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Valley of Kings

38. Tutankhamun

39. Ramses 9

40. Ramses 6

41. Ramses 3

42. Ramses 4

43. Ramses 2

44. Merneptah

45. Horemheb

46. Amenophis 2

47. Tawsert/ Sethnakht

48. Siptah

49. Tuthmosis 3

50. Seti 2

51. Seti 1

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Tomb of Tutankhamon Tomb of Ramses 9 Tomb of Ramses 6 Tomb of Ramses 3 Tomb of Ramses 4 Tomb of Ramses 2 Tomb of Merneptah Tomb of Horemheb Tomb of Amenophis 2 Tomb of Tawsert/Sethnakht Tomb of Siptah Tomb of Tuthmosis 3 Tomb of Seti 2 Tomb of Seti 1 LUXOR:
Valley of the Kings

Luxor, Egypt: Valley of the Kings

Click on map to look into the tombs

1. Ramses 7 37. Unknown
3. Intended for Ramses 3 38. Tuthmosis 1
4. Ramses 12 39-40. Unknown
5. Sons of Ramses 2 42. Tuthmosis 2 (?)
10. Amenmeses 43. Tuthmosis 4
12. Unknown 44. Unknown
13. Royal functionary 45. Unknown, non-royal
16. Ramses 1 46. Yuya and Tuyu
18. Ramses 10 48. Vizier Amenemopet
19. Son of Ramses 9 49-54. Unknown
20. Hatshepsut (west of no. 19) 55. Tiy or Smenkhkare
21. Unfinished 56. Unknown
30-33. Unfinished 58. Annex for Tutankhamun
36. Marherpra (non-royal) 59-61. Unknown

Luxor, Egypt: Valley of the Kings

Tomb of Ramses 4.

Luxor, Egypt: Valley of the Kings

Tomb of Ramses 6.

Dimensions considered, the Valley of the Kings is completely inferior as funerary complexes compared to the pyramids further north in Egypt. But the decorations here illustrates the thoughts and ideas, and the expectations for the afterworld to a degree that the pyramids do not. There are usually 30-40 open tombs, but they size varies a lot as well as the artistic level of the wall decorations. Most visitors will be satisfied with visiting 3-5 tombs, and a good experience is mostly decided by whether you can walk around a tomb by yourself or not.
But why was this site selected for royal tombs?
There are several answers: According to ancient Egyptian theology, a good tomb would be a place which could be considered to be the best possible "bridge" to the underworld. At the Valley of the Kings, the world almost comes to an end. Nothing grows here, and the climate is hot even through the winter. Hence it is a very obvious symbol for death. The rocks could quite easily be dug in, allowing for canals into the underworld.
Moreover, the mummy science had since long found out that the desert was an ideal place for storage of corpses.
Until now, 62 tombs have been opened, but old sources indicate that there could be as many as between 100 and 150. Chances are that the remaining tombs are inferior to the best we now have, but who knows? There might be a new Tutakhamun tomb out there?
It is believed that Tuthmosis 1 was the first pharaoh to have his grave constructed here, in the 16th century BCE. But it would take about 200 more years before it became customary that the kings built their graves here. Ramses 1 became the first to establish this custom.
Among the first things a king did after his coronation was to start building his tomb,- it was after all his "life insurance", his ticket to eternal life. Compared to pyramids, tombs were fast to build, and in no cases were more than 6 years spent on a single grave.
The walls are decorated with magical "books", like the Book of the Underworld, the Book of the Gates and the Book of Day and Night. All central for the kings success in the afterlife. There are also illustrations of the afterworld, equally central in securing that the king could live again in the company of Amon-Re.

By Tore Kjeilen