Friday, February 03, 2006

Valley of the Kings

Built on the opposite side of the Theban Hills from where the Hatshepsut Temple was built (facing the Nile River) are the necropolis of the New Kingdom (1500 - 1000 BC) starting with Tuthmosis I and ending with the Ramses III-XI pharoahs.

When they were discovered most had all ready been robbed centuries ago. As a matter of fact, most of the mummifications of the pharoahs were discovered in one tomb (Tuthmosis III, which was 98 feet straight down from the top of the Theban Hills), an attempt, by the priests, to protect them from robbers (it succeeded for the most part). Surprisingly the painted ceilings and walls are still in tact in many of the tombs. Many of the tombs have graffiti from the likes of the first explorers in the 1800's.

There are currently 62 tombs plus another one, labeled KV5, and only a few are open at one time. When you go down them it is very low and you have to crouch down to fit. They are also very deep and humid because of all the people visiting them. I had to breath a lot and just relax, but it was worth it once you got into the tombs and saw the ancient art work and relief carvings.

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