Luxor Top Attractions
Was the cemetery of Luxor for the kings of the 18th dynasty to the 22nd dynasty, started by King Thutmosis I or His daughter Queen Hatshepsut. It accommodates 65 tombs. The valley is located on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, the village around the valley is called Qurna " the horn" named after the Thebean peak that takes the shape of the horn meant to be functioning instead of a pyramid for the Pharaohs who wanted to insure Resurrection. Most of its tombs were open since antiquities however, Lord Howard Carter was lucky enough after 10 years of excavations to discover the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun intact in November 4 1922.
In 1995 The tomb of the sons of Ramses II was uncovered however it was found empty of any statues or mummies, it was just the tomb which is full of sided rooms for the sons to be buried. the reader is totally amazed when reading about finding a tomb in Egypt in the year 1995!!..What about if i tell you that there is another discouvery in the valley of the kings in the begining of 2010!.
In November, 2007, a new chapter in the history of the Valley of the Kings began when the first all-Egyptian team ever to work at the site began excavations under the direction of Dr.Zahi Hawass. Hawass announced the team has recently made many important and exciting discoveries, which are revolutionizing our understanding of one of the most mysterious and fascinating places in Egypt. There are still a number of kings and other royals who were probably buried in the Valley of the Kings, but whose tombs have not yet been found.
The resting places of Ramesses VIII, Thutmose II, and the queens and princes of the 18th Dynasty are still unknown. Hawass believes that there are still many treasures left to be discovered in the valley.
The Valley of the Kings is one of the richest and most fascinating archaeological sites in the world. It was here that in 1922, Howard Carter found the tomb and treasures of Tutankhamun (KV62), perhaps the most sensational discovery in the history of archaeology. In 2005, a team from the University of Memphis in the United States located the first new tomb found in the valley since Tutankhamun. bringing the number of known tombs to 63, of which 26 belonged to kings. Although explorers and archaeologists have been combing the Valley of the Kings for centuries, not a single tomb has been found to date by an Egyptian. Dr. Hawass and his team hope to change this statistic. They are working in three different areas: between the tombs of Merenptah and Ramsses II on the northern side of central valley; in the area to the south of the tomb of Tutankhamun; and in the Western Valley, where the tombs of Amenhotep III and Ay are located. Each of these excavations has revealed important information.
In the area in the cliffs between the tombs of Ramesses 11 and Merenptah
Hawass and his team have found a man-made drainage channel that probably helped prevent, the flooding of the royal tombs in the vicinity.
Masses of stone piled near a manmade wall at the base of the cliff represent a collection area for run off from the occasional rains in the high desert that have inundated the Valley of the Kings since ancient times. The area at the base of the channel is probably the location mentioned in an ostracon as the site where a sacred tree once grew, and the “tears of the gods” were collected. A small, sheltered area off to the side of the channel, where the team found a stone basin that may have held food and water, probably served as a resting place for the workmen.
In the central valley to the south of the tomb of Tutankhamun, the team has found the remains of small structures made of stone. These buildings were probably used for storage, perhaps of food and other items intended for offerings or, of embalming materials. The team also uncovered a number of workmen’s huts, which were identified but never excavated by Howard Carter, and a cave cut into the rock to the south of the tomb. This cave was probably used as a shelter by the workmen. The excavation area is in the vicinity of the Amarna Period tombs KV63 to the southeast and KV55 to the northeast. It is possible that if important figures from this era, such as Nefertiti, for instance, were reburied in the Valley of the Kings after the city of Akhetaten was abandoned, their tombs would be in this area. Hawass’ team is working not only in the area immediately to the south of the tomb of Tutankhamun, but also in the area north and east of the tomb of Seti I. They have found traces of cutting in the bedrock underneath the modern rest house, which may lead to a previously unknown tomb. Unfortunately, it would be necessary to remove the entire building to explore this area, so they will not be able to do so in the immediate future. A radar survey of the central valley was recently conducted in co-operation with an American team. The radar identified a number of areas of interest, and further analysis of the data may reveal features that warrant archaeological investigation.
Hawass’ team have made a number of remarkable finds. They have found hundreds of graffiti, most of them previously unknown. One unique example tells us that the vizier Userhat built a tomb for his father, the vizier Amonnakht, in the place known as set-maat, or “place of truth”. An inscription mentioning a previously unknown queen, the first part of whose name reads “Weret”. This woman bore the title of “god’s wife”, an important religious office held by royal women beginning in the early 18th Dynasty. A beautiful painted ostracon showing a queen presenting offerings was also discovered, in addition to inscriptions of the cartouches of Ramesses II and Seti I. In addition, the team has discovered pieces of beautiful painted pottery dating to the New Kingdom
Finally, the team is working in the Western Valley, known in Arabic as the “wadi el-quroud,” or “valley of the monkeys”. The tombs of Amen-hotep III and Ay are both located in this area. Queen Tiye, the mother of Akhenaten, was the wife of Amenhotep III and possibly the sister of Ay. If she was buried in the Valley of the Kings, her tomb might have been carved out near that of her husband, and if Ay were in fact her brother, it would be all the more appropriate for her tomb to be near his as well. It will be interesting to see what excavations in this area will reveal. The Valley of the Kings still holds many secrets. Hawass and his team will continue to explore this fascinating site in order to add to our understanding of Egypt’s past
CAIRO, Egypt — Through a partially opened underground door, Egyptian authorities gave a peek Friday into the first tomb uncovered in the Valley of the Kings since King Tut’s in 1922. U.S. archaeologists said they discovered the tomb by accident while working on a nearby site.
Still unknown is whose mummies are in the five wooden sarcophagi with painted funeral masks, surrounded by alabaster jars inside the undecorated single-chamber tomb.
The tomb, believed to be some 3,000 years old and dating to the 18th Dynasty, does not appear to be that of a pharaoh. But it could be for members of a royal court, said Edwin Brock, co-director of the University of Memphis in Tennessee that discovered the site.
“Contemporaries of Tutankhamun are possible — or of Amunhotep III or even Horemheb,” he told The Associated Press, referring to three pharaohs from the 18th Dynasty.
Egypt’s antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass, said, “Maybe they are mummies of kings or queens or nobles, we don’t know. But it’s definitely someone connected to the royal family.”
“It could be the gardener,” Otto Schaden, the head of the U.S. team, joked to Hawass at the site. “But it’s somebody who had the favor of the king because not everybody could come and make their tomb in the Valley of the Kings.”
Archaeologists have not entered the tomb, having only opened part of its nearly 5-foot-high entrance door last week. But they have peered inside the single chamber to see the sarcophagi, believed to contain mummies surrounded by around 20 pharaonic jars.
On Friday, Egyptian antiquities authorities allowed journalists a first look into the tomb, located near Tutankhamun’s — the last burial site discovered in the valley on Nov. 4, 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter.
At the bottom of a 33-foot deep pit, a narrow shaft leads down another 16 feet to the door, made of blocks of stone. A hole about 1 foot wide has been cleared from the door.
Inside the chamber, alabaster pots, some broken, are lined up next to the sarcophagi. One coffin has toppled and faces the door, showing its white, painted face. Another is partially open, showing a brown cloth covering the mummy inside.
“It was a wonderful thing. It was just so amazing to find an intact tomb here after all the work that’s been done before. This was totally unexpected,” Brock said.
The discovery has broken the long-held belief that nothing is left to dig up in the Valley of the Kings, the desert region near the southern city of Luxor used as a burial ground for pharaohs, queens and nobles in the 1500-1000 B.C. New Kingdom.
The 18th Dynasty lasted from around 1500-1300 B.C. and included the famed King Tut.
Schaden’s team will finish clearing rubble from the bottom of the shaft, then completely open the door in the coming days to let archaeologists enter. They can then look for any hieroglyphs that identify those buried inside.
The team hopes to remove the coffins before the end of the digging season, usually around May when the weather gets too hot to work in the deserts outside Luxor, 300 miles south of Cairo, Schaden said.
The coffins appear to have some damage from termites, Brock said.
“It’s going to take a lot of conservation work to consolidate these things before we can take them out,” he said.
The archaeologists were working last year on the neighboring tomb of Amenmeses, a late 19th Dynasty pharaoh, when they found the remains of ancient workmen’s huts. They then discovered a depression in the bedrock that they suspected was a shaft.
When they returned to work during this excavation season, they opened the shaft and found the door, which was opened last week, Brock said.
Since the discovery of Tut’s tomb, experts believed that the Valley of the Kings contained only the 62 previously known tombs — labeled KV1-62 by archeologists.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we discover more tombs in the next 10 years,” American archaeologist Kent Weeks, who was not involved in the new discovery but saw photos of the tomb’s interior, told AP.
Weeks made the last major discovery in the valley. In 1995, he opened a previously known tomb — KV5 — and found it was far larger than expected: more than 120 chambers, which he determined were meant for sons of the pharaoh Ramses II.
“It’s ironic. A century ago, people said the Valley of the Kings is exhausted, there’s nothing left,” he said. “Suddenly Carter found Tutankhamun. So then they said, Now there’s nothing to find. Then we found KV5. Now we have KV63.”
Weeks said that it was probably built for one person but multiple sarcophagi were moved in later for storage. The jars, he said, appear to be meat jars for food offerings.
Objects in the tomb “could be 200 to 400 years later than the original cutting of the tomb,” he said.