All you need to know about the Valley of the Kings in Ancient Egypt

Explore the Valley of the Kings

In a world governed by the rules of the afterlife, ancient Egyptians gave much importance to their burial places. Looking like a boring, rocky gorge from the outside, the Valley of the Pharaohs hides its gold and charm underneath! The visitors, upon their arrival at the valley, are rewarded with its awe-inspiring inscriptions and astonishing chambers. Be one of them, and let’s tour the Valley of the Kings!

Where is the Valley of the Pharaohs?

A brilliant architect and an order from the king, that’s how the whole necropolis was carved! King Thutmose I entrusted engineer Ineni with the task of finding an isolated area to bury his body. Ineni has made it clear that he’s up to the task by finding the most suitable site! A few kilometers or so from the Theban people, the steep cliff stood out as a strategic burial place. The land of the dead, barren and steaming hot! Ineni rested assured that the valley’s land wouldn’t be populated later on. The dry area had nothing to offer to living souls, no overflowing waters or irrigated lands.

Being surrounded by villages and temples, the valley is hidden away from the thieves searching for treasures. The ancient valley site crystalized the Egyptian’s traditions and beliefs with its triangular-shaped summit. The Qurn mountain associates with the pyramids’ shape that stands for the sun god Re. The steep sides of the triangle represent the sun rays, guiding the royals to ascend to heaven and meet god Ra. Tucked away in the bedrocks wearing the cloak of invisibility, the Valley of the Pharaohs stood!

How were the great tombs of the Valley of the Kings built?

Limestone encompassed the whole valley as its texture made it easy for the workers to carve into it. The whole sum of tombs was sculpted into the valley. For every grave, a grand long passageway was dug deep in the valley. Walking to its end, a chamber was carved where the royals were kept. With colors and inscriptions, the walls of the tombs came to life! Limestone was the best canvas to draw on, absorbing colors and illuminating them to the world.

Being accustomed to ancient Egyptians’ mysteries, people still wonder how the valley was curved in secrecy. A theory assumes that captives were used in the building process. After which, they were killed to make sure the secret stays put. Well, it seems that pharaohs were behind the famous saying “If I told you, I’d have to kill you!”

The valley of the Kings discovery

The valley’s discovery dates back to the eighteenth century. The archeologists, who conducted the expeditions under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, were the first to outline maps for the tombs. A decade later comes Giovanni Belzoni and John Gardner Wilkinson. Their explorations indicate that twenty-five shrines were easily found in the valley as they were accessible since ancient times. Wilkinson numbered the twenty-one tombs in an ascending order starting from the entrance of the valley in the South towards the East.

Belzoni, in the time frame of 1816 to 1817, dug deep in the valley to find more vaults. Successfully, he managed to unleash the dust on eight more tombs, bringing them to the light. Giovanni Belzoni awarded us with his discovery of the astounding Seti I burial place. The cathedral-like tomb depicts the great artistic touch of the ancient Egyptians mingled with their abilities to carve out inscriptions on the walls. Paving the way to the afterlife, the grave’s walls tell interesting stories and sing enchanting melodies. Watch out for the Books of the Dead and pick up your ears to listen to the Litany of Ra. Feel free to put on your headphones and listen to the hymns for a ceremonial afterlife experience!

More and more explorers sought the glory of finding crypts themselves. In the late 19th century, Victor Loret increased the un-ending list of the tombs with another sixteen. As a cherry on top, he even found a treasure of buried royal mummies, including king Amenhotep III, Rameses IV, Rameses V, and many others.

One of the most rewarding explorations was led by Theodore M. Davis in his significant thirteen-season-long expedition. The prominent work was conducted by a team of excavators, who discovered a sum of thirty-five shrines in the valley. One of the team members was Howard Carter. Carter made it to fame by discovering the long-lost tomb of Tutankhamen. A brilliant work of art that has been staying in the dark for too long! The glorious tomb became the most celebrated finding in the valley.

The antediluvian valley continues to draw amazement on our faces in modern times. Recently, Dr. Zahi Hawass led an expedition in the West Valley and discovered a new tomb. The work is still going in the West, so be prepared for more looming souls and creeping monuments!

How big is the Valley of the Kings?

The great valley of Kings Information encompasses a huge number of monuments and treasures. Stretching over one thousand feet, the valley extends to the East and West of the cliff. Tourists mostly travel to the East-side of the valley as it contains a larger sum of discovered tombs. The other valley lies quietly in the west with less frequented visitors! If you’re a dedicated fan, though, for king Amenhotep III or Ay, pay a visit to the West Valley. The two royal kings wait for you there in their Halloween skeleton costumes!

Peek inside the hidden Valley of the Pharaohs!

The bewitching valley didn’t leave its strong impression on us only! Apparently, all kings were struck by its concealed preface to build their burials there. There is a number of sixty-four shrine in the valley, varying from royal to private tombs. Ranging in size, the shrines could be a small room or pit graves. If you’re wealthy enough, mainly a king, book your huge burial chamber with over one-hundred corridors to store your golden treasures. Unknown; is the main theme of half of the graves in the valley! With no decorations or treasures, some of the found tombs haven’t made it clear on who is buried in them.

The extended generations of King Rameses have gathered themselves in line at the valley! Neighboring each other, the first seven tombs belong to them. Most of Rameses II’s sons are buried in the 5th area in the valley, revealing an enormous tomb that is still under excavation. So far, the tomb revealed a number of 120 chambers and it is expected to increase with further explorations. Either way, the valley has booked you a long day ahead, full of adventure among the tombs. So, bring your map along and explore the royal graves!

Ready for a voyage to the afterlife?

An ancient feel lingers through the valley’s air! Cramped with history and art, the valley will add a mystic touch to your journey at Luxor. For a more fascinating encounter with ancient Egyptians, why don’t you pay a visit to the Karnak temple? The Karnak Sound and Light show is your chance to witness the Pharaohs in action! Please your senses with the stories of triumphs and achievements by attending the enchanting show.