valley-of-the-kings Photos

THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS is a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Valley of the Kings is the most famed archeological site in the world. It has been a landmark of archeological exploration since the 18th century. Excavations continue to date, new tombs and rooms being discovered constantly. It became world-renowned with the discovery of Tutankhamon’s tomb.

In ancient Egypt, during the New Kingdom age, for a period of 500 years between the 16th and 11th centuries BC, the pharaohs of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties were buried in tombs dug and hidden in the mountain, in Kings’ Valley. Here were also buried strong and privileged members of nobility and, beginning with the reign of Ramesses I, queens were buried in the neighbouring Queens’ Valley.

All discovered tombs were opened and robbed in ancient times, but even so they offer a suggestive picture of the power and wealth of Egyptian pharaohs. Tutankhamon’s tomb, though also opened and robbed in the past times, preserves a multitude of objects, statues, jewels and sarcophagi, as well as the famous gold mask. If the tomb of such an unimportant and young pharaoh contained such riches, archeologists wondered, what fabulous riches could have been buried with important pharaohs!...

The tombs have vast rooms and passageways, and are typically decorated with brightly coloured religious texts and imagery. Besides the pharaoh’s mummy, they would also contain four canopic jars and different magic rituals paraphernalia, as well as everyday objects and the riches the pharaoh might need during his voyage and new life.

Visiting and studying ancient Egyptian tombs in the Kings’ Valley is one of the most interesting experiences. Careful scrutiny and discovery of the smallest detail evokes moments of ancient history and brings us closer to this extraordinary culture and civilization of humankind.