The road to the Valley of the Kings:
The Valley of the Kings is a narrow closed valley located on the western bank of the Nile, behind the rocks of Mount Thebes (Luxor), which is geographically a shallow groove surrounded by heights and resembles a large irregularly shaped crater in the middle of the heights of the western edge of the plateau, as it faces from the eastern side. Karnak temples, which are about three kilometres away.
The road that leads to the Valley of the Kings from Luxor, after crossing the Nile, is a long road that crosses the plain, passing through the Temple of Seti I in the village of Qurna, and then bends to the west on a rocky road of many bends that cuts through the hills. The length of this road is about 5 kilometres.
Why did the ancient Egyptians choose this valley?
The story of choosing this valley as a place for the burial of kings deserves to be told. Thutmose I (1540 – 1501 BC), the third pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, wanted to choose his grave in an isolated valley behind good rocks to preserve his body and protect him from the hands of thieves so he entrusted to Engineer Anini would choose this place for him.
It was not too late for Anini to refer to this task, assigned to him by his king, in the texts he wrote on his tomb, as he said: I alone supervised the selection of the rocky tomb of His Majesty King Tuthmosis the First, without anyone seeing me or hearing me.
Where did the Egyptians bury their bodies?
The ancient Egyptians believed in immortality. Their means to achieve this was to take care of their dead and prepare places for burial; they exerted themselves in choosing them, and they spared no effort in bringing huge coffin stones from far places.
From time immemorial, until the pre-dynastic era, the ancient Egyptians chose their tombs on the edge of the desert away from the agricultural land of the valley that is flooded annually, or on the slopes of rocky hills to be out of the reach of thieves and abusers, as well as to be far from natural factors of annihilation such as moisture that decomposes and annihilates bodies.
Burial in the time of the kings of ancient Egypt:-
With the beginning of the rule of the ancient Egyptian kings, the same burial method continued, without any change in it. The burial was in the sandy edge or at the foot of the mountainous places, but after the size of the cemetery increased somewhat, it became between seven meters in length and five in width, and the pit’s depth became three meters.
They also added building the sides of the pit with mud bricks, then it was covered with beams of tree timber, supported by other beams of wood as well, and they did this to avoid the collapse of the sand.
As for the kings, their tombs did not differ from the tombs of individuals except in the large size, the construction of the floor of the pit with bricks, the construction of a staircase connecting the floor of the cemetery and the surface of the earth, and the spread of side rooms as stores for storing foods, funeral furniture, ornaments, hunting and fighting weapons, and in the end, a plaque bearing the name of the king is placed. Buried in it.
The cemetery was a miniature of the other world to the ancient Egyptians, whether it was dug in the sand, built with bricks, “mud” or stones, or carved in solid rock. To the other world.
As a result of this, the cemetery was tightly closed and never opened after the burial of the body and the completion of the burial ceremony. Therefore rubble, dirt and stones were poured at the entrance to the cemetery to conceal them completely.
For this same reason, she drew on the cemetery’s walls, starting from its entrance, its vaults, corridors, and the burial hall, drawings and inscriptions related to the other world with all its parts and inhabitants.
Mummification..preserving bodies for thousands of years:-
Mummification is one of the most important characteristics of the ancient Egyptian civilization, and they excelled in this art to a large extent. And therefore, mummified bodies belonging to the pre-dynastic era were found. Embalming and a more simple formula.
The Egyptian historian, Manetho, referred to the process of mummification, as mentioned by Greek historians – and Herodotus said in his book that the art of mummification was practised by men who obtained a license to do so.
The road to the tombs of the kings:-
After the embalming ceremony was completed, the mummy was transferred to the cemetery in a solemn ceremony. On the walls of the royal tombs were drawings detailing the funeral procession.
The procession begins with a group of close relatives of the deceased king and his servants carrying flowers, pots of perfume and essential oils, followed by a group of high priests and clergymen who carry bottles of holy water.
And behind the coffin of the king, the queen and the rest of his wives and daughters and his female relatives and acquaintances, they blindfolded their heads and smeared their faces with indigo or mud, and tore their clothes, without stopping for a moment, slapping their cheeks and beating their chests. At the same time, some professional women often enumerate the virtues and merits of the dead.
Finally, they carry the coffin over their shoulders and enter it into the cemetery’s door, then gently move it to slide down the descending path whose floor has been sprinkled with holy water and fine sand.
After that, the king’s funeral furniture is deposited in the tomb along with his weapons and all the jewellery and clothes he “needs” in the other world, and a team of priests arrange them in a hurry inside the tomb.
The queen may be the last to leave the cemetery after putting a bouquet to bid farewell to the king. In the end, the workers close and hide the cemetery door and use pottery tools that they break after completing their work and hide them in a hole close to the burial place. It is often found On these digs. Archaeologists herald the discovery of magnificent royal tombs.