The ValleysThe Places
The Valleys are unequalled within Egypt. They include the Valleys which primarily hold the Pharaoh; the Valleys which primarily hold the Queens and then the Valley of the Nobles. The Valleys are contained within the Theban Necropolis which is on the West Bank of the Nile opposite modern day Luxor, tucked within the Theban Hills, behind the Temples of Millions of Years at Deir el-Bahri.
The Valleys were in used from the 17th to the 20th Dynasties and were then randomly used again in the Romans and then Coptic Periods. In 1979 the Theban Necropolis sites were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Geography and Geology
Why do we need to look at the Geology?
The Geology plays a huge role in how the Ancient Egyptians chose this site and the other local sites of the Valley of the Nobles, the Artisans Village of Deir el Medina, and the Valley of the Kings. Not only that, it also plays a significant function in how the Tombs have existed to the present day and how modern Architects, Egyptologists and Government Experts are working to ensure the Tombs are not further deteriorated today.
Pleistocene Period or the Ice Age
The Theban Hills were formed during this period. Rockslides caused slippage on the deeper shale rocks and runoff made the fissure which became the Cascade at the Head of the Valley and then followed along into the Main Wadi or the Tombs Valley. This bedrock, whilst being successful at forming the Valley consists of a poor quality of Marl; Marl is a Carbonate Rich Mudstone which contains Clays and Silts, it is up to 65% softer than Limestone; means that it is unable to cope with floods and floodwater. The clay when wet expands which can cause cracks and collapses.
Today, flood and the presence of Salts in the makeup of the Tomb walls create the largest risks to the Valley today.
Hieroglyphs painted on to the Theban Mountain Rocks around the Valleys