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The Valley of the Kings, also called the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, is a valley in Egypt that contains the tombs or graves of dozens of the royal rulers of ancient Egypt. The valley occupies the southern half of Egypt, just west of the Nile River.
See the fact file below for more information on the Valley of the Kings or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Valley of the Kings worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Valley of the Kings contains over 1,000 ft of rock and alternative sedimentary rock, that form the cliffs within the valley and also the close Deir el-Bahri, interspersed with soft layers of marl.
- The sedimentary rock was deposited between 35–56 million years ago during a time that the Mediterranean Sea rarely reached as far south as Aswan.
- The characteristics of the rock within the valley are diverse, ranging from finely-grained to coarse stone, the latter with the potential to be structurally unsound.
- The layer of shale caused construction (and in present time, conservation) difficulties, as this rock expands with the presence of water, forcing apart the stone encompassing it.
- It’s believed that several tombs were altered in form and size depending on the types of rock the builders encountered.
- There are approximately 60 tombs found in the Valley of the Kings.
- Few were carved into the mountainsides, others into the valley floor.
- Each discovered tomb is labeled with a number, headed by the letters “KV” (King’s Valley).
- When a new tomb is identified it is given the next number in the sequence. This system was created in the 1800s by British Egyptologist John Gardner Wilkinson.
- The tombs in the valley were created in many various shapes and sizes. They normally consisted of a blend of corridors and chambers.
- The largest tomb yet found in the valley is named KV 5 that was not built for a pharaoh but built for the sons of the pharaoh Ramses II.
- Most tombs in the Valley of the Kings were decorated with religious writings.
- These writings were designed to guide the pharaoh into the afterlife.
- They included the Book of the Dead and the Book of Gates.
- Numerous tombs were likewise decorated with brightly painted relief carvings highlighting the pharaoh and various gods.
- In the tomb of Seti I (KV 17) the ceiling of the burial chamber has a painting of the night sky with all the Egyptian constellations.
- Everything that is buried with the pharaohs were the things they need to comfortably exist in the afterlife.
- This included furniture, preserved food, games, jars of wine, cosmetics, and many kinds of jewelry made of precious metals and semi precious stones. These items made the tombs attract targets for robbers.
- Almost all tombs was robbed and emptied of their contents in ancient times. But the most notable exception is the tomb of Tutankhamen (KV 62). His tomb was found essentially intact in 1922 by Egyptologist Howard Carter.
- The first Pharaoh of Egypt to be buried within the Valley of the Kings was Thutmose I. He knew that each of the pyramid tombs of the first pharaohs had been robbed. (The pyramids were massive, obvious targets for tomb robbers).
- Therefore Thutmose chose to be buried in a secret, isolated area: the Valley of the Kings.
- The designer of this tomb (possibly KV 38) was Ineni. Ineni inscribed on the walls of his own tomb that he designed Thutmose’s tomb with “No one seeing, nobody knowing.”
- Some scholars have proposed that to keep the tomb location a secret, Ineni used captured foreigners as workers and had them killed when the tomb was finished.
- The last tomb established in the Valley of the Kings was for Ramses XI (KV 4).
- He was the final king of the 20th dynasty. Egypt began a steady decline during the end of the 20th dynasty.
- The state could not afford to guard the Valley of the Kings anymore.
- The tombs were robbed and the valley was left as the burial area of Egypt’s kings.
- Over the centuries several tombs became lost to history. Some were coated or filled by rocks and other debris washed in by the massive rains that occasionally occur in the valley.
- Tutankhamun’s tomb continued to be hidden for so long since its entrance had been concealed by debris left from the building of another tomb nearby.
THE VALLEY TODAY
- After thousands of years, the Valley of the Kings still holds mysteries.
- In 2005, a brief shaft was discovered near the tomb of Tutankhamen.
- At the bottom of the shaft was one little chamber. The chamber (KV 63) wasn’t the burial place of a king yet and no mummy was found within.
- Instead, it had been what Egyptologists called an embalmers cache. It contained an assortment of materials utilized in the mummification method. This included dozens of jars of natron (the salt used to dry a body for mummification), bandages, and coffins of varied sizes.
- Egyptologists will remain working in the Valley of the Kings for so many years coming, studying previously discovered tombs and searching for still-hidden tombs and other treasures.
Valley of the Kings Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Valley of the Kings across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Valley of the Kings worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Valley of the Kings, also called the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, which is a valley in Egypt that contains the tombs or graves of dozens of the royal rulers of ancient Egypt. The valley occupies the southern half of Egypt, just west of the Nile River.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Valley of the Kings Facts
- Valley of the Gates of the Kings
- Tomb v Grave
- King Tut
- Sequence of the History
- Create a Tomb
- Geological Facts
- Pharaoh’s Tomb
- Burials in the Valley
- Visiting the Valley
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Link will appear as Valley of the Kings Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 21, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.