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Valley of Nobles, Luxor

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West Bank
Egypt's insider take:

Off the package-tour trail, this small necropolis deserves a visit if only to interact with the local watchmen who use broken mirrors to direct the sun's rays into the cool dark tombs of the pharaohs' scribes, granary overseers, and other courtiers. In contrast to rulers' tombs, decorated with religious rituals, scenes in the tombs of Ramose, Userhat, Kha'ahmet, Menna and Nahkt depict images of their families and daily life on their estates. Look for rivulets of a mourning daughter's plated hair, the supervision of farm hands, grape arbors, farm girls removing splinters from their feet, and tabby cats stealing the pharaoh's duck eggs.

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