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Valley of the Queens

On the west bank of the Nile across the river from Thebes, now modern day Luxor, lies an area known as the Valley of the Queens or Wadi el-Melikat. It is estimated that this necropolis contains about eighty rock cut tombs in all, some of which are lavishly decorated. The Valley of the Queens, like the nearby and better known Valley of the Kings, is an isolated valley in the western hills which was chosen due to its relative proximity to Thebes.

The Valley of the Queens is where, not only the wives of the Pharaohs were buried. In ancient times, it was known as Ta-Set-Neferu, meaning, the place of the Children of the Pharaoh, because along with the Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties, many princes and princesses were also buried along with a few members of the nobility.

Many think that one of the best tombs in  Egypt, is that of Nefertari, who was the favourite wife of Ramses II, who had five wife's in all. Nearing the end of his reign, Ramses II had risen the status of Nefertari to almost that of his own. The tomb consists of seven chambers completely decorated with colourfully painted scenes portraying Nefertari as a very beautiful woman in the company of the gods.

Valley of the Queens 3Nefertari is often pictured in a white, gossamer gown, and wearing a golden crown, from which two feathers extend. Near the stairs to the burial chamber Nefertarti is pictured in a scene offering milk to the goddess Hathor. In a side room there is another scene that depicts the queen worshipping the mummified body of Osiris. Other tombs to visit in the valley are the ones of Queen Titi, and that of infant princes, Amunhirkhopshef, Kheamweset, and Seth-hir-khopshef, all the princes were sons of Ramses III. In the tomb of Amunhirkhopshef, the walls are full of images of Ramses III leading his son through the funerary rituals. The other three tombs are not to the same standard as that of Amunhirkhopshef and Nefertari, but do act as indicators to how many of the other tombs are laid out.

The principle tombs in the Valley of the Queens

Valley of the Queens 1 Valley of the Queens 2

QV30 – Nebiri, Head of the Stables (18th dynasty)

QV33 – Princess Tanedjmet (20th dynasty)

QV38 – Queen Satre, wife of Ramses I

QV42 – Pa-ra-her-unemef, son of Ramses III

QV47 – Seth-her-khopsef, son of Ramses III

QV44 – Khaemwaset, son of Ramses III

QV46 – Imhotep, vizier under Thutmose I

QV47 – Princess Ahmose, daughter of Sekenenre and Sitdjehuti

QV51 – Queen Isis-ta-Habadjilat, wife of Ramses III, mother of Ramses VI

QV52 – Queen Tyti (19th or 20th dynasty)

QV53 – Prince Ramses, son of Ramses III

QV55 - Prince Amunherkhepsef, son of Ramses III

QV60 – Queen Nebettawy, daughter of Ramses II

QV66 – Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses II

QV68 – Queen Meritamun, daughter of Ramses II and Nefertari

QV71 – Queen Bintanath, daughter of Ramses II and Isetnofret

QV72 – Neferhat / Baki

QV74 – Duatentopet

QV75 – Henut-mi-re