Interior view of the lower Chambers of Tomb QV66 Queen Nefertari, with Gods Hathor, Sekhmet, and Ra Horakhty visible, in the Valley of the Queens, Luxor, Egypt.

© Kirk Fisher/Shutterstock

Tomb of Nefertari


Nefertari's tomb is hailed as one of the finest in the Theban necropolis – and all of Egypt for that matter. Nefertari was one of five wives of Ramses II, the New Kingdom pharaoh known for his colossal monuments, but the tomb he built for his favourite queen is a shrine to her beauty and, without doubt, an exquisite labour of love. Every centimetre of the walls in the tomb’s three chambers and connecting corridors is adorned with colourful scenes.

Nefertari, known as the ‘Most Beautiful of Them’, is depicted wearing a divinely transparent white gown and a golden headdress featuring two long feathers extending from the back of a vulture. The ceiling of the tomb is festooned with golden stars. In many places the queen is shown in the company of the gods and with associated text from the Book of the Dead.

Like most of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, this one had been plundered by the time it was discovered by archaeologists. Only a few fragments of the queen’s pink-granite sarcophagus remained, and of her mummified body, only traces of her knees were left.

A replica of the tomb is planned to be installed, alongside the replica of Tutankhamun's burial chamber, near Howard Carter's house.

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