Valley of the Queens

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Coordinates: 25°43′39″N 32°35′35″E / 25.72750°N 32.59306°E / 25.72750; 32.59306

Valley of the Queens in hieroglyphs
Q1 X1
F35 F35 F35

The place of beauty
Valley of the Queens by Zureks.jpg
General view of the Valley of the Queens

The Valley of the Queens (Arabic: وادي الملكاتWādī al Malekāt) is a place in Egypt where wives of Pharaohs were buried in ancient times. In ancient times, it was known as Ta-Set-Neferu, meaning –"the place of beauty". Along with the Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties (1550–1070 BCE) many princes and princesses were also buried with various members of the nobility. The tombs of these individuals were maintained by mortuary priests who performed daily rituals and provided offerings and prayers for the deceased nobility.

The valley is located near the better known Valley of the Kings, on the west bank of the Nile across from Thebes (modern Luxor). This barren area in the western hills was chosen due to its relative isolation and proximity to the capital. The kings of the 18th dynasty, instead of building pyramids as traditional burial chambers (perhaps because of their vulnerability to tomb robbers), now chose to be interred in rock-cut tombs.

This necropolis is said to hold more than seventy tombs, many of which are stylish and lavishly decorated. An example of this is the resting place carved out of the rock for Queen Nefertari (1290–1224 BCE) of the 19th Dynasty. The polychrome reliefs in her tomb are still intact.

The valley was begun in the time of Ramesses I. Prior to that time wives were generally buried with their husbands, and some continued to be so.

Principal burials[edit]

Scene from the tomb of Nefertari

Other burials[edit]

Fragments of burial equipments were found for several additional members of the royal family. No known tombs exist for these individuals but the existence of the burial equipment suggests that these people may have once been buried in the Valley of the Queens as well.[1]

  • King's Wife Henut. Mid 18th Dynasty. Her name was enclosed in a cartouche on canopic fragments.
  • Prince Menkheperre, Son of Tuthmosis III and Merytre Hatshepsut. Canopic fragments were found.
  • King's Great Wife Nebetnehat. Mid 18th Dynasty. Her name was enclosed in a cartouche on canopic fragments.
  • King's Daughter Ti. Mid 18th Dynasty. Canopic fragments were found.


  1. ^ Dodson A. and Hilton D. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, London 2004

Further reading[edit]

  • Bunson, Margaret. "Valley of the Queens." Encyclopædia of Ancient Egypt. New York. (1991)

External links[edit]