264 Route 24. THEBES (W. BANK). 4. Tombs
rock, on which the midday sun pours its perpendicular rays, and
a gloomy solitude broods over the scene, which is of a sublimity
unmatched elsewhere in the Nile valley. Life seems almost non¬
existent; a desert-plant waves here and there; jackals, wolves,
eagles, vultures, owls, bats, snakes, flies, and wasps are the only
inhabitants of the gorge.
After riding for about s/i hr. through the valley, we reach a
place where the road forks. The right branch leads to the seldomer
visited W. Valley (p. 277). The left branch leads to the —
Bib&n el-Mulflk proper. Beyond a small circular open space
we pass through a kind of rocky gateway and enter the E. Valley,
surrounded by massive rocks and the openings of several lateral
ravines. The tombs occur both in the main valley and in its
The best plan is to visit first the tombs of Sethos I. (No. 17) and
Ramses III. (No. 11), and then, if sufficient energy remains, Nos 6, 9, & 35.
The other tombs are of interest to specialists only. We describe the
tombs in the numerical order.
On the right (W.) side of the path : ■—
No. 1. Tomb of Ramses X., Yet-Amon, offering nothing of special
interest. A Greek inscription proves that it was known and access¬
ible in Greek times.
No. 2. Tomb of Ramses IV. An ancient staircase, with an in¬
clined plane in the centre and low steps at the sides, leads to the
entrance. Above the door are Isis and Nephthys, worshipping the
solar disk, in which stand the ram-headed sun-god and a scarabseus.
On the right wall, behind the door, are two Copts raising their hands
in prayer; an inscription indicates one of these as 'Apa Ammonios,
To the left, in Cokeidok I, appears the king worshipping the hawk-
headed Harmachis. The other walls of this and the following Corridor II
are adorned with texts and figures of gods from the 'Praising of Be' (p. 263).
Corridor III shows texts and pictures of gods and spirits from the 'Sun's
Journey in the Underworld' (p. 263). Anteroom IV has texts from the
Book of the Dead, the chief being the 125th chapter, which contains the
justification of the deceased. — Room V, the main chamber, contains the
granite sarcophagus, which is 10 ft. long, 6 ft. broad, and 7Vi ft. high,
and is adorned with inscriptions and designs. On the Left Walls are
shown the first two chapters of the 'Book of the Portals' (p. 263). Chapter I
(beginning at the entrance) shows the portal guarded by the serpent Set.
Next follows the first region of the underworld. In the Middle floats the
boat, in which the sun-god stands beneath a canopy with a coiled serpent
above it; before him kneels the king, presenting to him an image of
Maat. Four inhabitants of the underworld-tow the boat hy a cord, while
various gods come to meet it. In the Upper Panel appear the blessed
dead, while in the Lower Panel are the condemned, some lying on the
ground dead, others fettered, while the god Atum watches them, lean¬
ing on his staff. Chapter II shows the the gate of the second region,
guarded hy the serpent Ekehi. In the Middle appears the boat of
the sun-god, towed by 8 men; the cord passes through a hollow beam
with a bull's head at each end, on which rest 7 small figures of gods,
while 8 gods, 'the bearers of the gods', carry the beam on their shoul¬
ders. In the Upper Panel we see various gods in their dwellings, the