Valley of the Kings – Nile River Cruise
After our trolley train deposited us near the entrance up to the burial sites, Mohammed gave us a historical rundown on the various kings and pharoahs who were buried here. Mohammed was an Egyptologist and the more he told us of the history and mythologies, the less we felt we knew of the complicated web of lives and supernatural beings that existed.
The Valley was chosen because of its isolation and only the kings and their workers could gain access. It was hidden by high mountains to conceal the tombs from tomb raiders, however in spite of their hidden locations, every burial chamber was raided except for those of Yuya and Tuya, and Tutankhamun’s which was discovered by Howard Carter.
There was a sitemap for the tombs of each of the kings and their heirs. In the tomb of Ramses IV, we saw the beautiful picture of the goddess Nut stretched across the blue ceiling. Ramses II was closed and so we went along to Ramses IX and III. Mohammed told the group not to bother about going into Tutankhamun’s tomb (I guess he was concerned about time), but a couple of us did and were very glad to have done so. This tomb was at ground level and hence not discovered by the tomb raiders as the tomb was covered twice over. In the burial chamber are very clear wall paintings of baboons and deities and Tutankhamum greeted by Osiris and Nut.
It was an amazing visit and our only regret was not having more time or knowing more of the history to make the linkage between the various kings and pharoahs and their families.