Nefertari, also Nefertari, Nefertari Meritenmut, actually in proper name spelling Nefertirimeritenmut (c. 1290 BC; † around 1255 BC), was the " Great Royal Wife" of the King ( Pharaoh ) Ramses II in the New Kingdom, 19. dynasty.


Currently there is no historical evidence to Nefertaris descent. In her rock grave ( QV66 ) in the valley of the queens took the knob a chest of Pharaoh Ay, what reason to believe was that she was his granddaughter and thus came from Akhmim. This seems unlikely, because Pharaoh Ay was ostracized as king of the Amarna period under Ramses II. In Akhmim, however, there was a colossal statue of Meritamun, a daughter of Nefertari. This in turn suggests a connection to the Queen with Akhmim, a place from which probably stemmed Eje.


Became famous Queen Nefertari in modern times especially by the magnificent wall paintings in her rock grave QV66 in the Valley of the Queens on the West Bank, which was discovered in 1904 by Ernesto Schiaparelli, and by her and the Hathor consecrated by Jbschek Small temple at Abu Simbel. Their importance in the life of Ramses II is particularly evident through her ​​performances in the ancient Egyptian art of this period. It is very often displayed in the same size next to her husband, what comes close to a far-reaching equality of their person with the king. This was unusual in ancient Egypt and is otherwise attested only for the big royal wives Tiy and Nefertiti.


Nefertari was married before the throne of her husband with this and both had already fathered a number of children. It is the first time in the grave of the High Priest of Amun, Nebwenenef shown, who had been appointed in the first year of the reign of Ramses II as High Priest. This event is shown in his grave. Nefertari is depicted behind her husband in the so-called " window of appearances " of the palace. Nebwenenef stands before them. The Queen appears in the following time again in scenes behind her husband. As the only wife of Ramses II, they also conducted a correspondence with Puduhepa, the wife of the Hittite Hattusili III. These letters translated until after the peace treaty between Ramses II and III Hattusili. , In the 21st year of the former, a. In this correspondence, which is also known by other Hofangehörigen, but only courtesies are usually exchanged. In the cuneiform texts, the Queen appears as Naptera.

Nefertari is mentioned for the last time in the 24th year of the reign of Ramses II at the inauguration of the two temples of Abu Simbel, to which the royal couple made ​​a special trip to Nubia. The actual festivities but surprisingly daughter Meritamun played the lead role. It has been suggested that this was due to the diseased condition of Nefertari. Then she disappears from the sources and it can be assumed that she died shortly thereafter.


Ramses II and Nefertari had five sons with the name Amunherchepeschef (from Year 20: Sethherchepeschef ) Paraherwenemef, Seti, Meryre and Meriatum, and four daughters with the name Baketmut, Nefertari, Meritamun and Henuttaui.