Valley of The Kings
By the new kingdom, much had changed. Egypt has experienced its first domination by foreigners and a Theban family had liberated the country and founded the Eighteenth Dynast, shifting the capital once again to Upper Egypt. For the next few centuries, Thebes was the principal burial site for Egypt's rulers, beginning with Thutmose I (ca. 1493-1482BCE). His chief architect, Ineni, found a secret location for his tomb, a wadi behind his cliffs on the west bank of the Nile.
So began the long history of the Valley of the Kings. Without superstructure, these tombs were excavated out of the living rock, and contained staircases, corridors, storerooms, shafts and burial chambers and penetrate more than one hundred yards into the Cliffside.
The modern history of the valley is as fascinating as its ancient history. The seventy or more royal tombs here experienced the passage of millennia in subterranean silence, until in early 1800s they were discovered by European "explorers" such as Giovanni Belzoni who used a battering ram to open some of the tombs.