The area of the Valley of the Kings
, in Luxor
has been a major area of modern Egyptological
exploration for the last two centuries. Before this the area was a site for tourism in antiquity (especially during Roman
times). This area illustrates the changes in the study of ancient Egypt, starting as antiquity hunting, and ending as scientific excavation of the whole Theban Necropolis
. Despite the exploration and investigation noted below, only eleven of the tombs have actually been completely recorded.
(1st century BC) and Diodorus Siculus
(1st century AD) reported that the total number of Theban royal tombs was 47, of which at the time only 17 were believed to be undestroyed. Pausanias
and other ancient writers remarked on the pipe-like corridors of the Valley, clearly meaning the tombs.
Others also visited the valley in these times, as many of the tombs have graffiti written by these ancient tourists. Jules Baillet
located over 2100 Greek and Latin
graffiti, along with a smaller number in Phoenician
, and other languages. The majority of the ancient graffiti are found in KV9, which contains just under a thousand of them. The earliest positively dated graffiti dates to 278 BC.<ref... Read More