valley of the kings

Here is another painting inspired by Terry Pratchett’s “Thud!” that I’ve just finished reading. This is really entertaining to paint from a book description. So, here is my take on the Cave of the Kings in Koom Valley.

In a cave under the Koom Valley,  Bloodaxe, the dwarf king, and Diamond King, the leader of trolls, are peacefully playing the Thud game for ever. They have been turned into stone statues after their death. Each one is playing the opponent side (the troll plays dwarves and vice-versa). This chapter in the book really moved me; I see it as a symbol of understanding others by trying to put oneself in other people shoes. The message is somehow classical, but the allegory is brilliant. Oh yeah, and the little blue cube is supposed to be some kind of dwarf artefact that stored their last words for future generations. Read the book to learn more!

Artist’s Sketch of a Pharaoh Spearing a Lion

20th Dynasty, New Kingdom

Ramesside Period, c.1186-1070 BC

In this lively hunting scene, an unidentified Ramesside pharaoh is represented symbolically slaying the enemies of Egypt in the form of a lion. The hieratic text reads: “The slaughter of every foreign land, the Pharaoh—may he live, prosper, and be healthy.”
This ostracon, a limestone chip used for sketching, was found in the Valley of the Kings during excavations conducted by Howard Carter on behalf of the Earl of Carnarvon, who received the piece in the division of finds. Although many of the figured ostraca discovered in this royal cemetery were clearly trial sketches made to facilitate an artist’s work, this scene is not found in royal tombs, nor do the figures conform to the strict proportions of a formal rendering.
The scene was drawn with great economy of line by the confident hand of a skilled artist who required no grid lines as a guide. It may have been done for the amusement of the maker, or it may graphically represent the artist’s hope that the ruler should be a strong protector of Egypt.

(Source: The Met Museum)


February 16th 1923: Howard Carter unseals Tutankhamun’s burial chamber

On this day in 1923, archaeologist Howard Carter opened the burial chamber of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. He had made the “tiny breach in the top left hand corner” of the doorway to the tomb on 26th November 1922. On February 16th, he opened the sealed doorway that led to the burial chamber of the Pharaoh. It was then that he first saw the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. He then began excavation of the burial chamber, and discovered the mummy of the Pharaoh and several other artefacts buried with him.

Egyptologists identify tomb of royal children

Who had the privilege to spend eternal life next to the pharaoh? Close to the royal tombs in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, excavations by Egyptologists from the University of Basel have identified the burial place of several children as well as other family members of two pharaohs.

Basel Egyptologists of the University of Basel Kings’ Valley Project have been working on tomb KV 40 in the Valley of the Kings close to the city of Luxor for three years. From the outside, only a depression in the ground indicated the presence of a subterranean tomb. Up to now, nothing was known about the layout of tomb KV 40 nor for whom it was build and who was buried there. Read more.

Terracotta water jar 

This water bottle is from the tomb of Tutanckamun ( KV 54) and was used in his funerary rituals. It is 36.5cm high and 15cm in diameter. 

Egyptian, New Kingdom, 18th dynasty, Reign of Tutankhamun, ca. 1336 - 1327 BC. 

Found in Egypt, Thebes. Valley of the Kings, Tomb 54 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Mysterious Buried Artifacts Discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings

Four deposits of artifacts possibly buried as a ritual act of sorts before the construction of a tomb have been discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

The so-called foundation deposits, arranged in a boxlike shape, contain a mix of artifacts, including the head of a cow, a vase painted in blue and flint blades that have wooden handles that are still preserved after more than three millennia.

The Valley of the Kings was used to bury Egyptian royalty during the New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 B.C.) period. The discovery was made in its “western valley,” an area sometimes called the “valley of the monkeys” after a scene depicting 12 baboons was discovered in one of its tombs. Read more.

Rare Egyptian Statue of Meretseger, New Kingdom, 19th-20th Dynasty, circa 1295-1070 BC

Because her worship was localized, representations of Meretseger are relatively rare and most commonly depicted in relief form. There is only one other existing statue like this one carved in the round from the Drovetti Collection in the Museo Egizio, Turin.

A deity of protection, Meretseger, whose name translates as ’the one who loves silence’, was thought to guard the tombs in the Valley of the Kings from the heights of her mountain dwelling which overlooked the royal necropolis at Thebes. She also protected the area from criminals and oath breakers, striking down all those with evil intent with snakebites or blindness. Her worship was centered around the village of workmen at Deir el Medina during the New Kingdom. When the royal tombs there were abandoned during the 21st Dynasty, the worship of Meretseger died out.

The figure has the rearing cobra-goddess with the head of an aged female, wearing a tripartite wig and a two-stringed collar necklace, her body in the form of a cobra in three looped coils behind her, the front incised with details of the scaly underbelly, on an integral rectangular base.


The Workman’s path between Deir el Medina and the Valley of the Kings

New Kingdom

Due to the fact that Deir el Medina was a relatively secluded community (members of said community had to apply for permission to see family and friends outside of the village area) and the secretive nature of their work in the Valley of the Kings, the workmen required a path to the valley that would lead them there without the knowledge of other people living in the vicinity of the nearby Mortuary temples. 

To do this a road between the village of Deir el Medina and the Valley of the Kings was created so that the workmen could continue their work in secret. Along this road are huts in which the workmen would rest if the didn’t make it back to the village by nightfall. 

This walk, for modern adventurers, is best done in the early morning to avoid the heat of the day and this is very likely the same time the workmen would have taken this route as their work day began with the sunrise. The workmen would have taken this route 8 days out of 10 as the Ancient Egyptian week was 10 days long, rather than our modern 7 day week. 

Photos belong to admin