Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt

Nestled in the cliffs on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, the isolated Valley of the Kings is home to the tombs of the great pharaohs of the New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 BC). They are hidden within a wadi (or valley) formed over millennia by rainfall and water runoff. The first known pharaoh known for certin to have built a tomb within the valley was Hatshepsut, although many Egptologists believe that Thutmose I was the first to locate his tomb here.

The Valley of the Kings is divided into two main branches: the more famous East Valley and the West Valley. Steep cliffs define the latter’s topography, in which only 3 tombs have been found including the Tomb of Ay (KV 23). The eastern valley, covering 2 hectares, resembles a hand with splayed fingers. To the south, towering over the valley, is a peak shaped like a pyramid, known as el-Qurn (the horn). Archaeologists believe that this natural feature influenced the choice of this site for the royal tombs.

There are 63 known tombs in the valley, 26 carved for kings and the others granted to royal family members or the highest of the elite. Of these, fifteen are currently open to the public: Ramesses I, Ramesses III, Ramesses IV, Ramesses V/VI, Ramesses VII, Ramesses IX, Seti II, Siptah, Merenptah, Thutmose III, Thutmose IV, Mentuherkhepshef, Tausret/Sethnakht, Ay, and Tutankhamun. They were carved out of the cliffs as long shafts, heading deep underground and terminating in elaborate burial chambers. The tombs are decorated from top to bottom with religious images and texts from the netherworld books, designed to aid the journey of the king to the afterlife.

http://www.sca-egypt.org/eng/SITE_VOK.htm
Ref:
Date:
Location:
West Bank, Luxor, Egypt
Photographer:
© Images that go BAM, Brent Alexander McTavish
Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt

Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt

Nestled in the cliffs on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, the isolated Valley of the Kings is home to the tombs of the great pharaohs of the New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 BC). They are hidden within a wadi (or valley) formed over millennia by rainfall and water runoff. The first known pharaoh known for certin to have built a tomb within the valley was Hatshepsut, although many Egptologists believe that Thutmose I was the first to locate his tomb here.

The Valley of the Kings is divided into two main branches: the more famous East Valley and the West Valley. Steep cliffs define the latter’s topography, in which only 3 tombs have been found including the Tomb of Ay (KV 23). The eastern valley, covering 2 hectares, resembles a hand with splayed fingers. To the south, towering over the valley, is a peak shaped like a pyramid, known as el-Qurn (the horn). Archaeologists believe that this natural feature influenced the choice of this site for the royal tombs.

There are 63 known tombs in the valley, 26 carved for kings and the others granted to royal family members or the highest of the elite. Of these, fifteen are currently open to the public: Ramesses I, Ramesses III, Ramesses IV, Ramesses V/VI, Ramesses VII, Ramesses IX, Seti II, Siptah, Merenptah, Thutmose III, Thutmose IV, Mentuherkhepshef, Tausret/Sethnakht, Ay, and Tutankhamun. They were carved out of the cliffs as long shafts, heading deep underground and terminating in elaborate burial chambers. The tombs are decorated from top to bottom with religious images and texts from the netherworld books, designed to aid the journey of the king to the afterlife.

http://www.sca-egypt.org/eng/SITE_VOK.htm
Ref:
Date:
Location:
West Bank, Luxor, Egypt
Photographer:
© Images that go BAM, Brent Alexander McTavish