Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day 11: The Valley of the Queens

Next stop: where the other half lives!

We were soon decanted at our next stop, the nearby Valley of the Queens (which also holds the tombs of many princes, princesses, and other royal relations). It's just as hot and desolate, but its tombs are very lovely.

The most beautiful tomb in the Valley of the Queens, and indeed one of the most beautiful anywhere (at least according to that book I mentioned in the last post) is the tomb of Nefertari, the Great Wife of Rameses II. Unfortunately, it was not open - it is mostly kept closed these days to preserve it.

We did get to go in the tomb of Amun-her-khepshef, the son of Rameses III (who is much later than, and not related to, Rameses II of Abu Simbel fame:


This is really a beautiful tomb. The reliefs on the walls are quite touching - they show the young prince (you can tell he's a kid, because he has a side lock - Egyptian children would shave their heads and just have this side lock grow, and at adulthood it would be cut off). His father Rameses III is with him, introducing him to all the various gods and telling him what he needs to know to get to the next world. Then right before the burial chamber they get to a doorway guarded by Osiris, the god of the dead, and the prince goes on alone because his father can't help him any longer.

I have photographic evidence that we went into another tomb:
but I have absolutely no recollection of it!

We must have enjoyed it, though:

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