Ermak Travel Guide


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Location: Map

Used: 16th- 11th century BC

Tombs: 63

Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings







Description of the Valley of the Kings


The remote and barren Valley of the Kings was chosen for a necropolis by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom to offer better safety to their earthly remains. Since body preservation was an important part of Egyptian belief system Egyptian leaders wanted a safe place for their tombs. All of pyramids were robbed at some point at time during internal revolutions and invasions, so a new and permanent solutions had to be designed. The pharaohs of the new kingdom, starting with Thutmose I started building their tombs in a secret location in the Saqqara desert. Workers that actually dug their future graves were subsequently executed to keep the mystery of the valley hidden from the rest of the population. This plan did not work out as well as they hoped and only two tombs remained intact, one of Yuyi Tuji and infamous tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamen that was discovered 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. The last offered modern archaeologists and historians a particular reach source of information about life in the Ancient Egypt. Despite the fact that the tomb was constructed hastily due to unexpected death of a young pharaoh it still impressed discoverers with magnificent artefacts, statues, golden objects and other items. Unlike other tombs it lack any frescoes on the walls. Apparently there was no time for that. The tomb itself was broken in, but robbers were probably caught and subsequently killed. Anyhow the tomb was resealed soon thereafter.


The tomb of Seti I on contrast lacks any artefacts, but it is reach with bas- reliefs and frescoes. One of the most interesting features of his tomb is a burial chamber with a ceiling covered by a southern sky filled with many stars. Unlike the tomb of the Tutankhamen, the tomb of Seti is a large complex with many halls, stairways and galleries. Pharaohs had no pyramids, but it does not mean they did not want lavish houses for their after life.


The entrance to the tomb of Thutmose III is located about 30 meters above the valley's floor. Even these attempts to secure the contents did not save the grave from looters. The only thing that was not plundered is the pharaoh's sarcophagus. Apparently it was too heavy and bulky to carry away. The walls of the tomb are covered by scenes from the Book of the Dead. This guidebook of how to lie and cheat your way into heaven had to be memorized by Egyptians if they wanted to get to the better life.

The tomb of Amenophis II was plundered while the pharaohs were still in power. Apparently the old pharaoh suspected something is up in his troubled kingdom so he put nine coffins in his tomb. Only one contained the actual body. Here too the walls of the chambers and hallways are covered by illustrations from the Book of the Dead.


The tomb of Ramses IX is very long and pretty high. The walls of the hall is covered by the scenes from life of god Ra, the god of Sun. The ceiling of the room that is situated before the curial chamber has an image of a goddess Nut.


Be aware that the sun in the desert is unforgiving. Bring lots of water and sunscreen. Cover your head and if you have sun glasses don't forget them. The desert surface reflects sun rays and it might cause painful headaches. Note that although the Valley of the Kings contains around 63 tombs of different leaders only few are actually open to the public.

The Tomb of King Tutankhamen (aka King Tut)


Carter works here on a newly discovered tomb that is filled by riches, chariots of the young pharaohs and other items that he used. Below is the interior of the actual burial chamber and a famous mask of the young king himself. All of the items have been removed and now are presented in a museum.


Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. The later soon died after the discovery. Journalists quickly blamed it on an alleged mummy's curse. To their dismay. Carter who actually opened the tomb and looked inside for the first time lived a long life after the discovery. If the curse existed it had and interesting choice for its victims.












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