Valley of the Queens, Thebes
If time permits the Queens' tombs in the Valley of the Queens (Biban el-Harim, "Place of Beauty"; actually the Wadi el-Malikat) are well worth seeing. An old footpath from Deir el-Medina (1mi/1.5km) over a low hill passes a number of stelae, formerly in niches. On the first of these Ramesses III is depicted in the presence of Amun and Ptah. On the next one Meresger, goddess of the West, offers Ramesses III her breast, with the sun god Re-Harakhty standing behind; to the right Amun presents the King with the curved sword of victory; the inscription relates to Ramesses's military campaigns. The path then continues up a valley flanked by picturesque limestone cliffs, on which are inscribed prayers to the deities of the Underworld, and joins the modern road from Medinet Habu. The road ends in an enclosed valley, the Valley of the Queens, which is of great beauty, though less imposing than the Valley of the Kings. There are magnificent views, particularly from the head of the valley, of the Theban Plain and the Colossi of Memnon.The tombs in the Valley of the Queens mostly belong to the 19th and 20th Dynasties. A total of almost 80 tombs are now known, most of them excavated by an Italian expedition led by E. Schiaparelli (1903-05; commemorative plaque). Many of the tombs are unfinished and without decoration, resembling mere caves in the rocks. There are few incised inscriptions or reliefs; such decoration as there is consists of paintings on stucco.In the tomb of Amunkerkhopshef was found the mummy of a baby or a fetus whose identity is unknown.
Entrance fee in EGP: Adult £15.00
Tomb of Prince Seth-her-khopshef
No. 43, the Tomb of Prince Seth-her-khopshef, a son of Ramesses III. Two narrow corridors lead to a rather wider chamber, off which opens a smaller chamber. The reliefs, once brightly colored but now blackened, depict the dead man and the King praying to various gods and performing other ritual acts. In the last chamber Osiris is depicted on the rear wall, to the right and left; on the side walls are two rows of various deities.
Tomb of Prince Khaemweset
No. 44, the Tomb of Prince Khaemweset, also a son of Ramesses III, with well preserved painted reliefs. First chamber: the dead man and his father before various gods. In the two side chambers: the Prince before various gods; on the rear wall Isis and Nephthys before Osiris. In the corridor beyond the first chamber the King and Prince are shown in front of the gates of the Fields of the Blessed and their guardians. In the last chamber the King is depicted in the presence of various gods.
Tomb of Queen Titi
From No. 44 the route continues past No. 51, the Tomb of Queen Eset (mother of Ramesses VI), to No. 52, the Tomb of Queen Titi. This consists of an antechamber, a long corridor and a chapel of some size, with smaller chambers opening off the rear and side walls.At the near end of the corridor, to the right and left, are figures of the goddess Maat, her wings outspread to protect those entering the tomb. Left hand wall: the Queen before Ptah, Re-Harakhty (the morning sun), the two genii of the dead, lmsety and Duamutef, and the goddess Isis. Right hand wall: the Queen before Thoth, Atum (the evening sun), the two genii of the dead, Hapi and Qebhsenuef, and Nephthys, sister of Isis. At the far end are Selkit (with a scorpion on her head) and Neith, the "Lady of Sais". Chapel: figures of gods and demons. Side chamber on south, rear wall: left, Hathor (in the form of a cow) in a mountain landscape, in front of her a sycamore from which Hathor (in human form) pours out Nile water to refresh the Queen. In the side chamber on the north is the mummy shaft. Rear chamber, rear wall: Osiris enthroned, in front of him Neith and Selkit, behind him Nephthys and Isis (side by side) and Thoth. Other walls: genii of the dead and gods seated at tables, with the Queen worshiping them.
Tomb of Prince Amen-her-khopshef
A short distance farther on from the Tomb of Queen Titi is No. 55, the, Tomb of Prince Amen-her-khopshef, another son of Ramesses Ill. The colors of the paintings are well preserved.First chamber, left hand wall: the King embraced by Isis; the King, accompanied by the Prince, offering incense to Ptah; various deities (Ptah, Tatjenen, the dog headed Duamutef and lmsety, guardian spirits of the dead, and Isis) holding the King by the hand. Right hand wall, similar scenes: the King embraced by Isis; the King and Prince offering incense to the god Shu; Qebhsenuef, Hapi and Isis holding the King by the hand. The side chambers are undecorated. The corridor beyond the first chamber has the same scenes as the corridor in Tomb 44. At the end of the corridor is the tomb chamber, with the granite sarcophagus.
Tomb of Queen Nefertari
Next to No. 55 is No. 66, the Tomb of Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramesses II, which is different in form from the other Queen's tombs. It has magnificent painted stucco reliefs, executed with the utmost delicacy, which have unfortunately been damaged by the infiltration of water; particularly fine are the figures of the Queen. The ceiling is painted with stars in imitation of the night sky.A flight of steps descends to the first chamber, along the left hand walls of which runs a bench for the reception of offerings, topped by a cavetto cornice. The inscriptions are from the 17th Chapter of the "Book of the Dead". The accompanying reliefs depict the Queen sitting under a canopy and playing a board game; the Queen's soul, in the form of a bird with a human head; the Queen kneeling in adoration of the sun, which is borne by two lions; the god Thoth in the form of an ibis; the mummy on its bier; and various deities. Right hand walls: the Queen, in presence of Osiris, praying to the sun god Harakhty and the goddess of the West; far right, the Queen, followed by Isis, before the scarab headed Khepri; on the opposite side the goddess Selkit. Side chamber (right to left): the god Khnum, accompanied by Isis and Nephthys; the Queen worshiping the sacred bull and seven sacred cows; the Queen before Atum; the Queen before Osiris; the Queen presenting writing materials to Thoth and making an offering to Ptah. On the side walls of the staircase leading out of the first chamber, above, the Queen is depicted in the presence of various divinities; below, Isis and Nephthys kneeling and protecting those entering the tomb. On the architrave of the doorway is the goddess Maat with outspread wings. The pillared chamber at the foot of the staircase was intended for the Queen's sarcophagus. The mural reliefs in this chamber and the three small side chambers opening off it are largely destroyed.The tomb is not open to the public.