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Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt Image Attribution: Jimmy Swift
Standing on the west bank of the Nile, across from ancient Thebes (now Luxor), the Valley of the Kings is one of Egypts most sensitive archaeological sites. Further discoveries in 2005 and 2008 have put the total number of tombs in the necropolis at 63 and these range from simple, single pits to lavish complexes, the largest of which comprises 120 chambers.
The tombs contain important artwork helping scholars to piece together information about ancient Egyptian burial rites and beliefs and, although most of the tombs were plundered centuries ago, they still convey the oppulence and luxury which characterised the lives of their occupants. The first tombs in the valley are thought to belong to Amenhotep I and Thutmose I, whose tomb bears notes recording that its location was selected by the king's adviser, Ineni. Further tombs are cut into the peak of al-Qurn, which would once have been guarded by special tomb police.
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