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19th Dynasty Tombs

Queen's Valley - The Valleys - The Places

The change of Dynasty in the Royals spurred a change in Tomb excavation, layout and decoration. The Tombs became multi-chambered with Entrance Ramps and exuberant Decorations. This was to reflect an evolution in the thinking on how a Queen or Great Royal Wife should be buried in order to achieve the route to the Field of Reeds, click here for more information about the Afterlife

The size of the Tomb and use of a Pillared Antechamber would now represent the Religious Journey the deceased would need to take called the Flight for Resurrection, click here for more information about this JourneyThe Mummy would then be buried in a smaller rear Burial Chamber which would be decorated to denote the Chamber’s owner.

As with all Temples and Tombs, the decoration and iconography were key to assisting the deceased with their Journey. In these Ramesside Tombs, the deceased’s Soul or Ka is well represented and uses the Spells from the Book of the Dead to assist the Ka on their Journey. For more details about the Ancient Egyptian Soul, click here.   For more information about the Book of the Dead, click hereThe new Architecture and the new Decoration added up to being the perfect ancient “How To. . . .” Guide for the deceased to use to reach their Afterlife!

Regrettably, due to the positioning of the Valley and the bedrock which it is formed from, many of these Tombs have suffered from damage via time, floods and salt from the rocks. Some other Tombs have been damaged through human usage, particularly during the Coptic period where humans occupied the Tombs and lived in them including cooking fires which severely compromised much of the decoration. Bats are known to have used the Tombs for their Colonies which has come with its own issues.

Anonymous Queen or Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Seti I

Regrettably, Historians have not found a name of the Queen to associate this Tomb with, but they do know that it was laid out and then decorated for a Queen due to the quality of the Decoration. All the Cartouches remain blank, despite there being 6 images of the Queen being portrayed, and her Titles of “King’s Daughter of his body, his beloved, Lady of the Two Lands, Lady of the North and South” being represented. It may be that the Tomb was never used as a full burial Tomb.

Located: On the South Slope of the main Valley

Layout: First Tomb made with a Barrel-Vaulted Chamber, a Pillared Hall and then on to a small rear Burial Chamber.

Decoration: The Tomb was decorated with extracts from the Book of the Dead, Chapter 17 and Chapters 144-6, in raised Plaster Reliefs in Chamber C, and painted Plaster in Chambers E and G; with the most exquisite decoration in the Pillared Hall which was shaded and textured for extra emphasis. This can be compared to the side Chambers where the drawings are well executed but the painting is blocked in rather than finished with a final coat of detailed painting.

The God’s Horus, Thoth, Anubis, Re, and Ptah are shown along with the Goddesses Ma’at, Hathor, Meretseger, Imentet, Nephthys and Isis. All are assisting the deceased with her journey to the Afterlife.

Henuttawy, Princess and daughter of Pharaoh Ramses II and Great Royal Wife Nefertari

After Nefertari’s early death during her husband’s reign, Henuttawy was raised by her father to replace the roles that Nefertari had undertaken. Henuttawy was now known as Princess-Queen and Great Royal Wife along with her sisters Nebettawy, Meritamen and Bintanath.

Whilst some of the Cartouches remain blank there have been traces of the Black Ink on one which revealed the Princesses name to confirm that it was her Tomb.

Layout: The Tomb itself has a Main Chamber which originally had 2 Columns inside that have now collapsed; and 2 smaller side Chambers. It appears that the Main Chamber was used as the Burial Chamber with the 2 side Chambers being reserved for Burial Goods.

Decoration: The Tomb is decorated in the Ramesside style in keeping with other Tomb Decoration of the period but later reuse from the 3rd Intermediate Period, Roman and Coptic times has severely damaged the painting. The Coptic Christians reuse seems to have been the most devasting to the original artwork as they defaced any iconography they disagreed with and plastered over the faces of many of the Tomb occupants. This type of damage cannot be repaired.

Visible are the remains of the Goddesses Meretseger, Nephthys, Ma’at, Isis and Nut are depicted along with the God’s Horus, Osiris, Hapi, Anubis, Re, Kebehsenuef and Ptah. All are assisting the deceased with her journey to the Afterlife. The Weighing of the Heart Scene from the Book of the Dead, Chapter 125, is depicted within the Tomb. For more information about the Book of the Dead, click here.

For more details about the Weighing of the Heart, click here.


Tomb Map


Originally the Tomb was excavated from the bedrock for one of the Daughters and Princess of Pharaoh Ramses II, but no one ever occupied the Tomb, and the Cartouches were left unfinished.

The Tomb was later used by Great Royal Wife Duatentipet, Queen to Pharaoh Ramses IV and Great King’s Mother to Pharaoh Ramses V. Egyptologists believe that the reuse of Tomb QV74 may be due to the Artisan Workers striking in Year 2 of Pharaoh Ramses IV’s reign, ensuring the need for a suitable tomb for the Queen to be placed in at a time when construction was at a halt.


QV33: Queen Tanedjemet, “The Sweet One”

Titles: “Princess” and “King’s Daughter” of Pharaoh Ramses I; “King’s Wife” of Pharaoh Seti I; “Mistress of the Two Lands”
Time: 19th Dynasty, the New Kingdom Period
Tomb: Regrettably the Tomb has little decoration that remains in a decent quality. This could be due to the plundering of the Tomb 150 years after her internment and the reuse of the Tomb during the 26th Dynasty, and the Roman Period of Ancient Egypt during 2nd and 3rd Centuries. Over 100 Mummies were buried here with the Queen. You can imagine the amount of disturbance the Tomb would have received from the moving in and out of these mummies during their own internment and this could well have caused the deterioration in the Tomb’s decoration.


Henutmira, Princess and daughter of either Pharaoh Ramses II and one of his wives, or, Pharaoh Seti I and perhaps Great Royal Wife Tuya which would mean that she was a sister of Pharaoh Ramses II.

In any event, she became one of Pharaoh Ramses II’s Royal Wives and her names means, “Lady who is Like Ra”. Her Tomb was plundered in the 20th Dynasty by a Priest of Amun, Harsiesi and then reused in at least the Roman Period, if not later as well.

Layout: The Tomb has a cut staircase descending underground into a Pillared Main Chamber and on to more stairs with the end at a 4 Pillared Burial Chamber, as well as subsidiary storage Chambers thought to have been used for Funerary Goods.

Decoration: The majority of the decoration has been damaged by reuse, but the scheme does reflect the Ramesside style decoration, and remains in keeping with other Tomb Decoration of the period. Inside the Burial Chamber a scene from the Book of the Dead Chapter 16 depicts the Queen worshipping God Ra.

The God’s Horus, Anubis, Re, Osiris, Nebneru, Herymaat and Ptah are shown along with the Goddesses Ma’at, Hathor, Nephthys and Isis. All are assisting the deceased with her journey to the Afterlife.

The Photograph to the left is of her Coffin outside the Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, Cairo.



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