The Valley Of The Kings: The Great Necropolis Of Ancient Egypt

1747 words - 7 pages

Deep in the abysmal, rocky contours of modern-day Luxor’s western bank, a collection of dry beds host the Wadi Bidan el-Muluk, otherwise known as the Valley of the Kings (Hawass 9). Here, Ancient Egyptian workers had toiled through scorching desert heat to create a series of tombs that would house the physical bodies of their pharaohs. The choice of isolation for this complex of wadis, their towering and mammoth architecture, as well as the detailed, colorful decoration depict the significance of the tombs to the Ancient Egyptians. Built during Ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom, there are 63 known tombs, most housing the bodies and possessions of renowned pharaohs and god-kings (Hawass 24). With every new archaeological discovery and breakthrough regarding the Valley of the Kings, our understanding of Ancient Egypt continues to flourish. Without debate, the Valley of the Kings – the most majestic and culture-rich burial ground of the world – should be the museum’s next main exhibit because it remains the most important and insightful look into the life, culture, and religion of the Ancient Egyptians.
While the Valley of the Kings has a rich history, its modern-day contributions not only include advancements of our knowledge of Ancient Egypt, but positive economic effects as well. In 1922, archaeologist Howard Carter unveiled King Tutankhamen’s tomb in its entirety, hidden from any pervious tomb raiders and thieves (Reeves and Wilkinson 86). The hidden tomb was left intact, and Carter’s discovery revealed the riches and artifacts of an ancient civilization. As Reeves and Wilkinson explains, “Because of this vast show of wealth, 70 years after the discovery Tutankhamen remains the valley’s most famous son” (8). Since then, the mainstream world and media has been thrust into a period of Egyptomania that lives on today. The Valley of the Kings has captured the imagination of millions of people, resulting in dramatized Hollywood mummy blockbusters and King Tut best sellers. These fictional pieces, many stemmed from Howard Carter’s discovery in 1922, have no doubt enraptured the minds of the masses, as well as brought revenue to the entertainment industry. For example, Universal Studios released a series of horror movies, collectively called “The Mummy” franchise. The four movies, released over a span of nine years, made a total gross profit of $1,415.4 million worldwide (“The Mummy”). “The Mummy” Franchise is only one of the many Ancient Egyptian based movies and books that have boosted the entertainment industry. Furthermore, the Valley of the Kings provides significant insights to Ancient Egypt. It has provided us with more knowledge about renowned pharaohs, such as Ramses II, Hatshepsut, Thutmose, etc. who have had large impacts on Ancient Egypt (Drower). Within the tombs, archaeologists have also discovered religious texts, such as the Book of Day, Book of Night, Book of the Heavenly Cow, etc. that depict the pharaohs’ journey through the afterlife...

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