Exploring tombs of Egypt in the Valley of the Kings and Nobles

Exploring tombs of Egypt in the Valley of the Kings and Nobles

Christophe Prosper Rammant
Christophe Prosper Rammant

Christophe is one of our founders and creative director. His passions are interiors, cooking, and traveling the globe for new inspiration.

When visiting Egypt, a must-see tourist attraction is touring the Egypt tombs of pharaohs that date back to ancient times. We are so fortunate to have been able to visit some of these incredible landmarks and travel back in time. Although very similar, there is a vast difference between the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Nobles, especially in the finishings. Let’s check it out!

Valley of the Kings

At the West Bank of the Nile River lies the Valley of the Kings. This location has some of Egypt’s most famous tombs, including Tutankhamen and other famous pharaohs who ruled the region. The Valley of the Kings is a large display of wealth. These Egyptian tombs include many treasures and artifacts that belonged to the elite.

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The Valley of the Kings is still being excavated and explored by experts. So far, 64 Egypt tombs have been discovered, and 11 of those are currently open to the public. You can identify each tomb by KV and a number. It can be overwhelming to pick and choose which tombs to visit. Here are some of our highlights:

Tomb of Ramses III

The tomb of Ramses III is also KV 11. This Egypt tomb is one of the longest ones at the Valley of the Kings; it measures 182 meters. The pharaoh’s tomb depicts his accomplishments, including his army securing borders against invasions from the Sea People. The tomb also features depictions of the king with sacred deities of Egypt. Ramses III’s tomb has a unique feature; it has a curve built-in. This is because, during construction, the tomb ran into another site.

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The pharaoh is the last great king of the New Kingdom and unfortunately died by assassination by one of the many wives of his harem. This kind of death is also a harem conspiracy. A minor wife wanted to kill Ramses III to get her son to take over the throne. The pharaoh’s mummy shows a slit across his throat, meaning that the assassination was successful. However, the prince and his mother were put to trial. There is no mention of what happened to the mother, but the prince was forced to commit suicide.

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Tomb of Ramses VII

Visiting the KV1 tomb is a much humbler experience. The tomb of Ramses VII consists of the entrance, passageway, burial chamber with the sarcophagus, and a smaller room. The smaller size of the tomb reflects the king’s short rule. Near the sarcophagus, you can see depictions of the book of Aker and the book of Earth. Ramses VII was the sixth pharaoh of the 20th dynasty, and his rule is a mystery to historians.

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Tomb of Tausert and Setnakht

One of the most unique tombs is in KV14. This tomb was first built for Queen Tausert of the 19th dynasty, and King Setnakht made the tomb bigger, making it one of the largest tombs in the valley. The entrance of the tomb of the two pharaohs features images of the queen, but many are redrawn to look like the king. The first burial chamber features eight pillars, an astronomical ceiling, and scenes from the book of Caverns. The second burial chamber features eight pillars, an astronomical ceiling, and scenes from the book of Gates.

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Tomb of Tutankhamen

Finally, the most famous tomb is in KV62, which is the tomb of Tutankhamen. This tomb is famous for the treasures that remained intact for over 300 years. The entrance has been ransacked, but robbers were never able to enter the tomb. Tutankhamen was to be buried in the West Valley, but his sudden death led to his burial in KV62, where Ay was going to be. The tomb’s burial chamber features scenes of the opening of the mouth ritual, Imydmat, the book of the dead, and the pharaoh with deities.

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Valley of the Nobles

In contrast to the Valley of the Kings, where opulence and luxury reigns, the Egyptian tombs in the Valley of the Nobles are simpler, and some are not even incomplete. This is because the people who die here did not have as much money as kings or queens. The tombs were commissioned by the person, and some were not finished due to lack of funds or because the person died in the process. The Egypt tombs at the Valley of the Nobles are much more mysterious and include informants of unknown kings, mayors, and many more. These tombs show the person’s greatest achievements in life and portray their journey to the afterlife.

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Tomb of Sennefer

Sennefer was famous for being the mayor of Southern City. His tomb features vines and large grapes on the ceiling of the burial chamber and antechamber. Therefore, his tomb is named the Tomb of Vines. This tomb is underground, but it has a chapel at the surface. The chapel is part of programs that focus on restoring paintings and texts found in it. To get to the lower chambers, you must go down a set of stairs that curve unusually. Sennefer’s tomb is one of the few in the Valley of the Nobles that is completely decorated. However, the tomb’s paintings and carvings are still in the process of getting done.

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Tomb of Menna

Menna called himself the “eyes of the king in every place.” It is unclear who the king was that he was a spy for. This tomb’s t-shape is very common and consists of the outer courtyard, entry hallway, first chamber, connecting hallway, and the second chamber. Menna’s tomb construction is incomplete but is among the Egypt tombs that are near completion.

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In this tomb, some of the depictions of the owner’s face have been removed. Additionally, someone cut the name of God Amon, but his image is still there. This tomb also features colorful borders that repeat throughout the walls, including the colored rectangles. Menna’s tomb is among the most deteriorated ones in the Valley of the Nobles. This is because it was open to the public in the 1960s. Back then, there was nothing preserving the walls from tourists.

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EGYPT TOMBS, Exploring tombs of Egypt in the Valley of the Kings and Nobles

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