Valley of the Queens
- Where is the Valley of the Queens Located?
- What was the Valley of the Queens Built for?
- Protecting the Royal Treasures for the Afterlife
- When was the Valley of The Queens Built?
- Visiting the Valley of the Queens
- The Tomb of Nefertari
Looking from the above-ground, the Valley of the Queens looks rather unimpressive—a rocky, sun-baked scattered valley with simple stone entrances that lead to the burial site where tombs were found with the remainings from the wives of pharaohs buried in ancient Egypt.
Where is the Valley of the Queens Located?
It’s located in Luxor. The Valley of the Queens, similar to the Valley of the Kings, is a burial site in Egypt where over 90 tombs were found in excavations that continues to this day.
What was the Valley of the Queens Built for?
Built initially to serve as the burial grounds for the royal queens of ancient Egypt, the Valley of the Queen was also used as a burial ground for princes, princesses, and other members of the nobility too.
Protecting the Royal Treasures for the Afterlife
Ancient Egyptian civilization believed in an afterlife, and if all procedures were followed then the ones who deserved would enjoy eternal life. They believed that their belongings were to be necessary to enjoy the afterlife, so pharaohs and queens were buried with their treasures, clothing and basic necessities such as food and drinks. Keeping their treasures and belongings safe was very important, so as they planned the burial site of the Valley of the Queen, a lot of thought was put into perspective as to how to build the burial site in a discrete manner as to protect it from thieves, therefore, keeping the mummies and their belongings intact once they woke to the eternal life.
The strategy applied at the Valley of the Queens was similar to the one they applied in the construction of the Valley of the Kings; the intent here was to hide the entrances of the tombs, therefore, making them a non-target. However, the builders in the Valley of the Queens failed to succeed in protecting the treasures and the queen’s belongings. None of the tombs were found intact, even though some of the decorations remained impressively preserved, the treasures and belongings were all gone once the tombs were discovered by Schiaparelli in 1904.
When was the Valley of The Queens Built?
The queens and wives of pharaohs were buried in ancient Egypt with their husbands in the same tomb, something that changed at some point explaining the construction of both valleys such as the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the kings.
The first tomb known to be constructed in the valley of the queens was the tomb of princess Ahmose, the daughter of King Seqenenre and Queen Sitdjehuti dating likely to the King Thutmose I, the Valley of the Queens served as a burial ground for the period (1292–1075 bc) in the 19th and 20th dynasties.
Visiting the Valley of the Queens
The valley is not very impressive at first glance. It is not much more than a sun-blasted gorge of generic, red rock, but hidden, underneath the earth, with the tombs of nearly 90 very important royal family members. The decoration of the tombs in the Valley of the Queens is very similar to the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Visitors who visit the Valley of the Queens should definitely also visit the burial site of the Valley of the Kings, as it’s a more popular and it contains more prestigious tombs from some of the biggest Pharaohs of Egypt. Like at the Valley of the Kings, only a handful of the over 90 tombs that have been discovered at the Valley of the Queens is open for visitors.
Excavation is ongoing in some of them, but many are open to visitors on a rotating schedule to allow for restoration. Seeing the ornate decorations on the walls of these tombs and imagining the painstaking process necessary to create them is well worth the visit.
The Tomb of Nefertari
The most impressive of all tombs in the Valley of the Queens is the Tomb of Queen Nefertari, the favorite wife of Ramesses II. A real piece of art, the tomb is beautifully decorated with paintings on the wall which descriptions of Nefertiti’s life and her husband and King Akhenaten.
Visit the majestic burial site of the Valley of the Queens while taking a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan.