Search This Blog

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Inside the Valley of the Kings

A rare look inside Egypt's Valley of the Kings tombs, where photography is banned

The burial chamber inside the tomb of Ay, the penultimate king of Egypt’s 18th dynasty and the predecessor to King Tutankhamun Credit: Jakub Kyncl

The Valley of the Kings – the burial site of King Tutankhamun – set in the ancient city of Thebes, is one of Egypt's most visited attractions. But while general photography by tourists is banned within the tombs, Czech journalist and photographer, Jakub Kyncl, was granted special permission to capture the interior of the tombs, as well as the Abu Simbel complex, earlier this year. Here we get a rare look inside the historic site with some of the highlights from his shoot.

The tomb of Ramses VI Credit: Jakub Kyncl
The walkway of the tomb of Ramesses VI towards the main chamber Credit: Jakub Kyncl
The main chamber with the sarcophagus in the tomb of Ramesses VI Credit: Jakub Kyncl
The tomb of Ramesses VI Credit: Jakub Kyncl

“These incredible views of the tombs were something quite accessible to European tourists around 10 or so years ago. But not anymore,” Kyncl told Telegraph Travel.

Vibrant wall art within the tomb of Horemheb, the last Pharoah of the 18th dynasty Credit: Jakub Kyncl
The tomb area of Horemheb Credit: Jakub Kyncl
Art in the tomb area of Horemheb Credit: Jakub Kyncl

"When I did a lecture about the Nile Valley to a group of 15-year-old school children about a month ago, I was shocked to find out that none of those 40 kids have ever been to Egypt. 

The exit of Queen Tausert's tomb, guarded by two paintings of the god of death Anubis Credit: Jakub Kyncl

"Egypt was once a 'must go' destination for families with children. Unfortunately, that is no longer true and it is unclear what the future holds in the country. We can only hope things will change.

The tomb area of Queen Tausert Credit: Jakub Kyncl

"Even with all the necessary permissions, at each tomb, it took at least a few minutes to assure the guards that I am allowed to take these photographs. Several were afraid of letting me in with a camera, which all tourists have to leave by the entrance of the valley."

A unique glimpse inside some of the tombs at the Valley of the Kings, Egypt Play! 00:57

Kyncl recalls a funny moment he had in the Valley of the Kings.

"While I was leaving one of the tombs, a police car was parked outside and a policeman asked: 'Are you the Czech photographer?'. I nodded and he instructed me to get in the car," recalled the photographer. "I was pale as chalk at this point, but it turned out he just wanted to give me a ride to the exit. He even opened the car door for me – and he gave me a salute. This is the true character of Egypt we’re unable to see these days." 

For more images from this series visit

No comments:

Post a Comment