The Valley of the Kings is the location of 62 burial tombs of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs, and wealthy nobles of the New Kingdom (the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties). The valley is located on the western bank of the river Nile directly opposite to the Thebes, the modern day Luxor.
The earliest known tomb of the New Kingdom within the Valley of the Kings, is that of Tuthmoses I, who started to use the valley as a royal burial site. The tombs in the Valley range from a simple pit, to a tomb with over 121 chambers and corridors. The official name for the site in ancient times was The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes. Or also, Ta-sekhet-ma’at (the Great Field).
Divided in two parts, the East and the West Valleys, the Valley of the Kings plays host to the tombs of dozens of Pharaohs, often accompanied by the remains of their family members including wives and children for 500 years. The valley is also known as The Valley of the Gates of the Kings. It was declared as the World Heritage Site in the year 1979.
Various tombs and burials have been discovered and some of the famous Pharaohs buried in the location include Ramesses II, Ramssess IV, Ramesses IX, Ramesses VI, Tuthmose III, Seti I, Amenhotep II and so on.Despite there being so many tombs, they each have their own uniqueness. One of the special tombs is that of King Tutankhamen. A separate ticket is required to enter this famous tomb. The tomb of Ramesses III is one of the largest and most visited tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
The last known king to have built a tomb in the Valley was Ramesses XI. Almost all the tombs have been plundered heavily by robbers including the tomb of King Tut. Many of the tombs have graffiti written by ancient tourists; researchers have located over 2100 ancient graffiti, mostly Latin and Greek.
This archaeological site has been the center of attention for researchers since the eighteenth century and even today scholars rush to ancient Thebes to study and explore the history behind one of the most important locations in ancient Egypt.