The Valley of the Kings
Located in the West Bank of Luxor, ancient Thebes during the Pharaonic times, the Valley of the Kings is perhaps the most impressive necropolis of ancient Egypt.
Since ancient times, the Pharaohs believed that they were to resurrect after their death. This was a big part of their religious belief.
They used to mummify their deceased and bury them in impressive tombs. They also used to have all their important belongings enclosed with them in order to use them in the afterlife.
At the beginning of the 11th century BC, the kings of the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt.
starting by the Pharaohs of the 18th dynasty began digging their tombs deep inside the mountains of the valley that was later called the Valley of the Kings.
The Valley of the Kings now includes more than 60 tombs. However, almost half of this number is usually closed due to the extensive restoration of the tombs.
Moreover, excavation missions are still going on in the Valley of the Kings and new discoveries are announced every year.
Historians assert that the kings of the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt carried out extensive researches to choose the best location for their new necropolis.
Nevertheless, they chose the exact location for various reasons.
The first reason is that the natural attributes of the Theban mountain enabled them to brilliantly hide their tombs in unexpected places in order to protect them against robberies.
However, this scheme of the ancient Egyptian largely failed as almost all the tombs were robbed in various periods of Egyptian history.
The only exception is the tomb of Tut Ankh Amun, the famous young Pharaonic king whose tomb was discovered intact in 1922 by Howard Carter as the most important archeological finding of the 20th century.
The main other reason behind the choice of the location of the Valley of the Kings was due to the pyramid-shaped top of the main mountain located there.
The Pharaohs used to believe that the pyramid shape is of significant importance.
They believed it is the beginning of life and the end of their afterlife.
François Champollion, the famous French scientist who was able to discover the meaning of the hieroglyphics language, named this ancient royal necropolis the Valley of the Kings when he visited the site in 1821.
However, the one to be credited with much of the studies of the Valley of the Kings was the British archeologist, John Wilkinson, when he surveyed all the tombs and numbered them as “KV” Kings Valley in 1827.
The most significant feature of the Valley of the Kings and all the other ancient Egyptian tombs is the marvelous colorful wall paintings that represent many aspects of the Pharaonic methodology of the afterlife.
Many tombs at the Valley of the Kings contain many wonderful paintings mainly protracting the owner of the tomb representing the offerings to god and in many other daily life scenes as well.
Perhaps the most interesting tomb of the Valley of the Kings is that of Tut Ankh Amun.
Although it is the smallest tomb at the valley, the wall paintings and the story of its discovery make it one of the most remarkable tombs in the Valley of the Kings admired by all travelers who enjoy their vacation in Egypt and spend a couple of days in Luxor.
Other interesting tombs recommended to be explored by travelers who tour Egypt is that of Ramses VI with its impressive walls paintings, Ramses I with its distinctive blue paintings, Ramses VI with its complex decorations and ornaments, and the tomb of Tuthmosis III.