Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Valley of the Kings Disabled Access Part 2 Joanne Stables

Joanne kindly checked out some individual tombs

DISABLED ACCESS: Valley of the Kings.

KV 1: Ramesses VII.
On the site maps, the tomb of Ramesses VII is designated wheelchair accessible; I partly dispute this classification. To reach the tomb entrance visitors have to walk for several hundred metres up a wadi branch which has an uneven floor surface composed of loose earth and stones. There is also the added difficulty that the gradient of slope of the wadi branch increases as one progresses towards the tomb entrance. Wheelchair users will definitely need help and the mobility impaired will need to take their time. For those people who will a rest and sit down before continuing into the tomb, there is a covered concrete seating area (accessed via one step) adjacent to the tomb entrance.
The modern entrance to the tomb itself is composed of a ramp flanked by shallow steps. The ramp is quite steep, and although the steps are shallow, there is no handrail. The modern metal gate at the ancient entrance to the tomb may also be problematic due to the sills. 
The interior of the tomb has a wooden boardwalk flanked by handrails and protective glass. The gradient of the slope is fairly steep in places; a wheelchair user will definitely require assistant to avoid the slip becoming problematic. People with other mobility problems may also feel more comfortable walking with a companion. In the burial chamber, wheelchair users may need to seek help negotiating around the sarcophagus. Beyond the burial chamber there is a short corridor which is accessed by one step. The size of the corridor however, means that it can be easily viewed from the burial chamber.
When leaving the tomb, wheelchairs users will no doubt require a push! Other persons, especially those with mobility problems, may also find the uphill gradient tiring and need to take regular stops.

KV 2: Ramesses IV.
The tomb entrance of KV2 is a short distance from the paved path that is only found at the beginning of the main wadi of the Valley of the Kings. Between the path and tomb entrance, the ground is once again covered by the problematic loose earth and stones. The ground level also features a shallow slope which should be manageable for most people with impaired mobility. Wheelchair users however, will require help to negotiate the terrain.
At the entrance to the tomb, there is a concreted area with shaded seating. Unfortunately, there is one step to negotiate.
The modern entrance to the tomb is composed of a descending ramped stairway. The ramps appears to be a little steep and the frame of the metal gate that protects the tomb may be a hindrance. Wheelchair users will no doubt require assistance here. The steps on either side of the ramp are of a uniform size and are shallow, but there is no handrail. 
Once inside the tomb, things are easier. The ancient floor has been covered by wooden boardwalks with handrails on both sides. The boardwalks are relatively well-laid and follow the gentle slope of the tomb. Wheelchairs users may need a little help to control their descent. At the bottom of the tomb, wheelchair users may also find it a little difficult negotiating around the sarcophagus. Beyond the burial chamber (with the sarcophagus) there is a short corridor with three side chambers (one on either side and one at the rear). Disabled visitors, especially wheelchair users, will require assistance here as there is one step into the short corridor. The corridor may also be too narrow for wheelchairs users to turn around in.
When leaving the tomb, wheelchairs users will no doubt require a push! Persons mobilising with crutches or a stick may also need to take regular stops.


Spiderpope said...

Another great article!

Unknown said...

Thank you Joanne for this - I thought it would be difficult. I was thinking of asking my faithful friend and driver to push me into a tomb. I so miss being able to see any tombs since becoming disabled. Friends pushed me around Karnak temple which was uncomfortable but good to be there again. I greatly look forward to your further adventures. Thanks Anne