Sitting figure illustration from the kings tombs in Thebes by Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778-1823) from Plates illustrative of the researches and operations in Egypt and Nubia (1820). Original from New York public library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Resource of the Week-Theban Mapping Project

It may have taken a while, but I’m back for weekly updates on interesting websites and resources! There is just way too much history for me to cover here on Secretly Historic, so I like to give a shout-out to other people compiling history. This can range from a website, a social media page, or books! This week I’ve found a great website for those interested in Ancient Egypt, particularly the tombs.

The Theban Mapping Project is an amazing resource for anyone looking for more information regarding the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. They’ve been working on this for nearly thirty years, so you know there is a ton of information here.

Tim Adams, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Theban Mapping Project

The Mapping Project started over 30 years ago. It’s run by the American Research Center in Egypt and the American University in Cairo. The original intent of the project was to document the conditions of the tombs located in the Valley of the Kings, and work on plans to maintain these valuable sites. Over time, this has evolved to not only sharing information with the public but also helping to enhance the experience of those who visit the area.

On the website, you can view the Maps, Plans, and Sections of the tombs. The .pdf maps are incredible and gave me a better sense of the space in the tombs. They’re great for getting an idea of how the tomb and each section fit together. Each tomb has additional information about each section on the 3-D rendering. They list the condition of the tomb, the history of the discovery of each tomb, and any known information about those that inhabited it.

cattan2011, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

More Than Just Maps

There are 68 tombs listed, but there are far more than just maps of each tomb! The Theban Mapping Project also boasts over 3,000 pictures of the tombs. These pictures are of both the insides and outsides of the tombs. Honestly, these pictures are awesome and well worth a look. Even a layperson can appreciate the beauty found within these ancient tombs.

The Center and University have also put together an impressive >1,500-article bibliography for those who want to learn more or see the original research. This list is invaluable to any student or researcher looking for more information.

They’ve dedicated the last two sections of the site to articles and a very well-done timeline of ancient Egypt. The articles I’ve read here are informative and well-written. They’re not too heavy on the academic jargon in these articles, making them an easy read for those not in academia. The timeline they put together spans from the earliest traceable human habitation until 641 AD, the beginning of the Islamic period in Egypt.


Even if you have only a passing interest in Ancient Egypt, the Theban Mapping Project is well worth a look. It has enough information and resources to keep researchers and students busy but is presented in such a way that even those with no knowledge of archeology or ancient history can enjoy. If you’d like to visit the website, you can use the link at the beginning of this post or click HERE.

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Jackie Standaert

I'm an office worker by day, a historian by night. At some point, I'll have enough money saved to get my Ph.D. in History, but for now, my B.A. will have to do.

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