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Egypt Travel

Egypt Travel to the The Valley of the Queens a wonderful experience. The Valley of the Queens is one of the most popular ancient necropolises in Egypt and the second most important Pharaohs burial site in Luxor after the Valley of the Kings. While the kings of the New Kingdom started digging their tombs deep into the Theban mountains in the Valley of the Kings, they selected another valley about 10 kilometers to the South to burry the bodies of their royal queens, princes, and leading dignitaries. This royal necropolis is included in most Egypt travel packages.

Although the Valley of the Queens was used as an ancient necropolis in the 18th dynasty, only at the beginning of the 19th dynasty, the royal wives of the Pharaoh Ramses I were buried there.

Although there are more than 80 royal tombs in the Valley of the Queens, only a few of them are opened for public all year long in order to preserve and restore the tombs regularly

Some queens who bore the title of being a royal consort were not buried with their kings and husbands in the Valley of the Kings. They would rather be buried in the Valley of the Queens, a necropolis that was sacred to the goddess Hathour. The title Valley of the Queens was named by Champollion, the same as the Valley of the Kings.

The Valley of the Queens was not only the burial site of the royal consorts, but also royal princes and high officials of the government as well. This was why the ancient Egyptians have called the Valley of the Queens; Ta Set Neferu, the place of the royal court, or the place of the children of the king. It has become quite popular nowadays for group tour to Egypt and custom tours to Egypt to pay a visit to the Valley of the Queens, the same as the Valley of the Kings, visited by numerous tourists who travel to Egypt every year

As early as the 20th century, the Valley of the Queens was known to be an ancient royal necropolis, but the tombs were not yet discovered. The first real study of the Valley of the Queens can be attributed to the Italian archeological mission that was directed by Ernesto Schiaparelli. This mission has worked for many years in this historical site and they were able to unearth the most magnificent colorfully decorated tombs. Three of these tombs belong to the sons of Ramses II and one belonged to his favorite wife, Queen Nefertari.

A tour to Egypt generally and to Luxor in specific is never completed except by visiting the Valley of the Queens.

The Tomb of Nefertari

Considered to be the most beautiful ancient tomb in Luxor, the tomb of Queen Nefertari was closed in 1986 and it was restored for more than 9 years before its reopening in 1995 offering the chance to view the amazing ancient Egyptian art for many travelers who come forEgypt travel.

The Tomb of Queen Nefertari was named Mery-en-Mut by the ancient Egyptians, or the most beautiful and beloved of the god Mut because of its extensive fabulous decorations and wall paintings.

Queen Nefertari was the most favorite and beloved wife of Ramses II, the greatest builder of ancient Egypt who erected huge structures like the Temple of Abu Simble, the hypostyle hall of the Karnak Temple, many sections in the Temple of Luxor, and several huge statues of himself and his queen. Ramses II wanted the tomb of his favorite consort to be as astonishing as the famous temples and structure he constructed. This was why he insisted to have the most magnificent tomb for his wife, Nefertari.

The tomb was discovered by Ernesto Schiaparelli in the year 1904. Although all the items of the tomb of Nefertari were stolen during ancient times, it remains the most remarkable tomb in Thebes attracting the attention of any guest coming for his Egypt holiday.

The tomb starts with a few steps leading to the antechamber which is famous for its astronomical ceiling painted in dark blue representing heaven. There is a large opening in this chamber flanked by representations of the goddess Osiris and the god Anubis. This wall opening leads to the first side chamber that contains many interesting offering scenes drawn on its walls. The first Vestibule of the tomb includes scenes presenting the beautiful Nefertari to the gods who were welcoming her.
In the Northern wall of the antechamber, a staircase goes to the burial chamber below consisting of a wide space with a surface area of 90 square meters. This chamber is famous for its four pillars with their rich decorations holding a remarkable astronomical ceiling.

Originally, according to the ancient Egyptian religious texts of the time, the red granite sarcophagus of the Queen was placed in the middle of this chamber. The room contains many scenes portraying the doors of the kingdom of Osiris, copied from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.

The Tomb of Khaemwaset

This tomb belongs to one of the sons of Ramses III is famous for its marvelous wall paintings that are still well preserved. Khaemwaset was titled the highest priest of the god Ptah. Ramses III was famous for having many sons and there were five of them who were buried in the Valley of the Queens.

The two tombs of Khaemwaset and his brother, Amun-her-Khepshef were most probably the last tombs to be built in the Valley of the Queens in 1156 BC, in the 28th year of rule of the king Ramses III. There is no clear evidence of the age of the two brothers when they passed away, but surely they have died young. Many travelers who come for Egypt tours visit the Valley of the Queens included in many Egypt travel programs.

Both the tombs of the two brothers have the same structure and similar liner design which consists mainly of a long corridor with many beautiful and preserved wall paintings taking the guest at the end to the burial chamber and a rear chamber afterwards. The vestibule of the tomb, with the normal astronomical ceiling, contains many magnificent well preserved decorations presenting the son and the father standing before the seven sacred gods.

A significant feature of the tomb of Khaemwaset, the same for the tomb of his brother, is that he is always presented in the vestibule and the burial chamber preceded by his father, Ramses III guarding the gates of the heaven of Osiris.

The Tomb of Amun-her-Khepshef

This tomb is considered by many as the masterpiece of the 20th dynasty tomb painting art and the one of the most popular tombs in the Valley of the Queens.

Amun-her-Khepshef, the son of Ramses III, held the titles of the heir to the throne and chief charioteer. Just like his brother, Khaemwaset, he died at a very young age maybe 14 or 15.

Discovered in 1904 by the mission headed by Schiaparelli, the Italian archeologist who unearthed many tombs in the Valley of the Queens was designed like a corridor with square vestibule and side chambers only on the right side with no decorations at all.

A few steps at the entrance of the tomb leads to the vestibule of the tomb which walls display scenes of the father, Ramses III presenting his son to the gods. On the other wall, containing the entrance to the burial chamber, Amun-her-Khepshef and Ramses III are portrayed greeting the goddess Hathour and another wall painting displaying the father and the son in front of the god Isis.

The sarcophagus of the prince, which was originally found in the burial chamber, is now on display in the rear chamber. The walls of the tomb, generally, are decorated with scene from the Book of the Dead.

The Tomb of Queen Teti

A good example of a royal queen buried in the Valley of the Queens would be the tomb of Queen Teti who were Married to one of the Ramesside of the 20th dynasty. Most of the tomb of the queen Teti is damaged, but certain wall paintings are extremely magnificent.

The burial chamber of the tomb contains the most amazing scenes where the goddess Hathour is represented in many forms pouring water from the River Nile to revive the queen. A visit to the tomb of the Queen Teti would be a good demo of the art of the period.

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