Valley of the Kings

undefinedSince the beginning of the New Kingdom, pharaohs were no longer buried in pyramids. Instead, they were placed in tombs that were cut into the cliffs of the Valley of the Kings. The Valley of the Kings consists of two remote, desert valleys that come together on the west bank of the Nile, across from Thebes. The mountains on the west bank resemble the hieroglyphic, akhet (horizon). This location was also chosen in the hopes the tombs would be safe from tomb robbers. Unfortunately, this was an unsuccessful strategy.

There are over 60 known royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The majority are carved in the eastern valley. They were cut directly into the rock, constructing stairways, passages, halls, shafts, and burial chambers. The passages and burial chambers are much larger and more decorated than those of the pyramids. The walls covered with scenes depicting the pharaoh in the company of the gods. Over time, the plans for these tombs became more complicated with additional rooms and passages that twist and turn, simulating Duat.


  • Oakes, L., and Gahlin, L. (2003). Ancient Egypt: An illustrated reference to the myths, religions, pyramids and temples of the land of the pharaohs. New York, New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc.
  • Strudwick, H. (2006) The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. New York, New York: Metro Books.
  • Thompson, H. (2011) Eyewitness Travel Egypt. New York, New York: DK.

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