Today's site visits took us to the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut, and the Valley of the Queens.
It was about 50 degrees out today and we were all suffering from the heat.
The Valley of the Kings is located in a remote ravine. Behind the valley is pyramid shaped peak. Nothing grows here --no trees or scrub, just sand and rocks. About 62 tombs have been discovered, but not all belong to pharaohs --some were highly appointed officials.
Of the few that are open to the public, we saw Ramses IV, Tuthmosis III, Ramses I, Ramses IV, and Tutankhamon. Again, we were amazed at how well preserved the tombs were. There was a great deal of colour that remained on a lot of the walls. The people had blue headresses, brown skin, and yellow and blue for the gold jewelry with turquoise stones. The ceilings were blue and had white stars. Equally impressive were the hieroglphics, which were still clearly etched in and some still had colour as well (red circles, yellow birds and sacred keys, blue waves...).
Tuthmosis III was the most paranoid of them and built his high into the wall of the ravine. He also had a very steep entrance and a number of false chambers in an effort to mislead tomb robbers. (It was robbed anyways).
The tomb of Ramses IV didn't have reliefs in it, but rather actual writing/paintings of the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Earth, and the Book of the Gates. The tomb actually had 2 mummies in it --Ramses IV and Ramses V and was robbed only 20 yrs after they were buried.
Next, we staggered out of the heat and into the bus for the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir al-Bahri. The temple was carved in to the limestone cliffs and has 3 large terraces, each with a two rows of impressive columns.
We were then wisked away for the Valley of the Queens, where we saw the tomb of Amunherkhepshef (son of Ramses III). He was only 10yrs old when he died. Many of the reliefs showed Ramses III leading the child by the hand to bring him to the gods that would help him in his afterlife. In the reliefs, a child is depicted as wearing a tunic and having a side lock of hair. Also in this tomb is a mummified 5 month old fetus, which was not originally found in this tomb.