The Valley of the Queens Plans - Luxor, Egypt.

Luxor, Egypt.

Background:
In this valley by no means all the queens of the New Kingdom were buried. It appears that a special burial ground for the royal consorts was started only in the reign of Ramses I and royal offspring were also buried here. There are signs that previously the queens were laid to rest beside their husbands in the Valley of the Kings, but pillage of the royal tombs has made it extremely difficult for archeologists to confirm this.
There are over twenty tombs in the Valley of the Queens. Many are unfinished and entirely without decoration, resembling caves rather than sacred tomb chambers. The most impressive is that of the wife of Ramses II, Queen Nefertari, his favorite. Although her tomb may only be visited by special permission because of the deterioration of the murals, it will nevertheless be described in order to give a picture of the memorial to a Pharaoh's love. This, and the tomb constructed for the son of Ramses III, Amon-hir-
Khopshef (Amen-hir-Khopshef), who died too young to pass alone into the divine presence of the gods of the underworld, are the most important.

Tomb of Nefertari 
Nefer-tari or 'Beautiful Companion' has a magnificent tomb comprising an entrance hall (I) with a side chamber (2) leading off to the right. A corridor stairway (3) leads to the burial chamber (4) which has four square pillars and, in the center, a few stairs leading to what was once the site of the sarcophagus, sunk slightly lower than the ground rock. The walls throughout the tomb are elaborately worked in low relief, partly filled with stucco and painted.
The first thing that strikes one on entry into the tomb is the extravagant use of color and its astounding brilliance. The flesh hues, white robes, black hair, bright friezes give the impression of having been newly painted. And the second thing is the realism with which the queen herself has been painted. She is graceful and
sensitive and extremely beautiful. Her form, as she appears before the various deities, is accompanied by only a modest amount of text. This, despite the excessive detail of the drawings, gives the impression of simplification, somewhat as though the presence of one so beautiful spoke for itself.
On the left-hand wall of the first chamber (a) is a series of magical formulas with the queen playing. At (b) the Ka worships the rising sun between two lions which symbolize the immediate past and the immediate future. To the right at (c) and (d) the goddesses Neith and Selket receive the queen. Maat, goddess of truth, is represented at each side of the entrance to the annex (e). In the side chamber (2) on the right-hand wall (f) the queen adores seven sacred cows, the bull and four steering oars of the sky. On the facing wall (g) she makes offerings to Osiris (on the left) and Atum (on the right). On the left-hand wall (h) she stands before the ibis-headed Thoth while Heqt the frog squats before him.
In the stair-cased corridor (3) Nefertari makes offerings to Isis (on the left) and Hathor (on the right) while guardian deities protect and guide her.
The murals of the tomb chamber (4) are not in such perfect condition but represent the deceased queen again with the deities.

As usual, demons guard the gates of the underworld and the queen passes by with the aid of the sacred formulas and emblems. In this tomb the safeguards and warnings against evil, and examples of possible sufferings to those. not pure in heart, seem to have been used to the minimum. One is conscious of a path of purity through the underworld, as though the journey of Ramses II's beloved was a mere formality.


Tomb of Amen-hir-Khopshef 
In this charming tomb Ramses III himself leads his son Amon-Hir-Khopshef into the presence of the divine gods of the underworld. The nine-year-old boy wears the side-lock of youth ,and carries the feather of truth as he obediently follows his father. The reliefs are of fine quality low painted relief, in excellently preserved color. In fact the murals of this tomb are amongst the finest on the necropolis.
The tomb comprises a large entrance hall with an unfinished annex to the right and the tomb chamber (unfinished).
On the left-hand wall, travelling clockwise, we wee the young prince following the Pharaoh Ramses III, who offers incense to Ptah (a) and then introduces his son. Afterwards he presents the boy to Duamutef and to Imsety (Imseti) (b), who conducts the pair to Isis. Note that Isis (c) looks over her shoulder to the advancing Pharaoh. She holds him by the hand.
On the right-hand wall (continuing clockwise) Ramses and his son are conducted to Hathor (d), Hapi, Qebehsenuef (e) Shu (f) and Nephthys (g) who puts her hand beneath the chin of the bereaved Pharaoh.
The corridors bear scenes from the Book of the Dead.
There was no mummy of the boy in the sarcophagus but in its place was a foetus of six months' development. Perhaps the mother miscarried due to grief at the loss of the boy. One can only speculate. The foetus is preserved in a small hermetically sealed glass in the tomb.


Tomb of Queen Titi (Tyti)
This is not Queen Tiy, consort of Amenhotep III and mother of Akhenaten, but a queen of the Ramesside era. The tomb is damaged but some of the murals still retain startling freshness of color. The figures of the gods and demons in the tomb chamber defy the years with their brightness.
The tomb is simple, comprising an ante-chamber (I), a long passage (2) and the tomb chamber (3), which is flanked by three small chambers.

On the rear wall of the chamber flanking the tomb chamber to the right (a) is a representation of Hathor who appears in the form of a cow in a mountainous landscape. In front there is a sycamore from which Hathor, now represented in human form, pours out Nile water to revive the queen.
The chamber on the opposite side (b) contains the mummy shaft. The rear chamber (c) shows genii of the dead and various gods seated at offering tables while the queen prays to them (to left and right). On the rear wall Osiris sits enthroned with Neith and Selket before him and Nephthys, Isis and Thoth behind him.

The Valley of the Queens Plans - Luxor, Egypt.

Luxor, Egypt.

Background:
In this valley by no means all the queens of the New Kingdom were buried. It appears that a special burial ground for the royal consorts was started only in the reign of Ramses I and royal offspring were also buried here. There are signs that previously the queens were laid to rest beside their husbands in the Valley of the Kings, but pillage of the royal tombs has made it extremely difficult for archeologists to confirm this.
There are over twenty tombs in the Valley of the Queens. Many are unfinished and entirely without decoration, resembling caves rather than sacred tomb chambers. The most impressive is that of the wife of Ramses II, Queen Nefertari, his favorite. Although her tomb may only be visited by special permission because of the deterioration of the murals, it will nevertheless be described in order to give a picture of the memorial to a Pharaoh's love. This, and the tomb constructed for the son of Ramses III, Amon-hir-
Khopshef (Amen-hir-Khopshef), who died too young to pass alone into the divine presence of the gods of the underworld, are the most important.

Tomb of Nefertari 
Nefer-tari or 'Beautiful Companion' has a magnificent tomb comprising an entrance hall (I) with a side chamber (2) leading off to the right. A corridor stairway (3) leads to the burial chamber (4) which has four square pillars and, in the center, a few stairs leading to what was once the site of the sarcophagus, sunk slightly lower than the ground rock. The walls throughout the tomb are elaborately worked in low relief, partly filled with stucco and painted.
The first thing that strikes one on entry into the tomb is the extravagant use of color and its astounding brilliance. The flesh hues, white robes, black hair, bright friezes give the impression of having been newly painted. And the second thing is the realism with which the queen herself has been painted. She is graceful and
sensitive and extremely beautiful. Her form, as she appears before the various deities, is accompanied by only a modest amount of text. This, despite the excessive detail of the drawings, gives the impression of simplification, somewhat as though the presence of one so beautiful spoke for itself.
On the left-hand wall of the first chamber (a) is a series of magical formulas with the queen playing. At (b) the Ka worships the rising sun between two lions which symbolize the immediate past and the immediate future. To the right at (c) and (d) the goddesses Neith and Selket receive the queen. Maat, goddess of truth, is represented at each side of the entrance to the annex (e). In the side chamber (2) on the right-hand wall (f) the queen adores seven sacred cows, the bull and four steering oars of the sky. On the facing wall (g) she makes offerings to Osiris (on the left) and Atum (on the right). On the left-hand wall (h) she stands before the ibis-headed Thoth while Heqt the frog squats before him.
In the stair-cased corridor (3) Nefertari makes offerings to Isis (on the left) and Hathor (on the right) while guardian deities protect and guide her.
The murals of the tomb chamber (4) are not in such perfect condition but represent the deceased queen again with the deities.

As usual, demons guard the gates of the underworld and the queen passes by with the aid of the sacred formulas and emblems. In this tomb the safeguards and warnings against evil, and examples of possible sufferings to those. not pure in heart, seem to have been used to the minimum. One is conscious of a path of purity through the underworld, as though the journey of Ramses II's beloved was a mere formality.


Tomb of Amen-hir-Khopshef 
In this charming tomb Ramses III himself leads his son Amon-Hir-Khopshef into the presence of the divine gods of the underworld. The nine-year-old boy wears the side-lock of youth ,and carries the feather of truth as he obediently follows his father. The reliefs are of fine quality low painted relief, in excellently preserved color. In fact the murals of this tomb are amongst the finest on the necropolis.
The tomb comprises a large entrance hall with an unfinished annex to the right and the tomb chamber (unfinished).
On the left-hand wall, travelling clockwise, we wee the young prince following the Pharaoh Ramses III, who offers incense to Ptah (a) and then introduces his son. Afterwards he presents the boy to Duamutef and to Imsety (Imseti) (b), who conducts the pair to Isis. Note that Isis (c) looks over her shoulder to the advancing Pharaoh. She holds him by the hand.
On the right-hand wall (continuing clockwise) Ramses and his son are conducted to Hathor (d), Hapi, Qebehsenuef (e) Shu (f) and Nephthys (g) who puts her hand beneath the chin of the bereaved Pharaoh.
The corridors bear scenes from the Book of the Dead.
There was no mummy of the boy in the sarcophagus but in its place was a foetus of six months' development. Perhaps the mother miscarried due to grief at the loss of the boy. One can only speculate. The foetus is preserved in a small hermetically sealed glass in the tomb.


Tomb of Queen Titi (Tyti)
This is not Queen Tiy, consort of Amenhotep III and mother of Akhenaten, but a queen of the Ramesside era. The tomb is damaged but some of the murals still retain startling freshness of color. The figures of the gods and demons in the tomb chamber defy the years with their brightness.
The tomb is simple, comprising an ante-chamber (I), a long passage (2) and the tomb chamber (3), which is flanked by three small chambers.

On the rear wall of the chamber flanking the tomb chamber to the right (a) is a representation of Hathor who appears in the form of a cow in a mountainous landscape. In front there is a sycamore from which Hathor, now represented in human form, pours out Nile water to revive the queen.
The chamber on the opposite side (b) contains the mummy shaft. The rear chamber (c) shows genii of the dead and various gods seated at offering tables while the queen prays to them (to left and right). On the rear wall Osiris sits enthroned with Neith and Selket before him and Nephthys, Isis and Thoth behind him.

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