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Valley of the Kings
Tomb of Merenptah
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Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Queens
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Tombs in Thebes, Valley of the Kings

There are hundreds of tombs in Thebes (modern Luxor), only a few of which are open to tourists and even fewer which are visited by many of them. Most people are familiar with the Valley of the Kings, and hundreds flock to see the Tomb of Tutankhamen, never realizing that dozens of more exciting, more vivid tombs exist in the valley.

Most tours offer visits to one or two of the kings' tombs and the Tomb of Tutankhamen. I can't quite understand why, since the tomb of Tut is perhaps the least interesting of the tombs in the valley. We remember it well because it is the only unmolested tomb found in our century -- the thousands of funerary pieces and statues, the massive sarcophagi and the spectacular golden lid of Tutankhamen's coffin have awed visitors to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for nearly a century. But his tomb alone is small and poorly decorated.

But, if you have the time, there is so much more to see. There are 62 tombs in the Valley of the Kings alone, and hundreds of others in the Valley of the Nobles nearby. Queen and princes are buried in the Valley of the Queens, and the common workers tombs in the Valley of the Workers are well worth a visit. Most tombs are not open to the public, but those that are provide a chronological survey of art and writing from the New Kingdom pharaohs and their royal courts.

The Valley of the Kings is well documented, and has been the location for archeological excavations since antiquity. A comprehensive survey of the area, and detailed information about the tombs that have been found, can be seen at the ambitious Theban Mapping Project. The site is fabulous!

Note that the first fifteen tombs listed below have been open since antiquity, or at least since before the advent of modern archaeological techniques.

The tombs in the Valley of the Kings are noted as follows. Click on the pharaoh's name for a brief history of that pharaoh, including names, dates, and that sort of information. Click on the tomb number to see a description of the tomb and, where available, photos.:

# Pharaoh Notes Dynasty
KV 1 Ramesses VII   20th
KV 2 Ramesses IV papyrus plan exists 20th
KV 3 son of Ramesses III   20th
KV 4 Ramesses XI   20th
KV 5 sons of Ramesses II   19th
KV 6 Ramesses IX   20th
KV 7 Ramesses II   19th
KV 8 Merenptah   19th
KV 9 Ramesses V and VI Greek tomb of "Memnon" 20th
KV 10 Amenmesse   19th
KV 11 Ramesses III begun by Sethnakht 20th
KV12 anonymous crosses Ramesses VI tomb  
KV 13 Chancellor Bay   19th
KV 14 Tawosret and Seti II, usurped by Sethnakht 19th
KV 15 Seti II   19th
KV 16 Ramesses I excavated 1817 19th
KV 17 Seti I excavated 1817 19th
KV 18 Ramesses X   20th
KV 19 Ramesses VIII excavated 1817 20th
KV 20 Thutmose I, Hatshepsut first tomb in the valley, excavated 1799 18th
KV21 queens (2) excavated 1817 18th
WV 22 Amenhotep III Western Valley, excavated 1799 18th
WV 23 Ay Western Valley, originally for Tutankhamun 18th
WV 24 anonymous Western Valley  
WV 25 possibly Akhenaton Western Valley, excavated in 1817 18th
KV 26 unknown excavated 1898  
KV 27 family tomb excavated 1898 18th
KV 28   excavated 1898  
KV 29   excavated 1899  
KC 30 family tomb excavated 1817 18th
KV 31   excavated 1817  
KV 32   excavated 1898  
KV 33   excavated 1898  
KV 34 Thutmose III excavated 1898 18th
KV 35 Amenhotep I excavated 1898 18th
KV 36 Mahirpra excavated 1899  
KV 37 anonymous excavated 1899  
KV 38 Thutmose I relocatedThutmose III from KV 20, excavated 1899 18th
KV 39 Amenhotep I (possible) excavated 1899 18th
KV 40 anonymous excavated 1899  
KV 41 anonymous excavated 1899  
KV 42 Hatshepsut-Merytre (wife of Thutmose II excavated 1900 18th
KV 43 Thutmose IV excavated 1903 18th
KV 44 18th dynasty contains Tentkaru of XXII Dynasty, excavated 1901  
KV 45 Userhet excavated 1902 18th
KV 46 Yuya and Thuya parents of Queen Tiye, excavated 1905  
KV 47 Siptah excavated 1905 19th
KV 48 Vizier Amenemopet excavated 1906 18th
KV 49   excavated 1906 18th
KV 50 animal burials (52_) excavated 1906  
KV 53   excavated 1905/6  
KV 54 Tutankhamun cache excavated 1907 18th
KV 55 Amarna cache possibly Akhenaton or Tiye, excavated 1907 18th
KV 56 Jewelry cache "Gold Tomb" from Seti II and Tawosret, excavated 1908  
KV 57 Horemheb excavated 1908 18th
KV 58   excavated 1908  
KV 59   "tomb commencement" pit  
KV 60 Sitre-in and Hatshepsut excavated 1903 18th
KV 61   excavated 1910  
KV 62 Tutankhamun originally Ay, excavated 1922 18th


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