Valley of the Queens.
The Valley of the Queens is a valley near the Valley of the Kings where many New Kingdom Queens had their burials. The most pristinely preserved New Kingdom tomb in all of Egypt, the tomb of Nefertari (Ramses II's favorite wife), is located here. The Valley of the Queens is far more seldomly visited and as a result, we were the only travellers here. It was very peaceful to walk through the tombs by ourselves and without the chatter and stomping of feet of thousands of tourists. It really let one appreciate and soak in the tombs. The Valley of the Queens looks like a smaller version of the Valley of the Kings.
The first tomb we visited was the Tomb of Prince Khaemwaset, son of Ramses III. So, as it turns out, if you are Pharaoh you can have your progeny AS WELL AS your Queens buried here.
Khaemwaset. Main corridor.
The wall paintings on Khaemwaset's tomb were equisite. He is depicted as a child because he died very young. The paintings show him being presented to the guardians of the gates to the Afterlife by his father. He is making an offering in one scene, and is dressed in a robe, wearing a necklace and the traditional side-locks of youth. This tomb was discovered in 1903 with numerous sarcophagi pilled up in the entrance corridor. His title was the Priest of Ptah in Memphis, "Fan-bearer to the Right of the King" and "Sem-Priest." He was the oldest son of Ramses III and his mother was Queen Titi. We bribed the guard with bakesheesh to let us take pictures.
Our next tomb was the Tomb of Titi, wife of Ramses III, and mother of Khaemwaset.
Amunkherkhepesef. Amunkherkhepesef's sarcophagus.
The wall paintings were quite intact and showed Queen Titi praying and presenting musical instruments to Ra.
The last tomb we could visit (sadly they have closed Nefertari's tomb to visitors) was the Tomb of Amonherkhepeshef. He was another son of Ramses III and died around the age of 9. Are we noticing a pattern here? Yes there ARE other queens than those of Ramses III here, BUT he really used this as his own private burial ground for his young children (who died) and Queens. On the wall paintings, Amonherkhepeshef is depicted being led by his father into the presence of the deities of the Duat (Afterlife). The deities depicted are Ptah and 2 of the four sons of Horus (Amset and Duamutef) who lead the two onto Isis.
Queen Titi's tomb. Gate-keeper.
On the opposite wall, they are led to Hathor and then to the other two sons of Horus, Hapi and Qebsennuf. (The four sons of Horus are the 4 heads on the canopic jars.) The prince's sarcophagus is located at the rear of the tomb. A dessicated fetus (remains of a still-born younger brother) lies in a glass display case next to the sarcophagus, it was found next to the prince's burial.
The Valley of the Queens is a must see and definitely worth the time to be able to enjoy the tomb and wall paintings without the crazy crowds that are at the Valley of the Kings.