Luxor: Valley of the Kings

8.24.10

We visited the Valley of the Kings bright and early this morning to attempt to beat the heat.  Over 63 royal tombs are located in the mountains outside of Luxor.  We were able to visit four distinct tombs while there.

First, we climbed up essentially what was a ladder to visit the tomb of Tuthmosis III, considered to be the Napoleon of Egypt.  At the top of the mountain, we encountered a woman who passed out from the climb up to the tomb and subsequent climb down into the tomb where the temperature had to be at least 120F with no air circulation.  Once I descended into his tomb sweat started dripping so I knew I was in for something special 😦  As Egyptian tourist culture dictates, there were men waiting in the tombs to trap tourists to provide them with a “special tour” and then demand baksheesh.  Devin and I ran every time we saw this coming.  The turning on of a flashlight was a dead give-away that someone just got a little something extra that they did not bargain for.

Outside of the heat and the game of hide-and-seek, this tomb was magnificent with the detailed hieroglyphics carved in one room and the vibrant paintings in the oval-shaped room that held the sarcophagus.  Again, it is amazing to see the work completed some 3000 to 4000 years ago that still survives to this day.

Once we climbed back outside, the paramedics were carrying a spine board up the ladder to bring her back down.  I’m beginning to think that I am causing people to pass out.  I’ve witnessed two people faint in less than a week.  I think that is more than I have ever seen before in my life!

Next we visited the tomb of Tawosret/Sethnakht.  The carvings and paintings in this tomb were amazing.  We did have another code 10/man down situation on our hands once we saw the flashlight shine.  We ran separate ways so that only one of us had to be sacrificed if came to that.

This tomb was not hidden too deep into the earth as the previous one but it was spacious.  Again, the attention to artistic detail is magnificent.

We next made our way to the tomb of Siptah.  This tomb was not as large as the previous two but the artwork was the best here.

We purchased a special entry ticket to the tomb of Tutankhamun.  We met him.  His remains were laid out on a table.  Across the room was his coffin.  His tomb was comparatively small to the other tombs we visited; however, it contained the most amount of goods buried with him.  The majority of these items can be found in various museums around the world, including the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

We boarded the shuttle back to the parking lot and met our driver after battling through the tourist-centric souq.

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