Valley of the Kings
History >> Ancient Egypt
The Valley of the Kings was a great burial ground for the Pharaohs. After around 1500 B.C. the Pharaohs no longer built great pyramids in which to be buried. Instead, most of them were buried in tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
Tomb at Valley of the Kings.
Photo by Haloorange
How Many Tombs are in the Valley of the Kings?
There are over 60 tombs in the Valley of the Kings. They vary from small tombs that are little more than a large hole in the ground to very large tombs with over 100 underground chambers.
Unfortunately, most of the tombs were looted thousands of years ago and the treasure was stolen or removed by thieves. There is artwork on the walls, however, that allows archeologists to learn much about the lives of the Pharaohs and other leaders who were buried here. The one tomb that was discovered with much of the treasure and tomb still intact was that of Tutankhamun.
The Tomb of Tutankhamun
The most famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings is that of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, sometimes called King Tut. It was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter and had been largely untouched by thieves and vandals. Carter found the tomb under the remains of some workmen's huts. This may be why it had not been found by tomb raiders. The tomb was packed with amazing artifacts including King Tut's mummy, a gold mask, and a solid gold inner coffin. The tomb contained several chambers including the burial chamber, antechamber, treasure chamber, and annex.
Tut's Tomb from the New York Times
King Tut's Curse
There is a long standing mystery about the curse of King Tut's tomb. Rumor had it that a tablet inside the tomb had a curse on it and Howard Carter hid the tablet so his workers wouldn't know. However, the rumors of a curse are most likely made up. There weren't a lot of deaths or bad things that happened to those who opened the tomb or Tutankhamen's mummy.
Who else was buried here?
The first Pharaoh to be buried in the Valley of the Kings was Tuthmosis I. Over the next 500 years many more Pharaohs were buried here including many of the Rameses (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, IX, X), Hatshepsut, Amenhotep I, and Tutankhamun.
Fun Facts about the Valley of the Kings
- Today tourists can visit many of the tombs including Tutankhamun's.
- There is graffiti on the tombs from other cultures and times including Greek, Latin, and Phoenician.
- Although we don't know who was Pharaoh during the Exodus in the Bible, due to the time frame, it is likely that he was buried in the Valley of the Kings.
- Tomb workers lived in a close by town called Deir El Medina.
- Tutankhamun was buried with a lock of hair from his grandmother.
- Take a ten question quiz about this page.
- Listen to a recorded reading of this page:
More information on the civilization of Ancient Egypt:
History >> Ancient Egypt