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A project of the American Research Center in Egypt
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Entrance to QV 1
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Entryway A

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A rectangular chamber within a north-facing hill slope. There are remains of an exterior courtyard in front of the chamber to the north. Patches of rough earthen plaster containing straw (mouna) survive on the walls (upper and lower parts) and ceiling.


Cutting unfinished
Decoration damaged
Flood Damage


  • Undecorated, but remnants of mouna plaster have been found on the walls and ceiling.

Corridor B

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An unfinished corridor cut into the eastern wall of chamber A.


Cutting unfinished
Partly excavated



QV 1 is located to the south of the main visitor path, and south-southwest of Dayr al-Rumi. It was initially misinterpreted as a tomb and given a QV designation, but is now understood to be a Coptic hermitage or shelter. It consists of a rectangular chamber within a hill slope, an unfinished chamber, as well as the remains of an exterior courtyard to the north. 

Inside the chamber, remains of rough earthen plaster containing straw (known locally as mouna) are present on the walls and ceiling. At the time of its clearance in 1985, the Franco-Egyptian Mission reported that a few stone Steps remained at the site’s north entrance. A low wall built with rubble stones and dried mud is present outside the cavity on the west side of the courtyard entrance.

Noteworthy features:

QV 1 was initially misinterpreted as a tomb and given a QV designation, but is now understood to be a Coptic hermitage or shelter.

Site History

Archaeologists originally assigned the site a tomb number (QV 1) believing that it had been a pharaonic tomb. However, no evidence of its funerary use exists. Its ancient use has been interpreted with more certainty to have been as a Coptic hermit shelter associated with Dayr al-Rumi. It is not certain whether the chamber was naturally occurring or was dug out by humans, or some combination of the two. 


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

Byzantine (Coptic) Period


1959-1960: Survey and Documentation
Thomas, Elizabeth
1985: Publication, Conservation, Excavation
Franco Egyptian Mission
2006-2008: Survey and Documentation
Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA)


Site Condition

According to the GCI-SCA, the stone Steps and other stone features inside the shelter reported by the Franco-Egyptian Mission in 1985 are no longer visible. The masonry wall on the west side of the shelter’s opening, as well as its entrance have suffered stone loss. Boulders immediately above the chamber’s entrance are at risk of falling.


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.


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

Leblanc, Christian. Ta set nefrou: une nécropole de Thèbes-ouest et son histoire, 1: géographie- toponymie: historique de l'exploration scientifique du site. Cairo: Nubar Printing House, 1989.

Lecuyot, Guy. The Valley of the Queens in the Coptic Period. In: Tito Orlandi and David W. Johnson (eds.), Acts of the Fifth International Congress of Coptic Studies, Washington, 12-15 August 1992. Vol. 2,1. Rome: CIM, 1993: 263-276.

Lecuyot, GuyTa Set Neferu: A Brief History of Excavations in the Valley of the Queens. KMT: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt 11, 2 (2000): 42-55.