Valley of The Kings

The Valley of the Kings (Arabic: وادي الملوك‎ Wādī al Mulūk), less often called the Valley of the Gates of the Kings (Arabic: وادي ابواب الملوك‎ Wādī Abwāb al Mulūk), is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom (the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient Egypt). The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (modern Luxor), within the heart of the Theban Necropolis. The wadi consists of two valleys, East Valley (where the majority of the royal tombs are situated) and West Valley.

With the 2005 discovery of a new chamber (KV63), and the 2008 discovery of two further tomb entrances, the valley is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers (ranging in size from KV54, a simple pit, to KV5, a complex tomb with over 120 chambers). It was the principal burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, together with those of a number of privileged nobles. The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. Almost all of the tombs seem to have been opened and robbed in antiquity, but they still give an idea of the opulence and power of the Pharaohs. This area has been a focus of archaeological and egyptological exploration since the end of the eighteenth century, and its tombs and burials continue to stimulate research and interest. In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun (with its rumours of the Curse of the Pharaohs), 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. Exploration, excavation and conservation continues in the valley, and a new tourist centre has recently been opened.

Read more about Valley Of The Kings:  Geology, History, Exploration of The Valley, Tomb Development, Tourism

Famous quotes containing the words valley of the, valley of, valley and/or kings:

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    Bible: Hebrew Psalms, 23:4.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    Bible: Hebrew Psalms, 23:4.

    I will frankly declare, that after passing a few weeks in this valley of the Marquesas, I formed a higher estimate of human nature than I had ever before entertained. But alas! since then I have been one of the crew of a man-of-war, and the pent-up wickedness of five hundred men has nearly overturned all my previous theories.
    Herman Melville (1819–1891)

    The five kings count the dead but do not soften
    The crusted wound nor stroke the brow;
    A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
    Hands have no tears to flow.
    Dylan Thomas (1914–1953)