The ancient name of the Valley of the Kings is a-sekhet-ma'at, which means the Great Field. The tombs in the Valley of the Kings were constructed for the dead pharaohs and the powerful nobles of the New Kingdom (the 18th – 20th dynasties of Ancient Egypt).
The Valley of the Kings is a valley on the west bank of the river Nile, in the Thebean Necropolis, opposite Thebes, now known as Luxor.
The Valley of the Kings is located in both the East Valley and the West Valley. Most of the tombs are however located in the East Valley and tourists rarely venture into the West Valley.
The tombs in the Valley of the Kings were constructed over a period of 500 years between the 16th and 11th century BC.
The style of construction of the tombs changed when the Egyptians moved their burial ground to the Thebes area. The pharaohs and important nobles of the New Kingdom were preserved in tombs that were cut into limestone, instead of pyramids that had been used so far.
Sixty-three tombs have already been discovered in the Valley of the Kings and are numbered KV1 to KV63. KV1, the first tomb discovered, is the tomb of Ramesses VII. KV63 is the latest discovery, found in the year 2005.
The King’s names and titles along with lines from the Book of the Dead are inscribed in most of the tombs.Most of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings have been plundered but there are some that are full of precious artifacts.
The tombs in the vary in size – some are small and just consist of a simple pit, while there are others that have several chambers and corridors; the tomb of the sons of Ramesses II, has 121!
A ticket allows you to visit any 3 tombs of your choice. If you wish to visit the tomb of Tutankhamen, a separate ticket will have to be purchased. Cameras are not allowed inside the tombs and left at the entrance of the Valley of the Kings. Also, the guide too will have to wait outside the tomb.