All the images
of Ay suffered vandalism in ancient times by someone who knew where his
tomb was. Perhaps this was done by King Horemheb his successor or by the
Priests of Amun as a backlash of animosity towards King Akhenaten for
whom Ay had acted as a minister. Akhenaten, was Tutankhamun’s father
and he introduced a new monotheistic religion into Egypt which had would
have justifiably angered Amun's Priests. When Amun was restored as the
principal god, Akhenaten was reviled and many monuments to him and his
supporters were vandalised. However, this is conjecture as is most things
concerning events that happened thousands of years ago.
The paintings and mummies of the baboons in Ay’s tomb may have
venerated the Sun Temple of Thoth, a god to whom baboons were sacred.
This remote temple, which lies on a spur 400m above the Valley, has no
public access and can only be reached on foot or by donkey via a steep
5 km long path starting near Howard Carter’s house.
The road to Ay’s tomb is wide enough for motor vehicle access and
visitors who are in a hurry might prefer to visit the Valley by taxi,
or private car. However, the best way to see this Valley is on foot then
you can admire its rock formations and investigate the narrow paths that
lead through them. The path leading into the canyon beyond Ay’s’
tomb is magical and as it gets narrower and narrower it hints of a more
If you decide to walk the length of the Valley and back, then allow about
two hours. The guard with the key to the tomb, and to the generator that
lights it, is inside a small house a short way into the Valley.
The best time to visit the Valley is early morning before the heat of
the day becomes too intense or late in the afternoon after the heat has
passed, but be sure to allow enough time to see the Valley before closing
time. Remember to take extra water with you because it can get very hot
there and you might become dehydrated without it.
NB: Amenophis III (also known as Amenhotep III) was a prolific builder
and was responsible for construction of the main part of Luxor Temple as well as his pleasure palace (Malqata) and his massive mortuary temple
on the West Bank of which only the Colossi of Memnon now remain.