The Valley of the Queens is a place in Egypt where wives of Pharaohs were buried in ancient times. 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 (1550–1070 BCE) many princes and princesses were also buried with various members of the nobility. The tombs of these individuals were maintained by mortuary priests who performed daily rituals and provided offerings and prayers for the deceased nobility.
The valley is located near the better known Valley of the Kings, on the west bank of the Nile across from Thebes (modern Luxor) . This barren area in the western hills was chosen due to its relative isolation and proximity to the capital. The kings of the 18th dynasty, instead of the traditional building of pyramids as burial chambers (perhaps because of their vulnerability to tomb robbers), now chose to be buried in rock-cut tombs.
This necropolis is said to hold more than seventy tombs, many of which are stylish and lavishly decorated. An example of this is the resting place carved out of the rock for Queen Nefertari (1290–1224 BCE) of the 19th Dynasty. The polychrome reliefs in her tomb are still intact.
The Valley of the Queens include The Tomb of Khaemwese (Tomb 44): Scenes in Khaemwese’s tomb show him being presented to the guardians of the gates to the afterlife along with his father. He is making an offering in the scene, and is dressed in a robe, wearing a necklace and the sidelocks of youth.
The Tomb of Queent Titi (Tomb 52): She is probably the queen of a 20th Dynasty. She is depicted with the sidelocks common to the Egyptian young of the period and in the presence of the gods Thoth, Atum, Isis and Nephthys. In the next chamber the queen is shown making offerings to Hathor the cow, and in the last chamber the gods Neith, Osiris, Selquit, Nephthys and Thoth.
The Tomb of Amenhikhopeshef (Tomb 55): Amenhikhopeshef was a son of Ramesses III and scenes show him with his father and the gods Thoth, Ptah and others. He was probably about nine years old when he died. Scenes show him being presented to various gods, including Anubis, the Jackal-headed god of the dead, by his father, Ramesses III. A premature baby was also found in to tomb. This belonged to this mother, who aborted upon learning of Amenhikhopeshef’s death.
The Tomb of Nefertari (Tomb 66): One of five wives of Ramesses II, Nefertari was his favorite and the tomb here has been is said to be one of the most beautiful in Egypt. The tomb is completely painted with scenes though out. In most of these, Nefertari, known as ‘the most beautiful of them’, is accompanied by gods. She is usually wearing a golden crown with two feathers extended from the back of a vulture and clothed in a white, gossamer gown. Be sure not to miss the side room where one scene depicts the queen worshipping the mummified body of Osiris. Near the stairs to the burial chamber is another wonderful scene with Nefertarti offering milk to the goddess Hathor.