While there's no experience quite like standing in the burial chamber of Egypt's short-lived "Boy King," the grave of Tutanhkamun is least—in size and splendor—of this valley's decorated tombs. Those of Ramses VI (KV 9) and Ay (KV 23) are known for their beauty and detail. And, like Tut's, theirs require an additional admission charge. Despite soaring temperatures in the valley and, surprisingly, even hotter conditions inside the tombs, the Valley of the Kings receives
such a concentration of visitors that these precious monuments are endangered. Dr. Zahi Hawass, head of Egyptian antiquities, has plans: Re-create the most-visited or delicate tombs in a nearby location, starting with Tut's; light the valley and open the tombs for night viewing, thus spreading visitors throughout the day. Another project is already complete: The Carter Rest House, where Howard Carter lived, is open for tours (free, at this writing).
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Apr 22, 2011
WOW! The colors preserved in the tombs were fabulous. I was able to imagine what the above ground monuments and temples must have looked like way back when. If I had the time and money, I could spend a week going into each open tomb.