Anubis, a guardian of the dead, in the tomb of Twosret and Setnakhte
The beautifully-decorated passageways and chambers in the Valley of Kings tombs included guides to the afterlife for the pharaoh. They showed the gods he would meet and the perils and trials he would face in his quest for immortality. Remarkably, some of the greatest art of the ancient world was created to be seen only by the eyes of dead kings .

The ancient Egyptians built massive public monuments to their pharaohs. But they also spent time and treasure creating hidden underground mausoleums.

The most famed collection of such elaborate tombs—the Valley of the Kings—lies on the Nile's west bank near Luxor.

During Egypt's New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.), the valley became a royal burial ground for pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Seti I, and Ramses II, as well as queens, high priests, and other elites of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties.

The tombs evidence elaborate preparations for the next world, in which humans were promised continuing life and pharaohs were expected to become one with the gods. Mummification was used to preserve the body so that the deceased's eternal soul would be able to reanimate it in the afterlife.

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