Day 288

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Day 288… Today we take in the extraordinary paintings and hieroglyphs preserved in the Valley of the Kings with a minor stop later at the Open Air Museum at Luxor Temple. Of all the temples here.. we see Merenptah, Hormoheme, the gorgeous one for Ramses the 4th and… of course… Tutankhamun.
Nestled in the cliffs on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, the isolated Valley of the Kings is home to the tombs of the great pharaohs of the New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 BC). They are hidden within a wadi (or valley) formed over millennia by rainfall and water runoff. The first known pharaoh known for certin to have built a tomb within the valley was Hatshepsut, although many Egptologists believe that Thutmose I was the first to locate his tomb here. There are 63 known tombs in the valley, 26 carved for kings and the others granted to royal family members or the highest of the elite. Of these, fifteen are currently open to the public: Ramesses I, Ramesses III, Ramesses IV, Ramesses V/VI, Ramesses VII, Ramesses IX, Seti II, Siptah, Merenptah, Thutmose III, Thutmose IV, Mentuherkhepshef, Tausret/Sethnakht, Ay, and Tutankhamun. They were carved out of the cliffs as long shafts, heading deep underground and terminating in elaborate burial chambers. The tombs are decorated from top to bottom with religious images and texts from the netherworld books, designed to aid the journey of the king to the afterlife. Just spectacular!

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