Looking through the entrance to the vestibule, from the antechamber, is a spectacular view of not only the entry thickness of the vestibule and the rear (east) wall of that chamber, but also the rear wall of the first eastern annexe beyond.
The entry is extremely wide. In fact, because the vestibule itself is of the same height, this entry is only slightly smaller than the chamber which it serves. The entry dimensions are 3.0m wide, 2.4m high and 0.9m deep.
Both sides of the entrance are decorated with the standing figure of a goddess. On the left, the north thickness, is Selkis (or Serket, and other variations). She can be identified by the scorpion on top of her head and from her accompanying text. The goddess on the left is Neith, whose identifying emblem sits on top of her head. This is described as being two bows crossed over a shield, because Neith was the goddess of war. Both goddesses face into the antechamber, welcoming Nefertari. In both cases the top of the thickness is decorated with a kheker frieze, into which each of the emblems extend. Below the frieze is a dark blue band in the form of the sky hieroglyph (pet) containing a single row of yellow stars.
Both divinities wear a richly beaded red dress with thin shoulder straps. The top of the body of the dress leaves the breast exposed, which is the case with all the goddesses wearing this style of garment. The two are adorned with a broad beaded necklace, armlets, and wristbands. Behind them are a series of protective emblems.
The two surfaces have survived with very little damage, allowing the accompanying texts to be easily read.
The text of Selkis is: "Spoken by Selkis, mistress of heaven and mistress of all the gods. 'I have come before you, king's great wife, mistress of the two lands, mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nefertari, beloved of Mut, justified before Osiris who resides in Abydos, and I have accorded you a place in the sacred land, so that you may appear gloriously in heaven like Ra' ".
That of Neith: "Spoken by Neith, the great royal mother, mistress of heaven and mistress of all gods. 'I have come before you, king's great wife, mistress of the two lands, mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nefertari, beloved of Mut, justified before Osiris who resides in the West. I have accorded you a place within the realm of the dead, so that you may appear gloriously in heaven like Ra.' "
As already mentioned, this chamber is only slightly larger than its entrance. It is 3.8m wide, 1.0m deep (east-west) and 2.4m in height.
The walls have survived extremely well, with very little damage. There is no decorative border above the scenes, just a long black or dark blue band extending completely around the chamber. This time there are no stars.
The west walls
Having entered this wide but narrow vestibule, and turning round to see the west wall, it becomes very obvious that the chamber is only slightly wider than its entry. There was only just space on either side to place the image of the djed pillar, the talisman of the god Osiris. However, and reasonably uniquely here, because the other djed pillars in this tomb are pillars only or pillars with Osiris' arms, the images are actually of Osiris with a djed pillar appendage (his head). Each side of the wall is the mirror image of the other.
The torso is of Osiris wearing a yellow-ochre garment, tied at the middle (as already seen in the antechamber) by a long red coloured piece of fabric. On his chest he wears a broad gold necklace. His head is replaced with the top of a djed pillar, on top of which is a headdress of two colourful feathers mounted on the horns of a ram, with the red solar disc at the centre. His hands are held to his chest, grasping the symbols of his power, the crook and flail. The ends of the flail, of both images, extend onto the north and south walls. He wears upper arm and wrist bracelets on both arms.
Because this chamber has the same height as its entry, there is no lintel above the entrance.
The north-east walls
The scene decorating the north wall, like that of the south wall, is not independent. It continues on the adjoining part of the east wall to form a single scene. This side of the east wall is only 1.0m wide.
This north-east scene shows Nefertari being introduced, by the goddess Isis, to the god Khepri, who has the head of a scarab beetle. Isis wears the sun-disk on her head between curved bulls horns, from the front of which hangs a uraeus. This headdress is also associated with Hathor. Around her neck is a broad necklace with a counterweight which hangs down her back (see between her right arm and her side). In her left hand she holds a was-sceptre. Her dress is the same tight fitting, beaded, red dress as worn by the two goddesses of the entry.
Nefertari, whom Isis leads by the hand, wears a long and full semi-transparent white dress, tied at the middle by the same red sash as worn by the Osiris/djed figures. She, like Isis, has no sandals on her feet. On top of her long black tripartite wig, she wears the gold Nekhbet headdress and red mortar surmounted by two tall gold feathers, which extend into the black band at the top of the wall; a small solar disc stands at the centre of the feathers, on the mortar. The accompanying texts of the two characters identifies them. Isis urges Nefertari forward, saying: "Come, king's great wife, Nefertari, beloved of Mut. I have made a place for you in the necropolis".
On the adjoining section of the east wall sits Khepri, on a very colourful square-shaped throne, at the bottom right-hand corner of which is a "sema-tauy". This, drawn in white on a red background, is an emblem signifying the unity of the two lands. The throne, common throught the tomb, stands on a reed mat, which in turn is on top of a dais in the form of a Ma'at symbol.
He wears a short white kilt with a gold and pleated overlaid section and a green tunic with shoulder straps. He holds a was-sceptre in his right hand and an ankh in his left. In front of his knees hangs an extremely colourful artificial tail which would have been attached to his belt. Into this belt is a small 'tiet' symbol, the Isis knot.
The text surrounding him names him as: "Khepri, who resides in his boat, the Great God". In front of him are his words to Nefertari: "Spoken: 'I give to (you) eternity like Ra'. Spoken: 'I give to (you) the appearance of Ra in heaven'. Spoken: 'I give to (you) a place in the sacred land' ".
The south-east walls
Here the south wall and the adjoining section of the east wall form a similar scene to the one at the north end. This time it is Horus, son of Isis who leads Nefertari, and they approach two seated deities, Ra-Horakhty and Hathor. This southern side of the east wall is wider than the other, being 1.8m wide; thus the entry into the next chamber is not central (its width is 1.0m wide).
Nefertari is dressed identically to her image on the facing wall. Horus, having the head of a falcon, stands in front of her. His kilt and tunic are the same as those of Khepri; this time the tail hangs behind him. On top of his head he wears the pshent crown, a combination of the white and red crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. The texts above them only provide their identities.
The god and goddess are seated, like Khepri, on colourful rectangular seats with the sema-tauy symbol at its corner; and again the seats rest on a reed mat on top of a Ma'at sign.
Ra-Horakhty sits in front, dressed in the same clothes as Horus, complete with the tail (in front of his knees). On his head he has a large solar disk around which is a uraeus, the head appearing at the front. Hathor, behind him, wears the red, tight fitting, beaded dress and a broad beaded necklace. On her head she wears one of her emblems, this one being composed of the hieroglyph for the west (Hathor is called "Mistress of the West") on top of which stands a hawk. The hawk is also found in the hieroglyphic form of her name .
The three short texts in front of the two deities state that they promise Nefertari: "a place in the sacred land, a lifetime as long as that of Ra, and eternity with life, stability and dominion".
The east wall lintel
On the lintel above the entry to the next chamber is an image of the vulture goddess Nekhbet. Her name appears twice, at either end of outstretched wings. In her claws she holds the symbol of protection, the "shen-sign" .
| FIRST EASTERN ANNEXE ENTRANCE
As already mentioned, this entrance not positioned centrally on the east wall of vestibule. It is 1.0m wide. 2.0m high and 0.7m deep.
The images on the two thicknesses are the same (actually mirror images) of Ma'at the goddess of truth, facing out from the annexe and towards the antechamber. The walls are topped with a kheker frieze, under which is a long sky hieroglyph (no stars) supported at either end by a was-sceptre. Ma'at is dressed in a plain, tight fitting red shift, held by two red straps over her shoulders. She is adorned with a broad beaded necklace and upper arm and wrist bracelets. Her black tripartite wig is tied with a red headband, into which is placed her emblem, the feather of truth. The feather extends across the sky symbol and into the kekher frieze.
Because neither the judgement scene nor Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead appear in Nefertari's tomb, they are substituted by the many images of Ma'at.
In the text before her she addresses Nefertari, offering her what is displayed in a single column behind her as a long list of protective emblems: "Protection, life, stability, dominion, all health, all joy, all her protection, like that of Ra".
This chamber is 5.0m wide (south-north), 3.0m deep (east-west) and 2.4m high. The entrance is situated in the centre of the west wall, giving a 2.0m wide area for decoration on either side of it. The outer framing for each wall (including the two sides of the west wall) is like the entry walls, a sky hieroglyph at the top, supported at each end by a was-sceptre. The bottom of each wall is decorated, as elsewhere, the black dado topped with red and yellow bands.
The west wall (north)
On this north side of the west wall (seen by having turned left on entering), Nefertari is shown making an offering of linen to Ptah. He was the creator god of weaving and crafts.
Nefertari is dressed as on the previous occasions: white transparent dress, tied with a long red sash, and wearing the feather-topped Nekhbet headdress. The linen which she offers is in the shape of the hieroglyph for clothing, "Menkhet" more of them stand on a table in front of her. The text above the table states: "Giving cloth to the Lord of Truth (= Ptah) on the sacred land". Isis and Nephtys were supposed to have woven fine linen cloth for Osiris, which was also considered an important staple for the afterlife, hence its importance in the funerary context. "The manner in which the queen here presents the hieroglyph for clothing rather than a pictorial representation of actual garments is typical of the depiction of the offering presentation of a number of items and underscores the hieroglyphic nature of Egyptian representational forms in this context (Wilkinson)".
Ptah stands on a dais in the shape of a Ma'at sign, inside a golden shrine with a curved roof, supported by two poles. The rear one is plain, but the front one is topped with a djed pillar; a large djed pillar also stands behind the shrine. He is portrayed in human form, but with green skin and wrapped as a mummy. His hands protrude from the front of the bandages holding a staff which combines a was-sceptre, another djed pillar and a shen-sign. His shaven head is covered with a tight fitting skull cap and he wears a large artificial beard. Behind the top of the combined sceptre is an open green wooden door.
Unlike the scenes of the north and south walls of this chamber, this is not an illustration from the Book of the Dead.
The north wall
Nefertari stands in the middle of the north wall, in front of the seated god Thoth, with the head of an ibis. This is the god of writing, the scribe who records the results of the judgement scene, the "weighing of the heart" (not shown in this tomb). He is dressed in the same fashion as the other male gods and seated on a an identical chair. However, he additionally wears a white sash across his chest, typical of scribes. Nefertari is dressed as elsewhere.
Between Nefertari and Thoth is a tall stand, in the top of which is a vessel which contains the writing palette of the scribe and a magical object in the form of a frog. The text behind Nefertari is Chapter 94 of the Book of the Dead. The first two columns (reading right to left) include the heading: "Utterance for requesting the water bowl and writing palette from Thoth in the necropolis by the Osiris, the king's great wife, mistress of the two lands, Nefertari, beloved of Mut, justified".
The remaining text is the detail: "O great one who sees his father, keeper of the book of Thoth. Behold, I have become spiritualised, with a soul, mighty, and equipped with the writings of Thoth. Bring me the messenger of Aker (aka. Akeru: the lion-headed earth god) who is with Seth. Bring me the water, the bowl, the palette and the writing case of Thoth and the secrets within them. O Gods, behold, I am a scribe. Bring to me the excrement (or fluids of decay) of Osiris for my writings, that I may perform the instructions of Osiris, the great god, perfectly every day, consisting of the good which you have decreed for me. O Ra-Horakhty, I shall be truthful and shall bring the truth".
The east wall
The east wall of side room is filled with two scenes, separated in the centre by an up-right fan. The scenes, although different and unrelated, show very close similarities, and they are (in layout) mirror images. In both scenes Nefertari stands, dressed in her usual attire, in front a seated god. She holds out, in both cases, her right hand in which she holds a sekhem-sceptre, her symbol of power and authority.
Between her and the god is a large and bountiful pile of offerings, on top of which are several bowls emitting smoke. The offerings are heaped on three reed mats, with large animal carcasses on the bottom two and smaller offerings on the top one.
The left scene shows the mummiform god Osiris enthroned on the the usual throne. Before him, on a stand, are the four sons of Horus. This time his white mummy wrappings does not have the long red sash of previous scenes. He holds his crook and flail and wears the atef-crown variant of a bound bundle of vegetation. Osiris, like the god to the right, wears an artificial hooked beard.
The columns of text around Nefertari state: "The presentation of offerings to her father, Osiris, the great god, by his daughter, the king's great wife, mistress of the two lands, Nefertari, beloved of Mut, justified".
The nine columns of text above the alter and Osiris state his promises in return for the offering, that of: "The appearance of Ra in the heaven, all infinity (i.e. forever) with him, all eternity with him, and all joy with him. Osiris, who resides in the West, Wennefer, king of the living, the great god, ruler of the sacred land, lord of infinity, ruler of eternity".
The parallel right scene depicts the god Atum, creator of the universe and solar deity of Heliopolis. He is dressed in the white kilt and green tunic, wearing the pshent crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. In his left hand he holds a was-sceptre, in his right he holds an ankh, the sign of life.
The columns of text around Nefertari have: "The presentation of offerings to Atum, by the king's great wife, mistress of the two lands, Nefertari, beloved of Mut, justified by the great god".
The columns of text above the alter and Atum are very similar to those of Osiris, but this time ending with: "Atum, lord of the two lands, the Heliopolitan, the great god, lord of the sacred land". Behind Atum is a column of protective symbols, as found previously with other deities.
The south wall - and adjoining end of the west wall
This is probably the best known of all of the walls of Nefertari's tomb, and yet it is in no way spectacular, only different. It is a representation of Chapter 148 of the Book of the Dead. None of the actual text from the chapter is shown here, just names of the participants. The scene actually extends onto the adjoining first section of the west wall, where Nefertari stands in adoration.
In the top two registers of the south wall there are seven cows and a bull (bottom left), each standing behind a small offering table, not intended for the animals but for the nourishment of Nefertari.
All the animals are named (right to left, top row first): "Mansion of kas, mistress of all", "Silent one, who dwells in her place", "She of Chemmis (Akhbit), whom the god made noble", "Storm in the sky, which wafts the gods aloft", "Possessor of life, the vari-coloured", "The greatly beloved, red of hair" and "She whose name has power in her craft".
The bull is named as: "The bull, male of the heard, who dwells in the red castle.
In the same chapter, there are references to the steering oars which help Nefertari manoeuvre among the stars. With Ra serving as the helmsman and the oars propelling her pilgrimage, none of Nefertari's enemies will know her or even recognise her, (or so the full text promises). Each oar is linked with a cardinal compass point. In order, right to left, they are: "Beautiful rudder of the north sky", "Beautiful rudder of the east sky, guide of the Two Lands", "Beautiful rudder of the south sky" and "Beautiful rudder of the west sky".
On the adjoining section of west wall, which shows Nefertari as the focus of the scene. She is dressed in her usual attire. Although the accompanying text states:"Spoken by the king's great wife, Nefertari, Beloved of Mut, justified before Osiris, the great god", presumably she would have uttered the invocation which is found in Chapter 148. This is a request that the cows provide her sustenance: "I have come before you, my Lord Ra. I will cause the seven cows and their bull to flourish. May you grant bread and beer, offerings and provisions for my spirit, and grant that my soul may be with you".
The west wall (south)
The left-hand part, belonging to previous scene, has already been discussed above.
A broad yellow band separates the right-hand part of this section of wall from Nefertari. The imagery here is a curious but theologically important grouping of a ram-headed mummiform figure standing on a small Ma'at plinth, attended by two goddesses.
The figure is wrapped in white with the long red sash. He also wears a broad necklace, which shows beneath the black tripartite wig. The skin of his ram's head is green, as would be that of Osiris. Between the ram's horns is a solar disk, next to which is a small text, identifying (supposedly the solar disk) as "Ra". This god himself is identified by the two columns of text between the goddesses and his mummiform figure, as: "Osiris rests in Ra" (left) and "Ra rests in Osiris" (right).
The ancient Egyptians are possibly declaring that Ra and Osiris are profoundly intertwined. This is perhaps difficult to understand, since Osiris represents the earth-bound cults, whilst Ra represents those of the sky. Could it be that Ra represents the setting sun about to begin again the night-time journey into the realm of the dead, the kingdom of Osiris; thus the two gods acting or co-existing as one.
On either side of the deity, and attending to his needs, are Nephthys (on the left) and Isis (on the right). They are only identified by the symbols worn on top of their head. Each of them has a short white wig with a red head-band with long tassels at the back. They each wear a red tight fitting dress, with a long white sash, tied around the waist. Behind Isis is the usual accompanying column of protective emblems.
The scene shows a wonder symmetry, and like the one on the other side of the entry, has no actual reference in the Book of the Dead.
The east wall lintel
On the lintel above the exit to the previous chambers is again an image of the vulture goddess Nekhbet, this time it contains no naming text. The image is identical to the one at the other side of the passageway and she again holds a shen-sign in each claw.