Tomb of Queen Nefertari
QV 66, Valley of the Queens, Egypt
13-14th centuries, BC

This is NOT an official Lego site

Nefertari Merytmut ("Beautiful Companion, Beloved of Mut") was born about 1302 BC. There continues to be (and may always be) controversy about her origins. She may be a daughter of Seti I (and thus the sister or half-sister of her future husband), or possibly the granddaughter of Pharaoh Ay of the 18th Dynasty, or her designation as 'hereditary princess' has led to speculation that she may have been the daughter of a Theban nobleman, thus securing the unity and good relations of the Northern Kingdom [Nile Delta] from whence the 19th Dynasty came, and the Southern Kingdom, with Thebes as its capitol. In any case, at age 13 she married the Prince Regent of Egypt, Ramesses, then himself a boy of 15. Ten years later Pharaoh Seti I died, and Ramesses II (aka Ramesses the Great) became Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt. Nefertari bore Ramesses at least four sons and two daughters in her role as Great Royal Wife, but none of her sons outlived their father. When Ramesses II died in 1213 at age 91, Merneptah, the 13th son (by Isotnofret) became pharaoh. Nefertari died in 1246, at age 56, of unknown cause and was buried in the Valley of the Queens near Thebes.
It is probable that the digging of her tomb begun shortly after Ramesses II became pharaoh. It is one of more than 88 tombs in the Valley of the Queens, and one of the most elegant and best preserved. By the time Ernesto Schiaparelli discovered the tomb in 1904 it had much earlier been discovered by tomb raiders, who stole not only all of the treasures but the sarcophagus and mummy of the queen as well. However the tomb, referred to as the "Sistine Chapel of Ancient Eygpt", was in good condition and afforded a real look at the funerary art of the Egyptians. The tomb consists of a staircase to an antechamber decorated with painting from Chapter 17 of The Book of the Dead. A Vestibule to the right leads into the First Eastern Annex. A second staircase leads down from the antechamber to the large four-pillared burial chamber, where the queen's sarcophagus originally rested. The burial chamber has 3 annexes as well. The tomb was closed in 1950 due to threats to the art work, but after extensive restoration from 1988-1992, the tomb was reopened in a restricted fashion to the public. The tomb was again closed in 2003, when evidence that damage from visitors perspiration was causing serious molding of the walls [see right]. My model is a vignette showing Ramesses and Nefertari, with a young son in tow, viewing the artistic progress in her future burial place. The dark blue, star-studded ceiling is of course absent.



Photos of the Lego Model under construction
in February 2011
The initial construction
involves the burial chamber...
and its annexes - the lower part
of Nefertari's tomb.
As the buildiing of the
burial chamber reaches...
ceiling height, work begins on
the second staircase.
In addition the sizing and printing
of the very important artwork...
is underway: the model is to look
like a miniature of the original!
The second staircase
completed, construction...
of the upper rooms (antechamber,
vestibule & annex) can begin.
To conserve tan Lego the first
staircase and entrance are to....
be stepped upward - and will
hopefully be stable.
Here is the model about one
month before BrickWorld...
entrance and lots of artwork
yet to be done. Whew!


Photos of the Lego Model
in June 2011
The model was displayed at BrickWorld 2011 in Wheeling, Illinois and
again at Brickworld 2015 in Schaumberg, Illinois.
Here is the overall view of the
model, just over 4 feet long.
Our tour begins on the dusty
floor on the Valley of the Queens.
The chariots of the pharoah await.
The entrance of the tomb
is dig into the side of the
Mount of Thebes.
A steep First Staircase
proceeds downward.
Note the central ramp
for sliding heavy
objects up and down.
The staircase opens into the
Antechamber, with a table lining
two walls. Note that several ushabti
are already in place to assist the
Queen after her death.
The Antechamber leads through
a narrow Vestibule into the
First Eastern Annex, which
will eventually contain things
the Queen will need in the
Artists draw by torchlight from
the Book of the Dead.
Note that several ushabti are
already in place to assist the
Queen after her death.
Looking north we see, in addition to the
narrow Vestibule and Annex a door
leading to the Second Staircase.
The staircase is occupied by
several Nubians carefully
lowering the decorated lid
of Nefertari's sarcophagus.
The Second Staircase is steeper
than the First...
and both side walls are similarly
covered with artwork the Queen
will need on her future journeys.
A great winged god guards
the entrance to the Burial
The Burial Chamber is by
far the largest room in the
tomb and is supported...
by the thick pillars so the
chamber cannot collapse.
The artwork is in
various stages, with
several painters hard
at work.
Pharoah Ramesses II and his
beloved Queen Nefertari view
the progress on a rare visit.
The three Annexes will be
decorated as well, after the
work in the Burial Chamber is
Finally a closeup of the royal
party, including the Grand
Vizier and the young Crown
Prince Amun-her-khepeshef,
who will one day become
Commander of the Troops.


Build Your Own

The plan of tomb QV66 [Nefertari's Tomb]
The Lego elevation from south to north

Other Nefertari's Tomb pages:

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Webpage created and maintained by Robert Carney