Queen Nefertari's Tomb

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The Tomb of Queen Nefertari

Location
The Tomb of Nefertari is situated in Egypt in the Valley of the Queens, which is located in Thebes near Luxor.

Time Period
Queen Nefertari lived from 1290BC till 1255BC so during her reign in the 19th Egyptian Dynasty, her tomb would’ve been constructed and prepared for her burial.

Archaeology
The first archaeologist to discover the Tomb was Ernesto Schiaparelli, the Director of the Turin Museum. He discovered the tomb in 1904 and he then spent two years excavating the site and other sites around the valley of the queens with not much success. Tomb robbers had already stolen most of the artefacts that would’ve been inside the tomb when Schiaparelli discovered it. However he did find some minor objects, including Shabti Figures, a pair of the Queen’s sandals and a knob of a cane with a print of King Ay on it. The main part of the tomb was the magnificent paintings on the walls. Since the tomb had been there for over 3000 years the state of the paintings and walls had suffered immensely. The quality of the tomb’s structure was not particularly great therefore it was not conserved well. For instance, unlike other tombs, the beautiful paintings were not painted directly onto the wall but onto plaster which coated the walls throughout the tomb. Over the years, land slides caused deterioration and salt deposit which put the paintings in a dangerous state of preservation.

Restorations
The tomb was in a pretty horrible state, so for a long time between the end of the excavation and 1986 the site was basically abandoned. Then, in 1986 the Ministry of Culture and the Egyptian Antiquities Organization in cooperation with Getty Conservation Institute were determined to restore the Tomb completely. They employed a team of skilled and professional conservators to save the beautiful tomb from disaster. To save the tomb’s beauty and structure, the conservators applied over 10,000 strips of Japanese Mulberry-Bark paper all over the crumbling ceilings and walls to keep the plaster from peeling. They also swabbed the entire tomb with purified water which removed over 3000 years of dust and soot. However these conservators were given specific instructions to not retouch the beautiful mural paintings to keep the tomb as accurate to history as possible while still preserving the beauty. This gruelling restoration process took around four years and cost around $4 000 000. While in the process of restoring the tomb, scientists worked out why the tomb was in such a bad state. They found two main reasons, humanity and humidity. They believe that a flood occurred sometime between 100B.C.E and 100AD that may have caused the immense deterioration.

Site Description
Queen Nefertari’s tomb is known for being the most grand and beautiful tomb in the valley of the Queens, which reflects the Queen’s position in the eyes of her husband. This tomb was used as the burial site of Queen Nefertari and all of her possessions for the afterlife. The tomb is made up of several rooms and halls which are all decorated with paintings of the queen in various positions doing many different things. At the bottom of the entrance stairway, on the beam of the doorway there is a depiction of a sun between the godesses Isis and Nephthys. This leads to an offering hall, with paintings of the Queen worshiping and offering things to multiple gods which are represented throughout the tomb. These paintings of Nefertari and the gods are supposed to illustrate her journey to the afterlife with the help of the gods. In nearly all of the paintings of Nefertari, she is depicted smiling, dancing or playing a board game wearing a soft white gown making her look elegant, poised confident and pure. There are stone benches supported by pillars which were presumed to be used to contain offerings and finery items of the Queen. In the next room, there are images of heavenly cows and a bull together with...
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