What is The Valley of the Queens, and Why Does it Exist?
Where is the Valley of the Queens in Egypt?
The Valley of the Queens is located on the west bank of the Nile river, opposite Luxor, in the Theban Hills near Luxor in Egypt. It is situated southwest of the Valley of the Kings and contains the tombs of several queens and royal family members from the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties of the New Kingdom period (1550–1070 BCE). The valley is also known as Biban el-Harim in Arabic, which means “the southern hill.”
Who is buried at the Valley of the Queens?
The Valley of the Queens was built as a burial place for the queens and princesses of the New Kingdom period of Ancient Egypt (1550–1070 BCE).
It is believed that the valley was chosen for its seclusion and natural beauty and proximity to the Valley of the Kings, which served as the burial place for the pharaohs of the same period.
The tombs in the Valley of the Queens were constructed to provide a final resting place for the queens and princesses and to ensure their safe journey to the afterlife.
The tombs were often decorated with scenes and inscriptions from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which contained spells and instructions for the deceased to navigate the dangers of the underworld and reach the afterlife.
The construction of tombs in the Valley of the Queens began in the 18th dynasty and continued throughout the New Kingdom period.
The valley contains tombs from the reigns of pharaohs such as Amenhotep III, Ramesses II, and Seti I, among others.
The tombs in the Valley of the Queens represent some of the finest examples of Egyptian art and architecture and provide valuable insights into the beliefs and customs of Ancient Egyptian society.
When was the Valley of The Queens Built?
The Valley of the Queens is a series of tombs built during the New Kingdom period of ancient Egypt, specifically between the 16th and 11th centuries BCE.
Most of the tombs were constructed during the 18th and 19th dynasties, with the earliest known tomb, was that of Queen Tawosret, who was the wife of Seti II and ruled Egypt briefly after his death in the late 12th century BCE. So, the Valley of the Queens was built over several centuries, with most of the tombs being constructed in the 16th-11th centuries BCE.
Protecting the Royal Treasures for the Afterlife
The ancient Egyptian civilization believed that there was an afterlife and that those who lived according to the prescribed rituals would be granted the opportunity to live forever.
They believed their possessions would be required for them to have a good time in the afterlife; as a result, pharaohs and queens were buried with their treasures, clothing, and other necessities, such as food and drinks.
It was essential to keep their possessions and treasures secure, so when planning the burial site in the Valley of the Queen, a lot of thought was put into building it discretely to protect it from thieves.
This would ensure that the mummies and their belongings would remain in good condition once they were resurrected into eternal life.
How Many Tombs are in the Valley of the Queens?
There are over 70 tombs in the Valley of the Queens, although not all are open to the public or have been fully excavated.
Many of these tombs are small and straightforward, while others are more elaborate and contain extensive decorations and inscriptions. Some of the tombs are also believed to be non-royal and were likely built
for high-ranking officials or members of the nobility. The tombs in the Valley of the Queens were constructed over several centuries and represented a significant part of the cultural and artistic legacy of Ancient Egypt.
Tombs of the Queens in the Valley
1- Tomb of Nefertari
The Tomb of Nefertari, hailed as the best tomb in the Theban necropolis–and in all of Egypt–was renovated and reopened in 1995; it was fully booked and closed again until further notice in 2003.
Ramses II, the New Kingdom pharaoh famed for his massive temples, had five wives, but the tomb he erected for his favorite queen is a homage to her beauty and, without a doubt, an exquisite labor of love.
Every centimeter of the tomb’s three rooms and linked passageways are covered with vivid depictions of Nefertari in the company of the gods and adjacent text from the Book of the Dead.
The ‘Most Beautiful of Them,’ as Nefertari was called, is always represented wearing a marvelously translucent white robe and a golden crown with two long plumes extending from the back of a vulture.
The tomb’s roof is adorned with glittering stars. Like most of those in the Valley of the Kings, this tomb had been looted by the time researchers found it.
Only a few shards of the pink granite sarcophagus of the queen remained. Only her knees remained from her mummified body. SuperSlots online casino is continually adding new games as the standard for the industry.
2-Tomb of Amunherkhepshef
The Tomb of Amunherkhepshef is the valley’s showcase until the reopening of Nefertari’s tomb, featuring exquisite, well-preserved reliefs. Amunherkhepshef, Ramses III’s son, was still in his teens when he died.
Ramses holds his son’s hand on the walls of the tomb’s entryway to introduce him to the gods who would assist him on his trip to the afterlife. Amunherkhepshef is dressed in a kilt and sandals, with the traditional sidelock of a young boy’s hair.
The mummified five-month-old fetus on exhibit in the tomb in a glass case is the subject of several imaginative stories, one of which is that the child was aborted by Amunherkhepshef’s mother when she learned of his death. Italian archaeologists discovered it in a region south of the Valley of the Queens.
3-Tomb of Khaemwaset
Khaemwaset, another of Ramses III’s sons, died young; however, Egyptologists know nothing about his age or the reason for death. His tomb is brimming with well-preserved, vibrantly colored reliefs.
Khaemwaset’s tomb, like that of his brother Amunherkhepshef, has a linear design and is adorned with depictions of the pharaoh presenting this dead son to the different gods and scenes from the Book of the Dead.
The vestibule contains an astronomical ceiling depicting Ramses III in full ceremonial attire, followed by his son, who wears a tunic and a sidelock of hair to represent his childhood.
4- Tomb of Titi
Egyptologists are unsure which Ramesside pharaoh Titi married, although she is alluded to in her tomb as the royal wife, mother, and daughter.
Some researchers think she was Ramses III’s wife, and her tomb is comparable to Khaemwaset and Amunherkhepshef’s, who were maybe her sons.
The tomb is made out of a passageway that leads to a square chapel that houses the burial chamber and two additional modest chambers. The paintings are fading,
but a winged Maat kneeling on the left side of the passage and the queen before Toth, Ptah, and the four sons of Horus opposite may still be seen.
Many animal guards are in the burial chamber, including a jackal and lion, two monkeys, and a monkey with a bow.
5-Tomb of Queen Ahmose Meritamun
The Tomb of Ahmose Meritamun is one of the tombs located in the Valley of the Queens in Egypt. Ahmose Meritamun was a queen who lived during the 18th dynasty and was the daughter of Pharaoh Ahmose I
and his sister-wife Queen Ahmose Nefertari. Her tomb, designated as QV43, is one of the more elaborate tombs in the valley and is known for its well-preserved decorations.
The tomb of Ahmose Meritamun is one of the most well-preserved tombs in the Valley of the Queens and is a testament to the skill and artistry of Ancient Egyptian craftsmen.
It is open to the public and can be visited as part of a valley tour.
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