The Tomb of Nefertari
By: Paul Groffie
No matter how long your stay in Egypt, whether one day or one year, make it a point to stop in the Valley of the Queens. You can visit the one place which could truly take you back over three thousand years - the Tomb of Nefertari.
The drive from our hotel in Luxor to the ticket booth was only twenty minutes; my heart was beating heavily with excitement. This was going to be the day that I witnessed astounding beauty!
What would most impress a tourist in Egypt? The Great Pyramid? Definitely, it is as amazing as it is mind-boggling. King Tut's Treasures at the Cairo Museum? They are astounding. The Temples of Karnak and Luxor? Both make you stop and wonder what life must have been like for the Ancient Egyptians. And what about Abu Simbel? The magnitude and beauty from these temples emanates the power of Ramses the Great and his most loved wife Nefertari. Obviously each of these is impressive and truly unforgettable; they leave you with a feeling that words can not express.
In addition to the above-mentioned wonders, there exists a special place, which includes all the astounding beauty, the power and amazing talents of the Ancient Egyptians. It shows the deep love of a man for his wife. If there is a place where the walls speak, it is none other than the Tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens in Thebes.
It did not matter that the admission fee was 100 Egyptian Pounds, nor that I would only have ten precious moments in which to take it all in.
Ernesto Schiaparelli discovered the Tomb of Nefertari in 1904. Unfortunately, the mummy of Nefertari was not to be found. All that Schiaparelli was able to uncover were pieces of her rose granite sarcophagus and thirty-four ushabtis. To date, eighty tombs have been discovered in the Valley of the Queens. T
he sun shown brightly as we approached the entrance to the Valley of the Queens. As I began walking from the lot towards the entrance of the Valley, the anticipation was almost too much to handle.
This tomb is an ancient marvel with its bright living colors and amazing beauty. Of all the tombs discovered in Egypt, the Tomb of Nefertari is the most colorful, most dramatic and most well preserved. It is true there are many tombs throughout Egypt, which are wonderfully decorated, but none is as vivid as Nefertari's. The artisans talent gives all those who enter this tomb the overwhelming feeling time has stood still since 1255 BC when Nefertari died at a young age.
The biggest question in my mind as I witnessed this marvel was - how? How did it remain in such pristine shape? I felt so honored to be present in Nefertari's tomb.
In 1986, The Egyptian Antiquities Organization and the Getty Conservation Institute combined their efforts to combat the demise of the paintings from the effects of salt, moisture and flooding. The job was both time-consuming and extremely delicate. There was to be no restoration of the paintings; only conservation methods were to be used. In 1987, after thoroughly documenting the tombs' features and decorations, the institute proceeded to temporarily bandage the paintings that were separating from the walls. The conservationists used small bandages of Japanese mulberry bark paper. Then, over a six-year period, the meticulous work continued. The group was able to stabilize the deterioration which had occurred.
The biggest mistake I could have made would have been not treasuring every moment of my time spent in Nefertari's Tomb.
Egypt is a beautiful country. Many of the works of the ancients have survived to this day to tell us their amazing story. Sometimes the artwork is in outstanding condition, other times the artwork is in ruins but in Nefertari's Tomb, the artwork is alive and it tells wonderful tales of what the Ancient Egyptians felt was in the other world. As I walked slowly into the tomb, the colors just jumped off the wall. My first reaction was the tomb was too beautiful to be authentic. As I slowly walked through savoring all of the details and realized this tomb has survived over 3,000 years, it made me smile. I smiled because I was proud - proud I was in Egypt to see this. I smiled because I was amazed - amazed at the wonders I was seeing. And I smiled because I was privileged, truly privileged to be in this amazing country. And I was privileged to be right in the center of history!
As I explored Egypt, I felt an incredible happiness as I traveled from one amazing place to another. I also felt the true sorrow (or letdown) which inevitably takes place when you've left someplace you looked forward to seeing. Egypt will have this effect. Egypt has much more to offer the historian, scholar, explorer, and vacationer who can spend any amount of time. The one thing you definitely can count on is you will want to come back!
You may write Paul at PFG88@aol.com with any questions or comments.
The Nile, the Moon and Sirius: The Ancient Egyptian Calendar By Richard Weininger
The Egyptian Traveler's Survival Kit By Jimmy Dunn
The Tomb of Nefertari By Paul Groffie
Palace of the Sun King By Dr. Joann Fletcher
The Ecological Context of Ancient Egyptian Predynastic settlements By Michael Brass
Tunnel Vision By Ralph Ellis & Mark Foster
The Queens of Egypt - Part II By Dr. Sameh Arab
Cross Staff and Plumbline and the Great Pyramid By Crichton E M Miller
Editor's Commentary By Jimmy Dunn
Ancient Beauty Secrets By Judith Illes
Book Reviews Various Editors
Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman
Cooking with Tour Egypt By Mary K Radnich
Hotel Reviews By Juergen Stryjak
Egyptian Exhibitions By deTraci Regula
Egyptian View-Point By Adel Murad
Nightlife Various Editors
Restaurant Reviews Various Editors
Shopping Around By Juergen Stryjak
Web Reviews By Siri Bezdicek
Last Updated: June 9th, 2011