Skip to main content
A project of the American Research Center in Egypt

QV 17
Princess Merytra (I) & Princess Urmerutes

About the image
Entrance to QV17
More Details

Entryway A

See entire tomb

The shaft has a modern masonry and cement surround at its opening, spanned by a metal grill.


Cutting finished

Burial chamber B

See entire tomb

An atypically large rectangular burial chamber that is slightly off axis from the tomb's entry shaft. The ceiling and east wall are fractured and the ceiling is only preserved at rear of the chamber.

  • Chamber plan:

  • Chamber layout:

    Flat floor, no pillars
  • Floor:

    One level
  • Ceiling:



Cutting finished
Damaged structurally



QV 17 is a single-chambered shaft tomb located on the south side of the main Wadi, behind a low natural mound into which a number of tombs are cut. The shaft (A) has a modern masonry and cement surround at its opening, spanned by a metal grill. The main chamber (B) is slightly offset from the tomb’s shaft axis and the ceiling is only preserved at the rear of the chamber. As with other 18th Dynasty shaft tombs, it was not decorated.

Elizabeth Thomas (1959-6) was unable to enter the tomb, but noted that it had relatively little debris in its shaft and a typical layout, although with an atypically large main chamber. She suggested that Ernesto Schiaparelli (1903-1905) may have cleared it. The tomb was later excavated in 1986 by the Franco-Egyptian Mission, who speculated that the tomb may have been thoroughly pillaged in antiquity. Based on the archaeological material recovered, particularly inscribed Canopic jars, the tomb has been ascribed to two 18th Dynasty princesses, Merytra (I) and Urmerutes. According to Anne-Marie Loyrette, these two women could possibly be daughters of Amenhetep III, based on the iconography of the canopic jars, as well as the location of the tomb amongst other 18th Dynasty burials.

Noteworthy features:

The tomb has an atypically large main chamber and contained fragments of inscribed Canopic jars belonging to two 18th Dynasty princesses.

Site History

The tomb was constructed in the 18th Dynasty and reused in the Late Period.


This site was used during the following period(s):

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
Amenhetep III
Late Period


1903-1905 (?): Excavation
Italian Archaeological Expedition
1959-1960: Documentation
Thomas, Elizabeth
1981: Mapping/planning
Theban Mapping Project
1986: Publication, Conservation, Excavation
Franco Egyptian Mission
2006-2008: Survey and Documentation
Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA)
2010: Tomb clearance
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA)


Site Condition

According to the GCI-SCA, the tomb is cut into good quality rock and appears to be in stable condition. The ceiling and east wall of the main chamber are fractured. Localized rock staining associated with bat activity is evident, although no bats were recorded by the assessment team. There were many wasp nests. The tomb opening is in a location adjacent to a side drainage, and is susceptible to damage if flooded.


Geography and Geology of the Valley of the Queens and Western Wadis

The Valley of the Queens and the Western Wadis are made up of numerous valleys spread out over a vast space of desert, each containing tombs for the New Kingdom queens and other royal family members. The poor quality rock has led to damage in several tombs after suffering from earthquakes and floods.


CNRS mission report: Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France). Rapport d'activité 1987-1988 URA no. 1064, 1987-1988.

Demas, Martha and Neville Agnew (eds). Valley of the Queens. Assessment Report. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, 2012, 2016. Two vols.

Loyrette, Anne-Marie. Deux princesses sortent de l'oubil. Archéologia, 228 (1987): 38-42.