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The tomb

Discovery

Quick review

The tomb of Queen Nefertari (QV 66), the favourite Great Royal Wife of King Ramses II (lifetime ca. 1303–1213 BC), was discovered by Ernesto Schiaparelli (1856–1928) in the Valley of the Queens in 1904. Her burial had been looted in antiquity, so no trace of the original entrance had been preserved. Besides the famous wall paintings, a series of broken remains (e.g. a damaged pink granite sarcophagus, broken furniture, jars, shabtis, other various small items), a pair of sandals and two fragmented mummified legs (parts of tibiae and femora) are preserved. All these items and the human remains are currently housed in the (Museo Egizio Turin, Suppl. 5154 RCGE 14467). (Table A in S1 File).

All photos of the tomb on the "Photos & Media" page

Queen's Valley

The meaning of the Pharaonic name of the Valley – Ta Set Neferu – is subject to different interpretations. According to Leblanc, Ta Set Neferu has the meaning ‘the Place of the Royal Children’ (T3 St Nfrw: nfrw in the context of msw nswt ‘Royal Children’ and in a wider sense ‘of the Royal Harim’) (Leblanc 1999b, 833). The name is attested by a series of documents (papyrus, ostraca, stelae, etc.) of the Ramesside period, though the site was already used for burials at least from the 18th Dynasty onward. In Arabic, various toponyms have been used: ‘Biban el Hajj Ahmed’ (the Doors of the Pilgrim Ahmed), ‘Biban el-Sultanat’ (the Doors of the Sultanas), ‘Biban el-Banat’ (the Doors of the Daughters), ‘Biban el-Harim’ (the Doors of the Women) and, lastly, ‘Biban el-Melekat’ or ‘Wadi el-Melekat’ (the Doors, or the Valley, of the Queens, the latter being most commonly used in recent years). Other scholars translate Ta Set Neferu as ‘The Place of Beauty,’ nfrw being given the meaning of ‘beauty’ or ‘perfection,’ based on the documented use of the name in the Ramesside period when the Valley was used primarily for burial of royal women, many of whom were not themselves ‘royal children.’ (Leblanc 1989a, 14f; McCarthy 2011, 2-3; Thomas 1966, 208).

Valley of the Queens Assessment Report, August 2012
November 2019. The Valley of the Queens,
November 2019. The Valley of the Queens, early morning. Photo: Ludmila Tishkina.

Location

DMS 
Decimal
Geo URI
UTM 

25° 43′ 40.3″ N, 32° 35′ 33.4″ E
25.727861, 32.592611    
geo: 25.727861,32.592611
36R 459136 2845610k2

Photogrammetric model (terrestrial close-range) of the Theban Mountain, Valley of the Queens.
Photographic survey : 2010-2013 Mission archéologique française de Thèbes-Ouest / Supreme Council of Antiquities

Additional facts

Hieratic inscription in a niche (Ba) on the west wall of chamber B, recording the delivery of plaster to two divisions of laborers.
Photo C. Chapoton

(1) [...q]ADA (n) ntj Hr wnmj (2) XAr 2
[...ntj Hr] (3) smHj m-mjtt xAr 1

(1) [... delivered...] plaster for those, who are (working) on the right side: (2) two sacks.
(3) and also [for those, who are (working)] on the left side: one sack.

September 29, 2018. Hieroglyphic transcription, transliteration and translation to Russian: Maxim Panov
Translation to English: Andrey Plaksin, Natalia Koroleva