Queen Nefertari, the royal spouse of Pharaoh Ramses II: A multidisciplinary investigation of the mummified remains found in her tomb (QV66)

Michael E. Habicht, Raffaella Bianucci, Stephen A. Buckley, Joann Fletcher, Abigail S. Bouwman, Lena M. Öhrström, Roger Seiler, Francesco M. Galassi, Irka Hajdas, Eleni Vassilika, Thomas Böni, Maciej Henneberg, Frank J. Rühli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Queen Nefertari, the favourite Royal Consort of Pharaoh Ramses II (Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty c. 1250 BC) is famous for her beautifully decorated tomb in the Valley of the Queens. Her burial was plundered in ancient times yet still many objects were found broken in the debris when the tomb was excavated. Amongst the found objects was a pair of mummified legs. They came to the Egyptian Museum in Turin and are henceforth regarded as the remains of this famous Queen, although they were never scientifically investigated. The following multidisciplinary investigation is the first ever performed on those remains. The results (radiocarbon dating, anthropology, paleopathology, genetics, chemistry and Egyptology) all strongly speak in favour of an identification of the remains as Nefertari's, although different explanations-albeit less likely-are considered and discussed. The legs probably belong to a lady, a fully adult individual, of about 40 years of age. The materials used for embalming are consistent with Ramesside mummification traditions and indeed all objects within the tomb robustly support the burial as of Queen Nefertari.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166571
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright:©2016Habichtet al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

Keywords

  • Egyptology
  • Ancient Egypt
  • New Kingdom
  • Valley of the Queens
  • Mummy studies
  • Nefertari
  • Ramses II
  • Turin Museo Egizio
  • Anthropology
  • Chemistry
  • Radiocarbon

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Queen Nefertari, the royal spouse of Pharaoh Ramses II: A multidisciplinary investigation of the mummified remains found in her tomb (QV66)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this