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Tuesday Tomb – QV52

The interior of QV52 (Source: ArchaeoAdventures).

The interior of QV52 (Source: ArchaeoAdventures).

QV52 is the tomb of the 20th Dynasty queen Tyti, which is located in the Valley of the Queens. For some time, scholars were not sure about the identity of Queen Tyti as none of her relatives are named in the tomb; however, archaeological evidence supports the theory that she was a wife of Ramesses III. Her titles, as recorded in her tomb, were King’s DaughterKing’s Sister, Chief Royal Wife, King’s Mother, God’s Wife, and Lady of the Two Lands.

Queen Tyti is believed to have been the mother of the princes Khaemwaset and Amunherkhepshef – her tomb lies close to those of the princes (QV44 and QV55), and bears some striking resemblances to these tombs in terms of decoration and layout, although her tomb is on a much smaller scale. Her tomb also bears some resemblance to that of Ramesses III.

Entrance to the tomb of Tyti (Source: ArchaeoAdventures).

Entrance to the tomb of Tyti (Source: ArchaeoAdventures).

QV52 is in a poor condition, and many of the relief scenes are faded or damaged; however, an impression of the tomb’s original splendour is certainly given by the remaining decoration, and particularly by the beautiful shade of pastel blue that is present in many of the scenes.

The tomb takes the shape of a Latin cross, or Christian cross – an entrance corridor, followed by a burial chamber with two side chambers. The walls are decorated with relief scenes depicting the Queen and various deities.

A particularly beautiful and well-preserved scene in the side chamber on the right side of the burial chamber shows the queen holding her hands in worship in front of an image of Hathor (in her form of the ‘Cow of the West’) as she emerges from the Theban mountain (below).

Relief scene showing Queen Tyti in a gesture of adoration before the goddess, Hathor, in her form as 'Cow of the West' (Source: OsirisNet).

Relief scene showing Queen Tyti in a gesture of adoration before the goddess, Hathor, in her form as ‘Cow of the West’ (Source: OsirisNet).

In the same chamber (left wall) there is a depiction of three demons with the heads of a jackal, a snake and a crocodile respectively (below), standing with four canopic chests .  On the right wall, three more demons are depicted, as well as the Souls of Pe and Nekhen.

Depiction of three demons in the side chamber of QV52 (Source: Yare Egyptology).

Depiction of three demons in the side chamber of QV52 (Source: Yare Egyptology).

Relief scene in which the Queen is depicted with the side-braid of youth (Source: Yare Egyptology).

Relief scene in which the Queen is depicted with the side-braid of youth (Source: Yare Egyptology).

The way in which Queen Tyti is depicted deserves some attention. In some scenes, she is depicted as a young girl wearing the braided hair style of a youth (right). In other scenes, she is represented as a woman. It has been suggested that the Queen died prematurely; however, this is not certain.

The tomb of Queen Tyti is mentioned in the tomb robbery papyri (Papyrus BM EA 10052) which includes confessions of the tomb robbers that broke into the tomb and took the jewellery that was inside it.

Bibliography and further reading:

Grist, J. 1985. ‘The Identity of the Ramesside Queen Tyti.’ Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 71, 71-81.

Collier, M., A. Dodson and G. Hamernik. 2010. ‘P. BM EA 10052, Anthony Harris, and Queen Tyti’, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 96,  242-247.

Yare Egyptology – Valley of the Queens – QV52, Queen Tyti. Available from: http://www.luxor-west-bank.com/qv52-tyti.html – more images.

Egyptian Monuments – Tomb of Queen Titi (QV52). Available from: http://egyptsites.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/tomb-of-queen-titi-qv52/ – description of the relief scenes.

Valley of the Queens – The Tomb of Queen Tyti: tomb no. 52. Available from http://ib205.tripod.com/vq52.html – plan and description.

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One comment on “Tuesday Tomb – QV52

  1. […] (QV44), another of the sons of Ramses III and one who died during a smallpox outbreak; and (iii) the tomb of Queen Titi (QV52), one of wives of the Ramessid pharoahs during the XX […]

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