Valley of the Kings, a low-lying area on the west bank of the Nile River, in Egypt. It is near the site of the ancient city of Thebes. The tombs of more than 40 pharaohs are carved out of the hills and cliffs surrounding the valley. Thutmose I, who reigned about 1530–1500 B.C., was the first Egyptian ruler to be buried here. Previously, the pharaohs were buried in pyramids. It is believed the hillside burial place was chosen to prevent robbery of the tombs. However, nearly all the vaults in the Valley of the Kings were robbed. The first intact tomb discovered by archeologists (1922) was that of Tutankhamen, who reigned in the 14th century B.C.