Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings: Exploring the Ancient Egyptian Necropolis

Welcome to the enchanting world of the Valley of the Kings, a mesmerizing ancient Egyptian cemetery on the Nile River’s west bank. This captivating archaeological site is renowned for its grandeur, historical significance, and breathtaking tombs of pharaohs from the New Kingdom period. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the mysteries of the Valley of the Kings, its remarkable treasures, and the fascinating stories it holds.

Valley of the Kings: Unraveling the Secrets

The Valley of the Kings, also known as “Biban el-Moluk” in Arabic, was the final resting place for pharaohs, queens, and other powerful nobles during the New Kingdom period (1550–1070 BCE). It is located on the west bank of the Nile River, across from modern-day Luxor.

History and Significance

The Valley of the Kings holds immense historical significance as it was the primary burial ground for royalty during the New Kingdom. It was chosen for its strategic location, hidden amidst the rocky cliffs, which provided a natural barrier against tomb robbers. The valley is believed to have been used for over 500 years, with the first royal burial taking place around the 16th century BCE.

Architecture and Design

The tombs in the Valley of the Kings were meticulously designed and constructed to ensure the preservation of the pharaoh’s body and worldly possessions. The architecture of the tombs reflects the ancient Egyptians’ belief in the afterlife and their intricate burial rituals. The tombs consist of long corridors, elaborate burial chambers, and detailed hieroglyphic inscriptions on the walls.

Tomb of Tutankhamun: A Storied Discovery

One of the most famous discoveries in the Valley of the Kings is the tomb of Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut. Discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter, the tomb contained a wealth of treasures and artifacts, providing valuable insights into the life and culture of ancient Egypt. The discovery of King Tut’s tomb sparked worldwide fascination and brought the Valley of the Kings into the global spotlight.

Exploring the Treasures

The Valley of the Kings is home to numerous tombs, each with its unique charm and historical significance. Let’s explore some of the notable tombs in this ancient necropolis:

Tomb of Ramesses II

The tomb of Ramesses II, also known as the “Tomb of Ozymandias,” is one of the largest and most elaborately decorated tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Ramesses II, often regarded as one of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs, ruled for over six decades during the 13th century BCE. The tomb is adorned with intricate wall paintings depicting scenes from Ramesses II’s reign and his journey into the afterlife.

Tomb of Seti I

The tomb of Seti I is another remarkable burial site in the Valley of the Kings. Seti I, the father of Ramesses II, ruled Egypt during the 13th century BCE. The tomb features stunning reliefs and colorful paintings, including the famous “Astronomical Ceiling” that showcases constellations and astronomical phenomena. The intricate artwork and the grandeur of the tomb make it a must-visit for any history enthusiast.

Tomb of Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut, one of the few female pharaohs in ancient Egypt, chose to be buried in the Valley of the Kings despite the tradition of burying pharaohs in the nearby Valley of the Queens. Her tomb, KV20, is an architectural marvel featuring a complex layout with multiple chambers and corridors. The walls of the tomb depict the life and achievements of Hatshepsut, including her famous expedition to the Land of Punt. Exploring her tomb offers a glimpse into the reign of this influential female ruler. It was built a Hatshepsut temple.

FAQs about the Valley of the Kings

How many tombs are there in the Valley of the Kings?

There are currently 63 known tombs in the Valley of the Kings, although not all belong to pharaohs or royalty.

Can visitors enter the tombs in the Valley of the Kings?

Several tombs are open to the public, allowing visitors to explore the intricate artwork and architectural wonders within. However, some tombs may be closed periodically for restoration or preservation purposes.

Are the tombs in the Valley of the Kings empty?

Most tombs were looted in ancient times, but many still contain stunning wall paintings and artifacts. The tomb of Tutankhamun, in particular, held a vast array of treasures when it was discovered.

Is photography allowed inside the tombs?

Photography is generally not permitted inside the tombs to protect the delicate artwork from potential damage. However, photography may be allowed in designated areas or with special permits.

How long does it take to explore the Valley of the Kings?

The duration of the visit depends on the individual’s interests and the number of tombs they wish to explore. A visit to the Valley of the Kings can range from a couple of hours to half a day.

Is there an entrance fee to visit the Valley of the Kings?

There is an entrance fee to access the Valley of the Kings. The ticket allows entry to a specified number of tombs, and additional fees may apply for specific special exhibitions or exclusive areas.


The Valley of the Kings is a testament to the grandeur and sophistication of ancient Egyptian civilization. Its magnificent tombs, adorned with intricate artwork and filled with the treasures of pharaohs, continue to captivate visitors worldwide. Exploring this sacred necropolis offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and unravel the secrets of the mighty rulers of ancient Egypt. So, embark on a journey to the Valley of the Kings and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring world of the pharaohs.