Thebes is the legendary necropolis on the River Nile’s eastern shore. Two impressive 18m high Colossus of Memnon watch over the entrance. On the opposite side of the River Nile is where The Valley of the Kings is located. Apart from the Pyramids of Gizeh, this is the most famous location in Egypt.
More than 60 graves have been discovered in the necropolis, including that of the great king, Ramses I. The first Egyptian ruler, Thutmosis I, was buried in the Valley of the Kings. Prior to this, Amenophis I had prepared a secret grave in nearby rocks. In addition to the royal burial places, more then 500 private graves of priests, aristocrats and civil servants that date back from between the 11th and 26th Dynasties, have also been discovered here.
In contrast to the royal graves, the portrayals and hieroglyphics that are contained in the burial places of the middle classes, contain worldly objects. The everyday life of ancient Egypt is illustrated in exquisite detail. In ancient times, it was believed that the addition of hieroglyphics on tomb walls and artistically designed reliefs comforted the dead on their journey through the underworld.
Close by is the Valley of the Queens where more than 70 tombs have been discovered. Apart from royal queens, numerous dead princes were also buried in this part of the necropolis, such as the son of Ramses III.
The work of the archaeologists has not yet been completed on this site, so it is quite likely that this scared place will one day reveal more of its splendid and mysterious treasures.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.