This is high on our list of must sees and we have looked forward to our visit for many years. We soon discover the Valley of the Kings is high on many lists, so much so that cameras are not allowed in the site. I think this is in an effort to keep the crowds moving more than to protect the ancient hieroglyphics.
The very name evokes a sense of dark mystery. There are 63 temples discovered to date with work continuing to uncover more. As you would expect, all of the temples are of Kings with the exception of three. The walls of the temples are in unbelievable shape with the images of the Book of the Dead ,the Book of the Gates and the Book of the Underworld are clearly visible. It is easy to let your imagination run wild and be transported back in time . The Egyptian belief that "To speak the name of the dead is to make him live again" is certainly carried out in the building of the tombs. The king's formal names and titles are inscribed in his tomb along with his images and statues.
Beginning with the 18th Dynasty the kings abandoned the Memphis area and the pyramid style tombs and built their tombs in Thebes. Most of the tombs were cut into the limestone .These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed. As soon as the reign began so did the construction of the tomb. I guess its best to be ready!!
We visited only three temples in all .
The first was temple 14 – Temple of King Setnakht
Setnakht was the first King of 2oth Dynasty,which was the last of the New Kingdom. Setnakhte's reign was short, perhaps only two or three years and he may have come to the throne fairly late in life. Upon his death, Setnakhte was buried with full royal honors. According to the Papyrus Harris I, "he was rowed in his king's barge upon the river (crossed the Nile to the west bank), and rested in his eternal house west of Thebes". He actually had a "used" tomb as it was originally excavated for Queen Tuosret.
The next tomb we visited was Set 11.We believe that Seti may have only reigned for about six years, from about 1199 until 1193 BC.
This is an interesting tomb as it is where we first see some change in colour. Black and white are used to change the color hues. Color was obtained by crushing jewels to dust. We also notice many servants in the tomb , all to be used in the afterlife.
How I miss my camera. I try my best to content myself with some postcards.