The West Bank of Luxor was the necropolis of Thebes – a city of the dead – symbolically located where the evening sun sets. Just as the sun set every night and rose every morning, it was believed that man died and was born again, and the mode of burial was crucial in enabling that journey.
A huge array of tombs are here to be explored. The tombs do not all follow the same design, but they do all contain a corridor and at least one burial chamber, with walls decorated with hieroglyphics memoralising the life of the interred royal, and setting out holy prayers from the Book of the Dead for the journey to the next world.
Some of the burial chambers were miraculously protected from both man and the elements, and the colours of the paints have to be seen to be believed, it is as if they were decades not millennia old. Others, such as the temple tomb of Hatshepsut have been painstakingly restored to their former glory which provide an excellent insight into how the tombs must have looked in their day. Perhaps the most famous of the tombs is that discovered in 1922 by the British explorer and archeologist Howard Carter – the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun, which was discovered complete with thousands of gold and jewelled objects, military equipment, clothes and food, all to enable him to pass to the next life.
The principal tombs covered in your tour are likely to be those of Hatshepsut, Tutankhamun and Ramses VI. For those with time for a longer tour, we are able to arrange access to the less visited tombs of Seti I and Queen Nefertari, both of which exhibit extraordinary decorations and colours. Indeed the tomb of Queen Nfertari is referred to as the Sistine Chapel of ancient Egypt, its glorious hieroglyphics telling the story of the Queen’s life and reciting prayers.
You will also visit the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III and have stood over the Theban Necropolis since 1350 BCE.
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