One of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, the Valley of the Kings located near Thebes (present-day Luxor), contains 63 tombs of Pharaohs and nobles.
Much of what we know about the ancient Egyptian civilization is the mysterious tombs and amazing preparation of the ancient Egyptians for death, especially members of the royal family. From golden sandals to lavish coffins, ancient Egyptian crafts can now be seen in museums around the world.However, that does not reduce the interest of visitors, who want to see the mysterious and majestic tombs over time. And the place with the most tombs of ancient Egyptian royal members still standing today is the Valley of the Kings.
One of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, the Valley of the Kings located near Thebes (present-day Luxor), contains 63 tombs of Pharaohs and nobles. The valley was formed after the unification of Egypt, the ancient civilization entered the New Kingdom period (about 1550 BC to about 1077 BC); it was a time of incredible wealth and prosperity.
It was during this time that the Pharaohs searched for locations and built elaborate, monumental and elaborate tombs to demonstrate their power and influence and gradually created the Valley of the Kings. This is the burial place of most of the famous Pharaohs of this powerful empire such as Tutankhamun, Seti I and Ramesses II… In addition, the Valley is also the burial place of queens, royal members and officials. high rank of the ancient Egyptian dynasties.
63 mausoleums are scattered across two valleys, the East Valley and the West Valley. The particularly remote location was key to protecting the site from thieves. The catacombs are built against the cliffs, this is an architectural style based on natural elements, creating a difference in the size and complexity of each tomb. Some of the vaults are elaborately built, with up to 120 rooms, while others are just a single room.
Inside the catacombs are filled with rare items prepared specifically for the Pharaohs, queens… of great value at that time to show the power of the deceased. This is also consistent with the ancient Egyptian belief to prepare all the belongings for the deceased so that they can continue their life in the afterlife. Although the Valley of the Kings has been robbed by grave robbers a lot, the interior decoration still shows the luxury and power.
The decoration inside the tomb also helps us visualize the rituals and beliefs about the funeral of the ancient Egyptians. The mummies are carefully wrapped with the highest technology to ensure the body is intact and the soul will return after 5000 years.
The Valley’s largest mausoleum is that of the sons of Ramesses II (1303 – 1213 BC). Although only partially excavated, many archaeologists believe that at least 4 of the 52 sons of the Pharaoh were buried at this site. As of 2006, this mausoleum had 200 corridors and rooms, making it the most intricate structure in the area. However, like most mausoleums in the Valley, it has also been robbed of most of its burial items.
The most famous tomb is that of King Tutankhamun, however this mausoleum is quite small in size. Archaeologists surmise that, because the king died young (only about 18 or 19 years old), they had to rush to build the mausoleum in a short time. However, the tomb is still one of the most important discoveries of archaeologists specializing in Egyptology because it keeps a huge number of burial items and has not been destroyed by tomb thieves.
During the excavation and discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, there were many mysterious events that happened such as someone contracted a strange disease, died… Since then, public opinion raised a curse about King Tut’s ancient tomb, so no who can get close to even grave robbers.
In the west of the valley there are 4 tombs, but because they are not so famous, very few tourists come to visit.
The most unusual tomb is that of Amenhotep III. Not only did he build a room for himself, but he also built a room for his wife and shared a mausoleum.
Near the Valley of the Kings is a burial ground for Pharaoh’s wives known as the Valley of the Queens. This mausoleum is also carved into the cliffs with more than 100 tombs. The most famous is the tomb of Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramesses II.Now, visitors can tour the catacombs under the guidance of the responsible staff in the Valley of the Kings of Egypt.