Whereas Mentuhotpe’s remains weren’t discovered till modern times, many of the New Kingdom royal tombs were despoiled soon after their burial in the Valley of the Kings. Towards the end of the XXI Dynasty, priests hid forty mummies in a secret cache in a hollow to the south above Mentuhotpe’s temple, which the villagers of Gurna found in 1875 and quietly sold off for years until rumbled by the authorities, who forced them to reveal the cache’s location. Amongst the mummies recovered were Amenhotep I, Tuthmosis II and III, Seti I and Ramses II and III. As the steamer bore them downriver to Cairo, villagers lined the banks, wailing in sorrow or firing rifles in homage – a haunting scene in Shady Abdel Salem’s film The Mummy, a classic of Egyptian cinema (1975). The royal cache is not open to visitors.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Egypt features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right