On the west bank of the Nile River across from Luxor and Karnak lies the Valley of the Kings where the Pharaoh’s of the New Kingdom Period of Egyptian history are buried. There are no pyramids during this periods, but at least sixty four tombs are known in the Valley of the Kings. Our group visited two or three.
Some archaeological work is being done in the West Bank of the Nile, but mostly we observed restoration work by local Egyptians.
One disappointment was that photographs were not allowed in the Valley of the Kings. Two years ago when we were here photography was allowed in the Valley, but not in the tombs. Some of our tour members were fined for using their cameras and cell phones. This year one is not even allowed to enter through the security check with a camera. My older photos from the Valley of the Kings have just become more valuable!
One thing I have learned in traveling to Egypt repeatedly since 1967 is that the rules change frequently. The traveler to foreign countries must always remember that it may be different on a second visit, or from the way a friend told you, or the way the book said.
We were allowed to make photographs in the Valley of the Queens. Here is a photo of the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
Some conservative scholars identify Hatshepsut with the young daughter of Pharaoh who drew baby Moses from the Nile. Notice these words from Dr. Bryant Wood:
Moses and the Rulers of EgyptIn order to avoid the death decree. Moses’ mother placed the infant Moses in a watertight basket and “put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile” (Ex 2:3). Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the three-month-old baby when she “went down to the Nile to bathe” (Ex 2:5). It is possible that this was the later-to-be-famous queen Hatshepsut (see front cover; Hansen 2003). According lo the Bible, then, the Egyptian royal family maintained a residence in Rameses, close to the Nile River, at the time of Moses’ birth in the carry [sic; early? c. 1504-1483] 18th Dynasty.After Moses was nursed by his mother (Ex 2:7–9), Pharaoh’s daughter look him into the royal palace and gave him the name Moses, “because I drew him out of the water” (Bible and Spade (2008) Volume 21 (Ephrata, PA: Associates for Biblical Research, 2008). vnp.21.1.20).
From the temple one has a magnificent view to the east across the Nile Valley. That’s it. The Nile Valley, the fertile land on each side of the Nile River is a narrow strip.
P.S. If you would like to see some photos from the Valley of the Kings, check this earlier post here.