Valley of the Kings

Known to contain 64 tombs and chambers, it was the principal burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom and many nobels

Luxor, Egypt

Coordinates: 25.740200, 32.601400

The Valley of the Kings is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock-cut tombs were excavated for the pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom.

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.

The valley is known to contain 64 tombs and chambers. It was the principal burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, as well as a number of privileged nobles.

Tomb robbers

Almost all of the tombs have been ransacked. Several papyri have been found that describe the trials of tomb robbers.

The valley also seems to have suffered an official plundering during the virtual civil war, which started during the reign of Ramesses XI. The tombs were opened, all the valuables were removed, and the mummies were collected into two large caches.

Know This

The walk from the ticket booth is only 900m so not much point taking the land train. “Guides” are still around at each of the tombs. They can be useful but if you just want a quiet visit make this clear as you enter the tomb.

The entry price allowed you to visit 3 tombs, all included in the price. If you wanted to go into King Tut’s tomb, there is an extra charge.

Have a map that shows where each of the tombs are located. Take along a hat and plenty of water. Take a torch: Some of the recesses of the tombs can do with extra light. Additionally, there are some sarcophagi still in place: Use your torch to illuminate the inside of these.

Bring your walking shoes! Amazing to be able to walk around the tombs. There are several you can enter. At the entrance a person checks your ticket and controls how many people go in at a time. Some colorful locals make a few extra dollars by posing for pictures or offering to take a photo for you.

Even though guides are not able to go inside the tombs with you – it is necessary to have guide with you in order to understand the historical significance of the entire Valley and it’s contents.