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Valley of the Kings, Egypt

Photo: Valley of the Kings, Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza and the Nile Delta were the tombs of choice for pharaohs of Egypt's Old Kingdom. But New Kingdom pharaohs, seeking to foil tomb raiders and be closer to the source of their dynastic roots in southern Egypt, created what's known now as the Valley of the Kings.

Deep inside the hills of this otherwise barren valley west of Luxor (seen here from above) sit the tombs of nearly all the pharaohs who ruled between 1539 and 1078 B.C. Their strategy in the end did not confound thieves, though, and almost all of the tombs had been ransacked by the time archaeologists began excavating the site in the early 1800s.

Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

Mysteries of the Ancient World

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