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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Valley of the Kings was sculpted by geological processes, some of which continue to operate today. The geology affected the decisions made by the tomb builders as well as creating conservation issues for the current generation. The earliest rocks in the area were deposited in a shallow sea and include up to 100 meters of chalky, white limestone. The limestones are interspersed with layers of marl, shale, and flint that interrupted the planned tomb excavations. The whole Theban plateau was lifted up by the same faults that were already creaking in the ancient African basement, and then valleys cut down as the sea level fell and the Nile excavated a large canyon. The old faults continue to move and have disrupted the area since the time of excavation of the tombs, with particular damage evident in some of the tombs.

Keywords: geology, geological processes, limestone, faults, sedimentary rock, shale, tomb builders, damage to tombs

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