Valley of The Queens

From above, the Valley of the Queens appears unimpressive—a rocky, sunbaked scattered valley with simple stone entrances leading to the burial site where tombs were discovered with the remains of pharaohs’ wives buried in ancient Egypt.

Where exactly is the Valley of the Queens?

It is situated in Luxor, The Valley of the Queens, like the Valley of the Kings, is an Egyptian burial site where over 90 tombs have been discovered in excavations that continue to this day.

What purpose did the Valley of the Queens serve?

The Valley of the Queen was originally built to serve as a burial ground for ancient Egypt’s royal queens, but it was also used to bury princes, princesses, and other members of the nobility.

The ancient Egyptian civilization believed in an afterlife, and those who deserved it would have eternal life if all procedures were followed. Because they believed that their possessions would be required to enjoy the afterlife, pharaohs and queens were buried with their treasures, clothing, and basic necessities like food and drink. Keeping their treasures and belongings safe was critical, so as they planned the Valley of the Queen burial site, much thought was given to how to build the burial site in a discrete manner to protect it from thieves, thus keeping the mummies and their belongings intact once they awoke to eternal life.

The strategy used in the Valley of the Queens was similar to the one used in the Valley of the Kings; the goal here was to conceal the entrances to the tombs, making them non-targets. However, the Valley of the Queens builders were unable to protect the treasures and the queen’s belongings. Even though some of the decorations remained impressively preserved, the treasures and belongings were all gone by the time Schiaparelli discovered the tombs in 1904.

When was the Valley of the Queens constructed?

In ancient Egypt, queens and wives of pharaohs were buried in the same tomb as their husbands, which changed at some point, explaining the construction of both valleys such as the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Kings.
The Valley of the Queens served as a burial ground for the period (1292-1075 bc) in the 19th and 20th dynasties, beginning with the tomb of Princess Ahmose, the daughter of King Seqenenre and Queen Sitdjehuti, dating likely to King Thutmose I.

Visiting the Queens’ Valley

At first glance, the valley is unimpressive. It is little more than a sun-blasted gorge of generic red rock, but it conceals the tombs of nearly 90 important royal family members beneath the earth. The Valley of the Queens’ tombs are decorated similarly to the Valley of the Kings’ tombs. Visitors to the Valley of the Queens should definitely also visit the Valley of the Kings, which is more popular and contains more prestigious tombs from some of Egypt’s most powerful Pharaohs.

The Valley of the Queens, like the Valley of the Kings, only a few of the over 90 tombs discovered there are open to visitors. Some are still being excavated, but many are open to visitors on a rotating basis to allow for restoration. The ornate decorations on the walls of these tombs, as well as the painstaking process required to create them, are well worth the visit.


The Nefertari Tomb

The Tomb of Queen Nefertari, Ramesses II’s favorite wife, is the most impressive of all tombs in the Valley of the Queens. The tomb is a work of art, beautifully decorated with paintings on the walls depicting Nefertiti’s life, her husband, and King Akhenaten.

While on a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan with Al Sahel Travel