Valley of the kings is an ancient burial ground for some of Egypt’s most famous kings (pharaohs), it’s the place where Howard Carter discovered the tomb of king Tutankhamun (KV62), located on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor (ancient Thebes)
Valley of the Kings is not just a burial place but a world of mystery, treasures, death, mummies, robbery, destruction and rediscovery.
Kings of the new kingdom 1500 BC chose this place to be buried in after their death and that’s how Valley of the Kings was formed.
65 tombs were discovered and the whole area is still under excavation looking for more tombs as this is just 35% of what should be found in the valley.
All tombs in Valley of the Kings are listed as KV 1, 2, 3…etc as “KV” stands for Kings Valley and the numbers are in order of the discovery.
The only entrance to this place was a long narrow winding path. The location of Valley of the Kings was very carefully chosen, and for more than a reason not just one:
The general population of Egyptians would have never seen these tombs; they simply have known that some where beyond the horizon, behind the cliffs were the wonderful burials of all of the kings of this generation.
Tombs served only one propose, to ensure that the dead pharaoh would make it successfully to the after life, to ensure that the king can move from this life safely into the next and take his place with the gods. They ensured this as they were mummified, left in their coffins with golden masks and by a process of magic they will become alive again and it is in the tomb helped by the spells and the prayers that this extraordinary event will take place.
The first Pharaoh decided to use the valley was king Thuthmosis I 1500BC. His tomb is located in a desolate part of the valley as a kind of protection.
Selecting the location of the tomb wasn’t an easy job; they had to test the stone of the mountain first to make sure than it not very fragile and would let them carve as deep as they want with no collapse. The high architect was in charge of the selection process, once the location is selected workers came and started the building the tomb in valley of the kings.
64 tombs out of 65 in the valley were robbed by the grave robbers except the tomb of king Tutankhamun (KV62) that was discovered by Howard Carter 1922.
The first tomb robberies were documented in the reign of king Ramesis III as Egypt suffered a famine back at this time, the king lost his full control and the workers of the tombs themselves were the grave robbers.