Usually for the most part the Pharaoh died before his wife, but in this case, as was the case with most of his children, the reverse proved the rule, which left Ramesses in an unfamiliar position. He is said to have taken Iset-Nofret as his wife after the demise of Nefertari, who produced at least four children. There is some evidence to say that both Nefertari and Iset-Nofret were of a similar age, so it is likely both were producing offspring at the same time. This is not unusual for the time or for an Egyptian ruler as already alluded to earlier. Nefertari was buried in the Valley of the Queens where most of the 18th Dynasty queens were buried. Her tomb (QV66) was discovered in 1904 by Ernesto Schieparelli of the Turin Museum excavation group, but like many of the ancient tombs it had suffered greatly at the hands of tomb robbers. Some minor objects were found including shabti figures, a pair of the queen's scandals and the knob of a cane with an imprint of the cartouse of King Ay. The main treasure found here was of course the wall paintings. Although Schieparelli understood the significance of this, he could see that the paintings were in a very poor state. This was due to the poor quality of the tomb and in particular the limestone. The paintings were not painted directly on to the walls but on a thick layer of plaster, which coated the tomb. Deterioration due to landslides and the formation of salt deposits threatened these exquisite works of art. To the great credit of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization and the Getty Conservation Institute who worked jointly to carry out conservation work on this tomb, it is now open to visitors.
It is obvious that many different artists or teams of artists were employed on this tomb and in some cases we can see that some of these artists were not afraid to experiment with new techniques such as shading and the use of red paint to highlight certain detail. It is not my intention to go into detail on these paintings here but as you can imagine most of these works depict Nefertari's progress from her death to eternal life in the afterlife. Her mummified body is depicted being protected by Isis and Nephthys, Anubis and the sons of Horus. She is shown playing the game of senet, which had a major significance for a person's journey in the afterlife. There are also many hieroglyphic texts and indeed the whole quality of this workmanship is superb. Having said this, we can also see the human side where there are some examples of slopy workmanship i.e. where paint was allowed to drip and some lines were drawn incorrectly. This adds to the whole character of the work.
Although we know some detail about Neferari's life from her tomb and the monuments in her honour, we certainly don't know all the details of her life and like many Ancient Egyptian figures we are left to speculate and use our imagination to paint a more complete picture. Maybe this is not such a bad thing, as in this case we have a reasonable template to work on. Part of the fascination with this culture is that we will never know for sure all the details and maybe this is the ways things should be.