Valley of the Kings

September 11, 2010

In previous posts we have featured Tut and Merneptah.  Both of these pharaohs were entombed in the Vally of the Kings at Thebes.

Tombs for Tut and Merneptah. Valley of the Kings. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

The peak of al-Qurn dominates the Theban hills.

Al-Qurn. Valley of the Kings at Thebes. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

During the 16th trough 11th centuries BC this area was the burial grounds for the pharaohs and nobles of the New Kingdom, ancient Egypt’s 18th through 20 dynasties.  Sixty-three tombs have been discovered here.  My daughter and I were able to visit Merneptah’s tomb in 2003.  This is the approach.

Merneptah's Tomb. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

It was thrilling to me to go inside the tomb, realizing that this was the burial site for the pharaoh that mentioned Israel by name in the Merneptah stele.  That is the earliest reference to Israel outside the biblical text, and dates back to 1207 BC.  See our previous post.

Entrance to Merneptah Tomb. Valley of the Kings. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Photos inside the tomb were not permitted.  I did get to see the Merneptah’s elaborate sarcophagus cover.

Below is the view looking out from the tomb entrance.

View from outside Merneptah's tomb. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

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