Valley of the kings lies in a deep northern ravine of the limestone hills of Qurna, north-west of Deir-Elbahri and is known today Valley of the Kings is sacred to the local goddess Mertseger “she is who loves silence”, and to Hathor. The valley is surrounded by high cliffs, dominated by a natural pyramid shaped peak. The kings found that the pyramids and the protection built into their ancestors failed to be important for their ancestors or funerary objects which were important for the next life. The kings desperately wanted to hide their grave away from grave robbers. “THUTMOSIS I” was the first king to choose this location for his burial, his ducks followed his lead, having their tombs dug in this extraordinary valley. This cemetery contains sixty two tombs, not all of them are royal.
-Stages of work in the Royal Tombs.
Selecting the location for a Tomb……………..
When the new Pharaoh was crowned , his vizier , chief stonemason , and architect visited the Valley of the Kings with the intention of choosing a site for the new tomb their choice then had to be approved by the King himself.
Once confirmation was received the foundation ritual was carried out and the foundation deposits were placed .
Construction of the Tomb…………………………
Construction began by removal of surface materials to reach the bedrock . Stone cutters then cut the entrance doorway , Passages and chambers . Other craftsmen then smoothed the floor , walls and ceiling .
The used copper or bronze chisels struck by wooden mallets , Debris and stone chips were removed in baskets . The walls were then polished with stone , any gaps or cracks were plastered . The surface stone was then given a fine layer of plaster , and then draftsmen sketched outlines of figures and representations in red paint , some begin corrected in black .
Next came the sculptors with painters to fill in the relief and backgrounds . It seems that the work was carried out by two teams working in two shifts with a midday break . The first day of work was recorded on papyrus and ostraca by scribes . There were on waiting for a stage to be completed before the next phases of the work commence .
The reflected sunlight was used near the entrance of the tombs in the first passage’s Candles and oil Lamps with wicks were used to illuminate the depths of the Tomb .
-THE EIGHTEENTH DYNASTY TOMBS IN THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS .
Structure , consisting of a series of corridors stairways . They are separated from each other by door jambs , running to the east , south and west in bent axis with shafts in the floor.
The shafts are designed to obstruct tomb robbers , act as drains rain water and also as a symbol of burial chamber for the God Sokar , some have a side room at the bottom . The Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasty tombs consist of a series of jagged or straight axis . Each pharaoh added corridors , side chambers or pillars as new elements , or simply increased the length of the Tombs .
-DECORATION OF THE WALLS.
The walls of the tombs are decorated with the mysterious guide to the underworld . The scenes describe the journey of the sun God through the earth and heaven . The deceases or embodiment of the sum God , sailing through the underworld at night in a boat .
From the time of ” RAMSES II ” the solar disc of ” RA ” containing the ram-headed God and beetle are seen . These symbolize the sun god in the evening and morning , flanked by images of the king followed by “Isis” and “NEPHTYS” , the scene being placed on the entrance .
The first corridor is decorated with the figure of the king greeting the sun God ” RA-HORAKHTY” before the litany or “RA” This acclaims the sun god in seventy-six forms and also Praises the king in his union with the sun god . The next corridors and their walls are decorated with scenes and texts taken from two closely related books . The Book of “Imyduat” and The Book of “Gates” . According to these books the underworld in divided into twelve sections , representing the twelve hours of the night . Each Gate represent also the hours of the night . Each Gates is guarded by a huge serpent . Into each the river bears the boat of the sun God surrounded by his ram-headed retinue , bringing light and life to each region he traverses during his Journey .
In Ramses side tombs there are scenes from The Book of Caverns . This shows the underworld depicted as a series of caverns through which the sun God passes . It stresses the punishment and destruction of the enemies of the sun god . Also depicted are scenes from the Book of the Dead . There are shown a series of incantation and speels designed to assist the deceased through the Underworld so they arrive safely in the field of reeds . The Book of Heavens describes the sun’s passage through the heavens while the Book of Earth describes the sun’s nocturnal journey through the Underworld.
Where do they extract the colors they used in the tombs?…..
White : Gypsum , Calcium , Carbonate .
Black : Carbon soot , Lamb black and Coal .
Yellow : Yellow ochre .
Red : Red ochre and Red iron oxide .
Blue : Blue was a synthetic color produced by heating a mixture of copper salts , Calcium and Sand mixed with flux .
Green : Malachite , a copper carbonate or blue frit yellow ochre mixed .
KINGS OF THE NEW KINGDOM (1570 – 1080 BC ) WHO’S HAVE TOMBS IN VALLEY OF THE KINGS.. ” 18th , 19th and 20th DYNASIES .
KINGS OF 18th DYNASTY……..
-AHMOSE I………….Ruled from ( 1575 to 1550 BC ) .
-AMENHOTEP I…….Ruled from (1550 to 1528 BC ) .
-THUTMOSSIS I ……. Ruled from ( 1528 to 1510 BC ) .
-THUTMOSIS II ……. Ruled from (1510 to 1490 BC ).
-HATSHEPSUT ……. Ruled from ( 1490 to 1483 BC ) .
-THUTMOSIS III …….Ruled from (1490 to 1436 BC ) .
-AMENHOTEP II ……..Ruled from (1436 to 1413 BC ) .
-THUTMOSIS IV …….Ruled from ( 1413 to 1405 BC ) .
-AMENHOTEP III …….Ruled from ( 1405 to 1367 BC ) .
-AMENHOTEP IV …” AKHNATON ” ……Ruled from ( 1367 to 1350 BC ) .
-TUTANKHAMUN ………Ruled from ( 1347 to 1339 BC ) .
-AYE ……… Ruled from ( 1339 to 1335 BC ) .
-HOREMHEB …… Ruled from ( 1335 to 1309 BC ) .
KINGS OF 19th DYNASTY……
-RAMSES I ….. Ruled from (1309 to 1308 BC) .
-SETI I………Ruled from (1308 to 1291 BC ) .
-RAMSES II …..Ruled from ( 1290 to 1224 BC ) .
-MERENPTAH …..Ruled from ( 1225 to 1215 BC ) .
-SIPTAH ……Ruled from (1224 to 1214 BC ) .
-SETI II …….Ruled from ( 1214 to 1208 BC ) .
-AMENMES …..Ruled from ( 1202 to 1199 BC ) .
KINGS OF THE 20th DYNASTY…………
-SETNAKHT ……Ruled for one year after five year reign of a Syrian super called pay .
-RAMSES III…….Ruled from (1198 to 1167 BC ) .
-RAMSES IV….. Ruled from (1167 to 1161 BC ) .
-RAMSES V……….Ruled from (1161 to 1157 BC ) .
-RAMSES VI , VII , VIII Ruled from ( 1157 to 1142 BC ) .
-RAMSES IX ……. Ruled from ( 1142 TO 1123 BC ) .
-RAMSES X….. Ruled from ( 1123 to 1118 BC ).
-RAMSES XI……. Ruled from ( 1118 to 1090 BC ) .
During the 20th Dynasty Egypt become the target of foreign invasions as tribes in Asia moved across continents searching for new homes and the sea peoples fought battles to stay in Egypt .