Valley of the Queens lies southwest of
the village and temples of Medinet Habu
and roughly 500 meters west of Deir el-Medina,
on the west bank of the Nile. Hidden in
a Y-shaped ravine in the western cliffs,
the valley served as a necropolis for the
tombs of royal family members and the
elite, with about 90
numbered tombs belonging to queens, princes,
and high officials of the New Kingdom (1550-1070
BC). The location of the site was probably
chosen because a large storm in this area
would bring about a dramatic overpouring
of water from the rock cleft at the site’s
western end. This may have contributed
to its magical atmosphere and association
with the great mother goddess Hathor.
the 18th Dynasty (1550 - 1295 BC), high
to be buried in the
valley; the first member of the royal family
to be buried inside the valley was Sitre
(QV 38), wife of Ramesses I of the 19th
Dynasty (1295 - 1294 BC). By the end of
the reign of Ramesses III, the Valley of
the Queens was seeing extensive use. During
the Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1070
- 712 BC),
and modified as family concessions for
the members of the Theban minor clergy
and personnel in charge of the agricultural
estates of Amun. Finally, during the Roman
Period (30 BC – 364 AD), the tombs
were again reused for the burial of animal
of the tombs in the Valley of the Queens
fell victim to robbery
in antiquity. The late New Kingdom Abbott
Papyrus, now in the
British Museum, describes an inspection
of the valley and mentions the tomb of
Queen Isis (QV 5), which had been disturbed. Other
thieves have attacked and vandalized
the tombs over the millennia, so few
artifacts were found in situ here.
Italian mission from the Turin Museum
performed the first scientific excavation
of the site during the early 1900s.
Ernesto Schiaparelli, an Egyptologist working
for the Italian mission, discovered
of Queen Nefertari (QV 66), wife of
Ramesses II, in 1905; it is now regarded
of the most beautiful tombs in Egypt.
It has recently undergone extensive
restoration through the cooperation of
of Culture, the Egyptian Antiquities
and the Getty Organization. The
tomb remains closed to the public due to
its fragile state. Other well-preserved
tombs in the valley include that of Prince
Amunhirkhepshef, Queen Titi, and Prince
Valley of the Queens may hold secrets
to yet to be revealed,
tombs, such as that of Isetnofret,
wife of Ramesses II, are still lost
beneath the sands.
1 May – Ramadan: 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM
(Last ticket sold at 6:00 PM.)
Ramadan – 30 April: 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM
ticket sold at 4:00 PM.)
Includes admission to the area and to the
Egyptian Student: 1 LE
Foreign: 25 LE
Foreign Student: 15 LE
rates are available to bearers of a valid
student ID from an Egyptian university
or an International Student ID Card (ISIC).
Tomb of Nefertari is closed to the public.
For special permission to visit (for a
fee), contact the Commercial
and Event Permits Office.
the West Bank, opposite Luxor.
BY FERRY: From Luxor, there is a local ferry
called the “National Ferryboat” that
runs from the Corniche. You will have to
catch a taxi once you reach the west bank.
TAXI: Taxis from Luxor will be more expensive,
but you can ask to go to wadi el malkat
from there, or take the ferry across to
bank and catch a taxi from the dock.
BUS: You should be able to rent a minibus
from Luxor; many are run
or tour groups.
is a small tourist bazaar.
IS ALLOWED INSIDE THE TOMBS.