By Michael Wood
Last updated 2011-02-17
Valley of the Kings
The most famous necropolis on earth, this area is where the later pharaohs were buried, in the hope of avoiding the attentions of tomb robbers. It was here that, back in 1922, the unplundered tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun was discovered by the British archaeologist Howard Carter. The tomb was a treasure trove, filled with statues, works of art, beds, furniture - with everywhere the glint of gold.
More recently, tomb KV5 was found here. The first chamber of this tomb was seen by a British traveller in the 1820s, but then the site was lost, and it was only rediscovered in 1995. Subsequent exploration has revealed nearly 200 rooms within the tomb - it seems there are still more to be discovered, and that the tomb was used as a family mausoleum for many of the sons of Ramesses the Great.
Some of the big tombs are staggering in their size and decoration, but most tombs in the Valley of the Kings have no more than ten or twelve chambers and corridors.
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