Discovered in the northern flank of the Valley of the Queens by Italian archaeologist Ernesto Schiaparelli in 1904, the tomb of Nefertari—chief royal wife of Ramesses II (1279–1213 B.C.)—is splendidly decorated with scenes from the Book of the Dead and vignettes depicting the queen interacting with deities.

The jackal-headed god Anubis, associated with embalming, and Osiris, the god of death and resurrection, are depicted at right and left of the entrance vestibule in Nefertari’s tomb. Other gods greet the queen as she enters the underworld: scarab-headed Kephri (to the left of the doorway leading to the First Eastern Annex), who represents the rising sun; seated Hathor (to the right of the doorway), whose head is topped by the hieroglyph for “west”; and falcon-headed Re, the sun god.

In a painting on the eastern wall of the stairway leading down to Nefertari’s burial chamber, the queen wears a white gossamer gown, a golden crown and a vulture-winged headdress. She offers two ritual vases to the seated goddess Hathor, who wears a headdress consisting of a wig, cow horns and sun disc.