember whose tombs these were... :-) But these tombs were beautiful.
Next time when i will be here, i wil spend longer time and try to wisit not only 3, but much more tombs. :-)
Entrance: 55,- LE (you can visit 3 tombs); students: 30,-LE
Tomb of Tutankhamun: 70,-LE (there isn't possible to make photos or film)
Photo: 5,-LE (each tomb)