I was really excited to visit the Valley of the Kings. I never knew what the tombs would be like for the pharaohs, but I had something in mind—dark passageways filled with hieroglyphics and booby traps with a large sarcophagus at the end. Well, I wasn’t entirely off the mark! Maybe American cinema has helped influence my imagination. The truth was that most of the tombs were long corridors that branched out into different rooms towards the bottom. Some of them were up to 100 feet down-slope to reach the sarcophagus. All of the tombs that we visited, including the Tomb of Tawsert/Sethnakht and the Tomb of Siptah were very impressive containing long corridors and lots of beautiful and colorful hieroglyphics. So, I figured we were saving the best for last when we headed to the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Although King Tut may be the most recognizable pharaoh for much of the modern world, it isn’t because of the size or elegance of his tomb, but what was found inside. In 1922, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun untouched by tomb robbers. So, everything that the king needed for the afterlife was still inside the tomb. Including his solid gold sarcophaguses, his golden burial mask, and his mummy, along with many other objects. The tomb itself is not very impressive. It only takes nine steps to reach the entrance and the inside is rather small. However, the thing that sets King Tut’s tomb apart from the other tombs in the Valley of the Kings is the fact that his mummy is still inside the tomb and can be viewed by tourists. I could not believe how tiny he was! He was only 19 when he died and his mummy was probably only about 5’5” or so. It was really neat actually viewing King Tut’s body though. The reason the tomb was not very extravagant was because King Tut died suddenly and the people did not have time to build him a proper tomb, so they used an existing one. What I found most amazing about this tomb was the fact the all of the artifacts had not been found or robbed sooner, considering it was closer to ground level than any other tomb! Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside the tombs.
Posted at 8:23 AM by Matt Parker