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22 Dec

I am standing at the entrance to one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, Egypt's Valley of the Kings. Why was this particular wadi the one chosen for royal burials? First, there is a thick layer of fine, white limestone here that allowed workmen to cut tombs that were structurally sound with smooth walls that could be easily decorated. There are many valleys—they're called "wadis" in Arabic—here in the Theban hillsides. C., the Egyptians buried their pharaohs in grand underground complexes.Second, the Valley lies close to the River Nile, easily reached by the elaborate funerary processions that brought the king's mummy to his tomb.

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The mountain that dominates the valley, called al Qurn in Arabic, "the horn," from here and only from here looks very much like a pyramid, a shape associated with solar cults like that of the sun god Ra.It's the largest tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings, one of the largest known in Egypt.It's unique in its complex, multi-level plan, and unique too in its function as a royal mausoleum.A sarcophagus lid was placed over a pit cut into the floor to serve as his place of burial.Rameses IV died before his tomb, KV 2, was completed, and its pillared chamber had to be hastily converted into a burial chamber.