Programming

Visiting the Valley of the Kings

Friday, June 19, 2009

With a length of more than 4,000 miles, the Nile is the longest river in the world. Its waters have supported human settlement continuously for at least 5,000 years -- providing irrigation for crops along its banks and providing Egypt a vital transportation waterway.

Two hundred kilometers south of Cairo, the waters of the Nile flow through what was once known as Thebes, one of the capitals of ancient Egypt.

>> BACK TO TUTANKHAMUN HOME

Luxor, as the area is known today, has been called the world's greatest open air museum, with temples and monuments built to honor the gods.

Testament to the great Egyptian civilization at its height, the temple of Amon-Ra (Karnak) is the largest religious temple in the world and the most important in Egypt until the end of antiquity.

Akenaton, the man believed to be the father of King Tut, moved Egypt's capital northward, to Armana.

Akenaten became known as the heretic pharaoh because in moving the capital he also moved the country away from its traditional polytheistic religion and forced worship of the single god, Aten.

During the short reign of Tutankhamun, Egypt's capital was brought back to Thebes, as was the nation's practice of polytheism.

A short distance from Karnak is the temple of Luxor, used in ancient festivals honoring the god Amon-Ra.

It is not surprising that Luxor has been a tourist destination since the beginning of tourism, but the View From The Bay crew traveled to Luxor for what is across the river on the Nile's west bank -- the Valley of the Kings and the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Resources and exhibit information:

>> The Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs Exhibit
The de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park
Opens June 27, 2009 and runs through March, 2010
Tickets & info: http://www.famsf.org/deyoung

>> King Tutankhamun and the work of Dr. Zahi Hawass: http://www.drhawass.com

>> The King Tut exhibit and its return to San Francisco: http://tutsanfrancisco.org

>> Timeline of events in Ancient Egypt

>> Suggested reading: The Discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter and A.C. Mace
>> Buy the book on Amazon

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