The Valley of the Kings (Arabic: وادي الملوك ) ,Valley of the Kings is an area of Egypt located on the west bank of the Nile at the height of Thebes (now Luxor). The valley is formed by a flaw in the Libyan chain that leads to the Nile Valley. Its Arabic name Biban el-Muluk means "both doors of kings" in reference to the gates that once closed the tombs.
Valley of the Kings is known to house the tombs of pharaohs of the New Kingdom, it also houses the tombs of some wives and children of the Pharaohs, as well as noble whose pharaohs wanted to reward value. It is from the period of the reign of Ramses I the Valley of the Queens has been in widespread, although some wives are still buried with their husbands later.
The oldest known grave on the site is that of Thutmose I and, from Thutmose III, with the exception of Akhenaten, all the pharaohs of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth dynasties are buried there (approximately -1539 to -1075 ). The last known grave of a pharaoh is that of Ramesses XI .As for the last tomb discovered, is the KV64, the tomb of a singer of Amun Temple of Karnak that lived during the XXII dynasty.
The valley is located on the west bank of the Nile across from Luxor in Egypt. It is at the heart of the Theban necropolis.
A pyramidal mountain, "La Cime" (Arabic Al-Qurn), dominates the valley from its height of 470 meters. The ancient Egyptians believed that mountain as the place of residence of the meretseger goddess, protector of the Theban necropolis and artisans of Deir el-Medina, who built the tombs of the Valley of the Kings.
The river opens into two main branches, the valley is where is located the majority of the royal tombs and the West Valley (Valley of the Apes) housing within graves.
The Valley of the Queens is located south of the Valley of the Kings.
The floor of the Valley of the Kings is a millefeuille alternating dense limestone, other sedimentary rocks and layers of soft marl. Sedimentary rock was deposited during a period between thirty-five and Fifty-six million years to a time when the precursor of the Mediterranean Sea covers an area up much further inland than at present.
During the Pleistocene, the valley is cut into the plate by regular rainfall.
The quality of the rock in the valley is very variable, from grain to rock end up coarser. This can potentially cause structural problems. Occasional shale layers also cause difficulties for construction and conservation, because these rocks increase in volume in the presence of water, bursting the surrounding stones.