The Valley was used for primary burials from approximately 1539 BC to 1075 BC, and contains at least 63 tombs, beginning with Thutmose I (or possibly earlier, during the reign of Amenhotep I), and ending with Ramesses X or XI, although non-Royal burials continued in usurped tombs.

Despite the name, the Valley of the Kings also contains the tombs of favorite nobles as well as the wives and children of both nobles and pharaohs, meaning that only about 20 of the tombs actually contain the burials of kings; the burials of nobles and the royal family, together with unmarked pits and embalming caches make up the rest.[28] Around the time of Ramesses I (ca. 1301 BC) construction commenced in the separate Valley of the Queens.

Royal Necropolis[edit source 

The official name for the site in ancient times was The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes (see below for the hieroglyphic spelling), or more usually, Ta-sekhet-ma'at (the Great Field).


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