If there’s anything in the world you must see, that’s probably be the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. This great valley, which stands on the west bank of the Nile River and within the core of Theban Necropolis, contains at least 163 tombs of famous nobles and pharaohs.
History of the Valley of the King
- 18th Century: Several historians believe the first man to reach Valley of the King is Frederic Louis Norden. Norden is a Danish adventurer and artist. Richard Pococke followed Norden’s expedition. Pococke is the man responsible for the publication of the first map in 1743. The maps and plans made better during the French Expedition. Napoleon sketched Western Valley. After some time, Description de l’ Egypte and it illustrates the area around Thebes. The book includes two volumes.
- 19th Century: The great Giovanni Battista Belzoni discovered numerous tombs in the valley, particularly the Ay and Seti. John Gardiner Wilkinson is the man responsible assigned to paint the tombs in 1827. Each tomb is numbered from KV1 to KV21. After the publication of The Topography of Thebes and General Survey of Egypt, James Burton explored the valley and go into KV5. Burton is a British Egyptologist.
- 20th Century: American Team led by Theodore M. Davis discovered royal and non-royal tombs namely KV43, KV46 and KV57. Davis comes up with a publication entitled “The Tombs of Harmhabi and Touatankhamanou.” The tem behind Theban Mapping Project considers tomb KV5 the largest in the valley.
- 21st Century: It’s in February 2006 when Supreme Council of Antiquities declares the first uncovered pharaonic-era tomb known as KV63. The KV63 Tomb is a single chamber with 7 sarcophagi and 20 large funerary jars. Nicholas Reeves has analyzed the tomb’s ground penetrating radar in July 2006 followed by Zahi Hawass’ discovery of Ramesses VIII in May 2008.
Five Important Bits and Pieces about Valley of the Kings
- The acronym KV stands for Kings’ Valley and based on the record made by John Gardner Wilkinson, there are 21 tombs in all- about 60 in East Valley and 5 in West Valley.
- Most of the tombs are not open for public viewing but numerous officials close open it for restoration work.
- When you visit Valley of the Kings, photography is not allowed inside.
- Usual tomb consists of long inclined rock corridor and descends through halls to the burial chamber.
- Want adventure? Think about hiking over the surrounding hills to Deir el-Medina or Deir el-Bahari and witness the spectacular view of the Nile Valley.