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  • Day11

    Valley of the Kings/Temple of Hatshepsut

    January 19, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ 🌫 4 °C

    Off to the West Bank today to visit the Valley of the Kings. Photos are very limited unless you buy the photo ticket for 300 LE. As our entry ticket only included 3 tombs, I opted out and spent 250 LE instead to visit the tomb of King Tut where his mummy lies in an environment controlled glass (or some other clear material) box. But let's save Tut for later.

    The valley was hidden for a long time from the general public back then to protect the tombs of the kings from looters, but these tombs required a lot of workers. So how was it kept a secret for so long? Well, we tossed around a few (and cruel) ideas, but it turns out the 1st king built a village on the far side of the valley for the artisans, workers and their families so that they could live there and never return to the East Bank to tell anyone.

    I think the Valley of the Kings has one of the best visitor centres. There's a full model showing the valley and the locations of the tombs underneath so you could see how deep and how long each was. Today, we would visit the tombs of Tausert/Setnakht, Ramses III and Merenptah. Each of these tombs had colored hieroglyphics in their tunnels and burial chambers, some still quite vivid. My favorite was that of Ramses III, there was just something about the decor in the tunnel leading down into the chamber.

    The story of Tausert and Setnakht is an interesting one. Long story short, Queen Tausert first rested there, and Setnakht was cutting his tomb somewhere else, when he ran into a problem where this tomb would break through the walls of another king, so he looked nearby and decided to take over that of Tausert. Merenptah would later cut his tomb from where Setnakht originally left off, but shifted the tunnel over as to not break the wall of another tomb. At least, that's what my memory recalls. Our guide also trained as an Egyptologist so he was full of information.

    Leaving the Valley of the Kings, we headed to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, another impressive complex where we had plenty of time to wander. Where we hadn't taken photos of colored hieroglyphics earlier, we certainly could here.
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