The Valley of the Queens is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also called the “Valley of Beauty”, which lies on the western bank of the Nile River. It appears as the central part of the necropolis of Ancient Egypt. This valley has about 70 tombs for wives and children of kings and pharaohs. In addition, there are tombs for nobles and priests in it. Scientists announced the founding dates back to the XVIII dynasty.
Location of the Valley of the Queens
Discoveries in the Valley of the Queens
The first tomb the egyptologists found belongs to the princess Ahmos of the XVIII dynasty. She is one of the daughters of the pharaoh Sekenenre Tao and his wife, Sitjehuti. There is a high probability that the tomb belongs to the reign of Thutmose I. At the same time, a small number of representatives of the nobility and the vizier and the stable were buried. All the tombs found in the Three Mines Valley were mainly dated to the Thutmose period. There are also three mine tombs in the valley, due to which the valley got its name.
In this dolmen Valley, a road has been preserved along which workers from the village of Deir el-Medina moved to the Valley of the Queens. If you go along this road, then on the way, there is a rocky temple, which was built in honour of Ptah and Meritseger.
The tombs made at this time are very simple in shape and represent a shaft with a chamber. The tombs were expanded and made more prominent to bury several people. They could house members of royal families – princesses, princes and aristocrats.
The Tomb of the Princesses dates back to the reign of Amenhotep III. No one knows her whereabouts, but various artefacts that the archaeologists found there earlier are located in museums. Such a find is a fragment from a jug belonging to the wife of Pharaoh Hen. Her name is entered in the cartouche. Parts of the canopic were found, where the name of Mencheperra, who was the son of Thutmose and Meritra, is indicated. Also, Pharaoh Nebetnehat and the daughter of Pharaoh Tai were installed and recorded in the cartouche.
Tomb of Nefertari Merenmouth
The most impressive tomb is Nefertari Merenmouth, the wife of Pharaoh Ramses II. It is decorated with exquisite paintings from a polychrome fresco. Nefertari Marimut was the first wife of the pharaoh, and she was also considered the foremost queen in the first year of the reign of Ramses.
The queen was called a noble lady. She belonged to a noble family, wielding tremendous power. According to some reports, it is believed that she was in kinship with the Aye family, which one of the extreme rulers was. Nefertari could well hide her family ties.
The image of this queen can be seen in a large number of monuments of Ancient Egypt: most often, she was depicted with her husband, Ramses. The official dates of her images, discovered by scientists, can be considered the third year of the reign of the pharaoh.
In the pictures, she was short, about up to her husband’s knees. Perhaps this showed the knowledge of the pharaoh or the queen was short.
Date of Discovery
The tomb was excavated in 1904, but the first time visitors were able to contemplate the ancient walls only in 1995. Before this period, researchers carefully studied the ancient hieroglyphs placed on the walls. Due to the drawings’ obsolescence, the damage caused by dried clay and plaster, and the formation of crystals, the tomb remained closed for several years.
The expedition spent six million dollars to clean up the murals and fix the multiple layers of paint and plaster on the walls. No changes could be made or newly added. However, to eliminate the drying of the air, which could lead to salt crystallisation, the number of people visiting this place could not exceed 150 people. But very little time passed, and everyone forgot about this rule. Due to this, over several years, the general condition of the frescoes has deteriorated significantly.