Ancient History

Who was the first pharaoh to be buried in the Valley of the Kings?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. The Valley of the Kings lies on the west bank of Egypt's Nile River, near the ancient city of Thebes. Before Egypt's pharaohs were buried in the valley they were interred in pyramids. Unfortunately, the Pyramids of Giza and other gravesites were raided by looters and thieves throughout the centuries -- which, incidentally, has always made it more difficult for archaeologists to understand what these tombs looked like when they were originally sealed. It seems the ancient Egyptians thought that burial in the hillsides of the Valley of the Kings would be less vulnerable to grave robbers, but most of these tombs were also pillaged centuries ago. The first tomb discovered intact was that of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen

    King Tutankhamen, a boy king who reigned from around 1361 B.C. until his death at the age of 18, was a pharaoh in the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. His tomb, located in the Valley of Kings, was discovered in 1922, and aside from taking the archaeological community by storm, the find caused increased fascination with archaeology among the general public. With its 2,000 treasures, King Tut's tomb was the richest Egyptian tomb that had ever been discovered. It allowed archaeologists and historians to see for the first time many artifacts that they had previously only read about. Archaeologist Howard Carter from Britain discovered the tomb with financing from the Earl of Carnarvon. Tutankhamen's treasures had been stored, undisturbed within the darkness of the burial chamber, for more than 3,000 years.

    Though Tutankhamen's tomb was the first intact burial place discovered in the Valley of the Kings, it turns out that it was Thutmose I, a pharaoh who extended the borders of the Egyptian empire through conquest, who was the first ruler buried there. The dates of the reign of Thutmose I are not settled, but he ascended to the throne sometime shortly before 1500 B.C. Unlike Tutankhamen's tomb, Thutmose's tomb was plundered during succeeding regimes in Egypt.

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