"For she whom the
sun does shine"
They tell me that
is what is inscribed above the tomb QV66 entrance.
Some say that he
even wrote of his weakness for the queen:
"My love is unique - no one can
rival her, for she is the most beautiful woman alive. Just by passing, she has
stolen away my heart."
The mention of this woman's name for me stirs an
image of youth, beauty and spirit. She was the number one Chief Wife of the
Great Ramesses II. She was bestowed the titles of High Priestess and Wife of
God. Even after her death at 46 years old, she was long venerated as the one
true love and Queen of the Great Ramesses.The colossal statues at Abu Simbel
show her as equal to the Pharaoh. Her burial tomb, "House of Eternity" will
attest to her immortality. It has withstood the test of time. With the most
beautiful depictions of her timeless beauty lining the walls in the Valley of
Nefertari, her name is said to mean,"Most
beautiful one" and they also called her "Nefertari-Mery-Mut. Again, I feel it
necessary to mention that there are several different accounts to this person's
life, and that this is my version of how I see it.
It is note worthy, that her parents are not
definitely known, some say that she was the daughter of King Seti I and would've
been Ramesses II half sister, others say that she was the daughter of a
prominent official, I have even read that a cartouche of Pharoah Aye is found in
the tomb suggesting she might have been related in some way. I tend to think she
was of the house of Seti I. It seems we
know less of Nefertari then Queen Nefertiti, other than the magnificent
monuments that were built for her.
She was barely
thirteen years old, she had already caught
the eye of a young co-ruler, a Pharaoh to be. Some tend to believe that he
himself was only fifteen at the time. He
would acquire all the power any man would
desire, but he felt deficient one area,
he was not of royalty. He knew that his
ancestors were only soldiers who used their
military tactics to gain the ever coveted throne of Egypt. And as such he knew
he wanted more than to be just "Pharaoh", he wanted to stand out, he wanted to
be a "God", a living God. The key to that title would be a God's wife of Amun.
This would make him a living incarnation of Amun... the living God!
first he has to revive the title
In Luxor, he integrates his Temple into a monument built by another great Pharaoh,
Hatshepsut, the greatest of God's Wives. He also restores her Funerary Temple
in Deir el-Bahari. By glorifying a God's Wife and by marryingone, he would
achieve the status and title of God, and Nefertari sees this, and so desires
this as well.
Nefertari won his heart as well
as becoming his number one Queen, High
Priestess and Wife of God.
It is said that she had mastered
the art of seduction. With her unique use of cosmetics
and fine translucent linen she no doubt stood out amongst the rest. There is
even a depiction of her dancing in front
of the King during the feast of Min.
She is the chosen one the Great Ramesses II
chooses not only to become the number one queen but to be "God's Wife" of Amun.
Undoubtedly, Nefertari held some power over
Ramesses II. It was probably love, but we cannot say for certain. Certainly,
Miss Emelia Edwards though, upon visiting her temple at Abu Simbel, that
Ramesses II loved her. She states:
"On every pillar, in every act of
worship pictured on the walls, even in the sanctuary, we find the names of
Ramesses and Nefertari 'coupled and inseparable'...We see, at all events, that
Ramesses and Nefertari desired to leave behind them an imperishable record of
the affection which united them on earth, and which they hoped would unit them
in Amenti. What more do we need to know? We see the Queen was fair, that the
King was in his prime. We divine the rest; and the poetry of the place at all
events is ours. Even in these barren solitude's there is wafted to us a breath
from the shores of old romance. We feel that love once passed this way, and that
the ground is still hallowed where he trod."
From the very beginning of her husband's reign,
Nefertari appears as a dutiful wife, supporting Ramesses on all appropriate
ceremonial occasions. She is known to have corresponded with Queen Puduheba of
the Hittites as a letter by Nefertari was found in the royal archives in
Bogazkoy in Hatti.
She received the two titles, Mistress of the
South and North, and Lady of the Two Lands, which parallel Ramesses II's titles.
However, her duties extended considerably beyond
that of simply supporting her husband from the rear ranks. She may have
frequently filled in for her husband in certain ceremonies, often taking the
male role and accompanied by one of her daughters as a "feminine side", so that
Ma'at would be balanced.
description at Luxor Temple, says of her:
favored, possessing charm, sweet of love.... Rich in love, wearing the
circlet-diadem, singer fair of face, beautiful with the tall twin plumes, Chief
of the Harim of Horus, Lord of the Palace; one is pleased with what(ever) comes
forth concerning her; who has (only to) say anything, and it is done for her -
every good thing, at her wish (?); her every word, how pleasing on the ear - one
lives at just hearing her voice..."
Most scholars think that she bore at least six
children to the Pharaoh. Everyone has an opinion.
I know for sure
meaning "Amun Is on His Right Hand" was their first born child and came into the
world while his father was still co-regent to his father, Seti I. Therefore,
Amun-her-wenemef probably was the current king's first grandson. He was crown
prince until his death between the age of 40 and
hunting with Ramesses II
Nefertari's second son, Prince
Prehirwenemef/Pareherwenemef meaning "Re Is with His Right Arm". Depicted on the
facade of Nefertari's temple in Abu Simbel. Appears on depictions of the triumph
after the Battle of Kadesh and in the smaller Abu Simbel temple. He was never
crown prince, it is likely he predeceased his elder brothers probably before
year 30 of Ramesses II's rule.
Prince Meryre, depicted on the facade of
Nefertari's temple in Abu Simbel, and who died very young, probably in his 20th
Prince Mery-Atum. It is said that he is as well
depicted on the facade of Nefertari's temple in Abu Simbel and that he is also
mentioned as Nefertari's son in an inscription in the Temple of Mut in Karnak.
Merytamen/Meryetamun/ the oldest daughter of
Ramesses II and Nefertari. A statue of her is in the open air museum at Sohag.
She was most likely buried in tomb 68 in the Valley of the Queens. She is also
shown at Abu Simbel, where she accompanied her parents for the temple's
dedication and there was bust of her found at the Ramesseum. She apparently also
married Ramesses II after the death of her
Queen Meritamen as depicted in QV 68. Painting after
drawing by Lepius.
Princess Baketmut, this princess is number two in
the list of daughters of Ramesses II. However; the only evidence to say that she
is nefertari's daughter is a depiction of her next to one of the colossi before
the Abu Simbel temple. She is depicted same size as Queen Tuya and Queen
Nefertari and wears a modius with uraei. She is depicted as an adult. Her mother
is never clearly identified anywhere.
Unfortunately, that is all the accurate
information that I came up with. With all the books I have and the internet
there is way too much confusion. It doesn't help either when you have over a
hundred children with too many wives lol.
Immortality For a Beautiful
Her tomb was discovered in 1904 by Ernesto
Schiaparelli of the Italian Mission of the Museum of
Turin, then restored between 1988 and 1992 by the
J. Paul Getty Institute of Conservation, a
joint project with the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt. The tomb is once
again accessible to tourist, but only in limited numbers and at a price and for
only ten minutes.
only find a map in French from Wikipedia, if anyone needs a translation go to
the message boards.
this on youtube, absolutely stunning.
The most beautiful
tribute of affection ever shown in Egypt! The building of the tomb is pretty
much the same as others that were found. A long passageway, dug in limestone
that leads to a chamber with the sarchopagus. The difference was that of
paintings of the walls. The most beautiful in all of Egypt! The walls were
covered in Plaster due to the inferior quality of the limestone. The paintings
show Nefertari on her way to the afterlife. She is surrounded by many of the
Egyptian Gods along with several quotes from the Book of the
Temple of Hathor
Hathor was the wife of the Sun God so in a
symbolic way, the two Temples, that of Ramesses II and that of Nefertari, brings
Ramesses II and Nefertari and Hathor and the Sun God together as one. The facade
of the temple is a receding Pylon, just as the larger temple of Ramesses II. On
either side of the entrance to the temple are a deified statue of Nefertari with
statues of Ramesses II on either side of her. The statues of Nefertari are the
same height as those of Ramesses, which is unusual. Like at Ramesses II's
temple, there are children depicted around their feet. There are cobras
protecting the Temple door.
It has only one
hypostyle hall and the sanctuary. Within the hall are images of Ramesses in
battle with Nefertari present. Other scenes depict Ramesses offering to seated
god Ptah. On another wall, Nefertari is before Hathor offering sistrums to
seated goddess Hathor. Just behind the Hypostyle Hall is a small chamber with
images of Hathor cow framed in reeds. Beyond that is the sanctuary with a divine
cow emerging from the rear rock wall protecting Ramesses, below her. Above the
cow, vultures guard the Queens cartouches. Other scenes show Nefertari offering
incense to Mut and Hathor, and the King worshipping before his own image and
that of Nefertari.
Her health may have deteriorated by year 25. A stela by
the viceroy Heqanakht shows Ramesses accompanied by his daughter-wife Merytamen
making offerings at the temple at Abu Simbel. In a lower register the viceroy is
shown adoring Queen Nefertari. Soon after Nefertari disappears from the scene
A fragment of one of Nefertari's
canopic jars is in the collection of the Petrie Museum - UC16418
from a Yul Brynner site. This site is an awesome blast from the past. Click on
pic for a detour.
I thought I would include
a few pics of Nefertari on the silver screen. It was quite the undertaking as I
could hardly find anything close. Then I found this site which was just amazing.
Clips from the old Cecile B. Demills movie, The Ten Commandments. Of course
Nefertari in here is refered to as Nefertiri. Ann Baxter, Yul Brynner and
most tombs from
the Yul Brynner