The Valley of the Kings Facts

 Vally of the Kings

The Vally of the Kings

New Kingdom pharaohs wanted their tombs to be hidden, so they built their tombs in the hills like the necropolis in the west of Luxor, which is now called the Valley of the Kings. It is one of the first examples of the necropolis, which was contradicted with the Pharaohs of Egypt's Old Kingdom, who built pyramids and some massive public monuments to be their tombs.

Why the Valley became famous?

In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site, along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis.

How was the Vally built?

Builders benefited from available geological features when constructing the tombs. Some tombs were quarried out of existing limestone clefts, others behind slopes of scree, or were at the edge of rock spurs created by ancient flood channels. The majority of the royal tombs were decorated with religious texts and images. The ordinary tomb consisted of a long inclined rock-cut corridor, descending through one or more halls to the burial chamber.

Description of the Valley

In 1979 UNESCO announced the valley is a part of the World Heritage site of ancient Thebes, which also includes the Valley of the Queens and Karnak Temples. Located in the hills behind El Deir el-Bahari, most of the tombs were cut into the limestone following a similar pattern: three corridors, an antechamber, and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed. Construction usually lasted six years, beginning with the new reign.

The contents of the tombs

The tombs contained preparations for the next world, where the pharaohs were expected to become one with the gods. Therefore, Mummification was used to preserve the body so that the deceased's eternal soul could reanimate it in the afterlife. The underground tombs were also well stocked with all the materials, which might help the king in the next world, like furniture, clothes, and jewelry. Treasures are also found in the tombs, like the golden masks found with King Tut. However, most of the tombs were robbed.

The Valley Tombs and the Period of Building

During Egypt's New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.), the valley became a royal burial ground for pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Seti I, and Ramses II, as well as queens, high priests, and other nobles of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties. There are 64 tombs contained bodies and belongings of pharaohs Thutmose I until Ramesses X or XI.

The Famous Tombs

The wonderful treasures were exhumed from Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 and now reside in Cairo's Egyptian Museum. The longest tomb (number 20) belongs to Queen Hatshepsut (reigned 1472–58), whose burial chamber is nearly 700 feet (215 meters) from the entrance and descends 320 feet (100 meters) into the rock.
The largest and most complex tomb in the Valley of the Kings (number 5) was apparently built to contain the burial chambers of many of Ramses II's sons (reigned 1279–13), the greatest king of the 19th dynasty.
Egyptologists use the acronym K.V. (standing for Kings' Valley) to designate tombs located in the Valley of the Kings.
Some other tombs are :KV1Ramesses VII,KV2Ramesses IV, KV4Ramesses XI, KV6, Ramesses IX , KV7, Ramesses II, KV8 Merenptah, KV15 Seti II, KV20 Thutmose1, and Hatshepsut, KV60 Sitre In, and KV64Singer [the Lady] Nehmes Bastet.

 Check our Egypt vacations and travel to Egypt with Local Experts to experience everything Egypt has to offer.

Inquire Now

Related Tours

Our Partners

Our Awesome partners

Intercontinental city stars
Intercontinental city stars
Four Seasons Alexandria
Four Seasons Alexandria