Home | Gallery | Travelogue | Write!
Album: By Country | By Date Egypt | March 2001 < Prev: Karnak Temple, Part 2 | Next: Luxor and Luxor Temple >
Travelogue: By Country | By Date Egypt | March 2001  

March 2001 - Valley of the Kings

The Theban necropolis on the west bank of the Nile in a wonderful, hot, parched desert

Launches and feluccas and cruise ships line the banks of the Nile on the East Bank Tomb of Ramses VI.   In the New Kingdom, pharaohs wanted to hide their tombs yet provide a place to worship them after death.  Instead of a single monument tomb, like the pyramids of the Old Kingdom pharaohs at Giza, the New Kingdom guys built secret tombs in isolated canyons and magnificent mortuary temples on the plains.  The necropolis supported a large living population, too.  Artisans, labourers, priests, and guards devoted their lives to maintaining the necropolis. Deciphering hieroglyphs Ramses VI swiped the tomb of Ramses V.  The tomb is a series of rooms laid out in a line extending 83 meters into the mountain.
  The state of the paint and its brightness is amazing More tomb The tomb is decorated with scenes from the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Caverns, and the complete text of the Book of Gates
More tomb paintings Yes.  Even with other people around the place seemed eerie The roof of the burial chamber with two paintings of the goddess Nut, stretched across morning and evening skies. Three snakes
and a baboon What the entrance to a tomb looks like Inside the tomb of Thuthmosis III.  This tomb was hidden in the hils between cliffs and reached only over a steep staircase across a ravine.  It appears to have also incorporated traps for grave robbers - like a deep pit.  It was robbed anyway.  Horus on the left and Anubis, the god of cemetaries and embalming
Vulture Tomb entrance - unadorned. Heading up the side of the valley Up to the edge of the valley
Looking from a ridge above the Valley of the Kings across the Nile Valley.  How much has come from and still comes from that narrow green strip.
Everything except the Nile Valley is parched and dessicated.
Maggie looking off a cliff.  A guardhouse built to deter terrorists is on the next ridge over. The Valley of the Kings.  You can see the parking lot on the right.  You can also see why many tourists find this place difficult - it's hot, sunny, and dry.
Typical moonscape Stairs built by the army to connect their guard posts A good view of the contrast between moist, fertile valley and barren desert.  Looking down at Queen Hatshepsut's mortuary temple. Partly rock cut, partly freestanding.
Tomb opening.  It was near here that in 1876 ther greatest mummy find ever was made -- the mummies of 40 pharaohs, queens, and nobles.  New Kingdom priests seem to have realised that the bodies of their kings would never be safe in their own tombs, so they moved them to a communal grave.  Many are on display at the Egyptian Museum Queen Hatshepsut's monument. Falcon headed snake on the bannister Pillar near the Hathor Chapel
Fish Someone didn't like Amun. The temple was once surrounded by myrrh trees, garden beds, and approached by a grand sphinx-lined causeway.
Sun and falcon The West Bank of the Nile The ride home