The Valley of the Kings is hidden away in an arid rocky valley; it is one of the most fascinating burial places on earth and one of the greatest archaeological sitesin the world. Here the pharaohs were buried in opulence and splendour. The burial chambers were exquisitely decorated with images on the walls and ceilings of the afterlife. Treasures were left in the tombs so the pharaohs could live in the afterlife much as they had on earth, in luxury.
Sadly, little is left of the mummified remains of either the pharaohs or their treasures today. Bodies of the pharaohs were hidden away in the valley only for robbers to get there long before most archaeologists thousands of years later.
Each tomb was built in a similar fashion, with long corridors leading to an antechamber, or a series of pillared halls which would culminate in a burial chamber.Each tomb however, had its own unique differences, which setit apart from the others. Scenes from the afterlife on the walls and ceilings were taken from books on the afterlife such as Amduat, Litany of Re, and the Book of the Dead, guides which were followed religiously. They also served as instructions for the Kings so they would be able to follow the correct protocol when meeting the various Gods and Goddesses in the afterlife.
Due to continuous pillaging of the tombs, by the nineteenth century many tombs were empty, however Howard Carter would go on to discover what would be one of the most famous finds in archaeology, the undiscovered tomb of Tutankhamen. His tomb is one of the most popular, but his treasures are now held in the Egyptian museum in Cairo with only the granite sarcophagus left within the tomb itself.
To date 63 tombs have been discovered in the valley and they are too many to mention here, however some of the most famous pharaohs in the valley are Tutankhamen, Tuthmose III,Amenhotep II, Tuthmose IV, Horemheb, Seti, Merenptah, Ramesses III, Ramesses IV, Ramesses VI, Ramesses IX
Tickets cannot be bought on the site but there is a ticket office in the West Bank where they can be purchased near the Colossi of Memnon. One ticket will give you access to three tombs, if you wish to visit more you will need to purchase another ticket. Tickets to Tutankhamen are sold separately,and you will need to buy one for this as well as the other tombs if you wish to visit. There is a small train to take you to the first tomb, you also may find that not all tombs are open to the public; some will be closed for various reasons. The most popular tombs will involve queuing and most of them will include descending down some steep stairs,and as you get deeper into the chambers it will get considerably hotter.It is therefore advised to wear sensible shoes and some drinking water is a must. Water can be purchased at a stall near the entrance to the valley and it would be best to arrive early as the sun gets extremely hot towards midday.
The tombs are best visited in chronological order as this way you can see the development of techniques over time
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