Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Valley of the Kings

The benefit to having no tourists is that you have the guides to yourself(I am not sure what to call them I guess they are just security guards with knowledge of the sites and carvings). Also, I made friends with them so instead of visiting three of the tombs, I visited six of them. They took me down with their flash lights just pointing out different carvings of Ramses, his wife, Nobius, the beetle(starts with an S and I can not find the correct name by searching), cobras, etc. They had me climb up on the wooden banister to see the top of the tombs carvings and were patient with my questions.

I could not believe how fast the tour groups were going in and out of the tombs. They did not even look at the carvings. Again, I do not expect people to spend the amount of time I do, but what is the point of going in if you are going to just walk past everything and not even take a close look. Whatever floats their boat. But what matters is my own experience and I was amazed with these tombs. The detail was impeccable and after a few tombs, I was beginning to decipher between the different Gods and symbols: the lotus, the snake, the cross symbol for the second life, the Dr for mummification, and the different animals.

Here is a brief description from Wikipedia:

Phase One Tombs

  • the Tomb of Thutmose III (KV34) [2] - one of the most remote tombs in the Valley, located at the far end of the Valley and up several flights of steps to gain entry. The climb is worth it though. The tomb is of the typical, early curved plan with a large oval burial chamber. The decoration is unique, being in a simple, pleasing style that resembles the cursive writing of the time. This tomb was not open as of Dec 8 2011.

[edit] Phase Two Tombs

wall painting in the tomb of Horemheb
wall painting in the tomb of Horemheb
  • the Tomb of Horemheb (KV57) [3] - the tomb of the last king of the 18th Dynasty This tomb was not open as of Dec 17 2011.
  • the Tomb of Merneptah (KV8) [4] - son of Ramesses II (the Great), Merneptah's tomb has suffered greatly from flash flooding of the Valley over the millennia. Those paintings and reliefs that have survived, however, are generally in good condition. This tomb is marked as Under Restoration and closed to the public as of Dec 8 2011.

[edit] Phase Three Tombs

  • the Tomb of Ramesses VI (KV9) this tomb was originally started by Ramesses V, but usurped after his death by his successor Ramesses VI, who enlarged the tomb and had his own image and cartouches carved in over his predecessor's. The tomb is one of the most interesting in the Valley, with one of the most complete and best preserved decorative schemes surviving.

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