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QV68: Queen Meritamen

Queen's Valley - The Valleys - The Places

Princess and later Queen Meritamen’s name means “Beloved of Amen”. She is the Daughter of Pharaoh Ramses II and Great Royal Wife, Queen Nefertari. She was half-sister to Princess Bentanat and to Princess Nebettawy. She lived during Egypt’s 19th Dynasty.

As with her sister Princess Bentanat, when her mother died, she married her father, Pharaoh Ramses II, and was elevated to take on the role as Great Royal Wife around Year 25 of her father’s reign. Her Titles extended to include:

        Hereditary Princess            Great Royal Wife            Lady of the Two Lands            Queen Consort of Egypt             Mistress of Upper & Lower Egypt            
                   King’s Daughter, his Beloved

Again, although it may seem unorthodox today, the Pharaohs found the marriage of a daughter to her father to continue a Great Royal Wife’s role as keeping within the religious and moral roles as well as offering continuity to Egypt as a whole.

Queen Meritamen is shown in images and reliefs throughout Egypt, including:

  • A Limestone Statue of her which was found in a Chapel at the Ramesseum, her father’s Mortuary Temple
  • Great Temple of Abu Simbel. She has her own Statue on the exterior wall, along with the rest of her brothers and her sister
  • Next to her Mother’s Statue on the exterior wall of Nefertari’s Temple at Abu Simbel, next to her sister
  • Statue from Pi-Ramses where she is depicted standing between her father’s legs
  • A Statue next to her Father’s Statue in Luxor Temple, repeated on another of her father’s Statues here
  • Immense Statue in Akhmim, north of Luxor. Found in the Temple of Ramses II, with the dedication, “. . . whose forehead is beautiful bearing the uraeus, the Beloved of her Lord, the Great One . . . King’s Daughter . . . Fair of Face, Beautiful in the Palace, the Beloved of the Lord of the Two Lands, she who is beside her Lord as Sothis is beside Orion, one is pleased with what is spoken when she opens her mouth to pacify the Lord of the Two Lands, King’s Daughter in the Palace . . . of the Lord of many festivals
  • Depicted as making Offerings to the Deities in the Abu Simbel Rock Stela of Viceroy of Nubia
  • Alongside her half-sister and co-Queen Bentanat, they are shown on a Statue found in Herakleopolis Magna. For more details about Herakleopolis Magna, click here. 

Tomb
Her Tomb can be compared to her 2 half-sister’s Tombs: Queen Bentanat in QV71 and Queen Nebettawy in QV60. Regrettably the decoration is very damaged. It is noteworthy that the Burial Chamber has 4 Wall Niches which once held 4 Magical Bricks. The Bricks would have been etched with Spells from the Book of the Dead. For more details about the Book of the Dead, click here.