If you work in a business like mine, happy first day of Q2! If that means absolutely nothing to you, keep reading! 🙂 Unlike many of these Egypt posts of places you have never heard of, this one about the Valley of the Kings, is likely a phrase that at least rings a bell. They Valley of Kings is located on the West Bank of Luxor and while it is most famous for King Tut’s tomb there are actually 64 tombs in this one area.
For the same reason Queen Hatshepsut built her Mortuary Temple nearby, the ancient Egyptians considered this entire valley on the West Bank of the Nile to be sacred for its connection to the funerary goddess Hathor. When you visit the Valley of the Kings the 240 EGP ticket gains you entrance into the area and admission to three tombs of your choice, of the ones that are open that day. Every day they rotate which ones are open and on the morning we visited the tombs of King Ramesses IV, King Ramesses III, and, Meramita.
The first tomb of King Ramesses IV is one that many choose to visit as it is one of the biggest and most beautiful tomb, though it was never completed. It’s proximity to the entrance to the Valley of the Kings makes it as easy choice as one of your three and I found it quite interesting that it was used as a hotel by Howard Carter, the famous explorer. When inside you walk down a wide corridor into burial chamber with sarcophagus made of of red granite that used to contain the mummy. A very popular phrase I heard during my time in Egypt is that the tomb was “known since antiquity” but it was rediscovered in 1905, however without the mummy. One of the oddest facts is that the mummy of King Ramesses IV was discovered in 1898 found in another persons tomb with 7 other mummies and a deep shaft for the robbers
The second tomb was that of Ramesses III who reigned over Egypt for 32 years. Logically Ramesses III was the father of Ramesses IV and his tomb is a very odd shape. With dozens of tombs in such a small space and no real map when they were digging this tomb while cutting into the rock they hit another tomb and had to change the direction. Then poor rock quality caused another direction change and the final product years later was one of the largest tombs, 85 meters from the entrance to the last inner chamber.
In this big tomb there are three corridors and the colors of the walls so intact glass to protect. There are ten rooms off first corridors for storage including food, water, and treasure. The second chamber has spaces for making offerings to Aman and Inubus, the jacket headed god of the afterlife, and the third chamber is the burial chamber at the was is closed. One of the most famous aspects is it was one of the first excavated in 1786 and the tomb Ramesses III is known for a portrait of people playing the harp and drawing.
The last tomb I went in was that of Merenptah. He was the Pharaoh after Ramesses II but since first 13 sons died, he was not Ramesses III. Despite being the 13th son he came to the throne at 72, and thus did not rule for that long. The tomb of Merenptah had corridors and was also quite interesting. And then as an extra tomb you can pay extra and go into the most famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings – Pharaoh Tutankhamun, more commonly referred to as King Tut. I did not do this but my brother did so a few of these photos were taken by them.
Would you want to visit the Valley of the Kings?