Private cemeteries on the West Bank at Thebes
The city of Thebes consisted of two parts divided by the River Nile. Thebes was the administrative centre of southern Upper Egypt and the religious capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom. Thebes had the most important and wealthiest temples in Egypt, royal cemeteries in the valley at the kings, and tombs for the elite people in New Kingdom on the West Bank at Thebes.
On the East Bank of the Nile at Thebes the most important temples were at Karnak (Temples of Amun and Mut) and the main part of the town. However, on the West Bank of the Nile there was the necropolis with tombs and mortuary temples.
The Architecture at New Kingdom private Tombs
The Theban tombs of New Kingdom have a uniform character which distinguishes them from tombs from other periods and sites. However, at Thebes the architectural features were the same in their basic requirements. The T- shaped tomb is the most typical type of tomb of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
The T-shaped tomb consists of the following elements: ‘’(1) a forecourt, partly cut in the rock, partly built of mud brick, with a gate; (2) upper rock- cut chambers including (a) a transverse hall; (b) an elongated passage; (c) an inner room with a niche for statues or rock-cut statues at the rear wall; (3) a
shaft and subterranean burial chamber, inaccessible after the burial”. The position of most tombs was high up on the hillside which prevented large courts being laid out, but some of sort of arrangement provided an attractive entrance to the tomb. Funerary cones made a decorative frieze over the doorway. And the tomb was crowned by a little pyramid when there was space available.
Funerary cones were cones of clay (10 – 15 cm long), with the circular bases stamp with hieroglyphic signs giving a name, a title and sometimes a family relationship or a short inscription. They have been interpreted as mummy labels; boundary stones (to mark the territory of a prospective tomb owner) dummy offering loaves or pieces of meat. Alternatively they might be visitors cards, dummy roofing poles, or a purely decorative element. They were placed as a frieze above the entrance to the tomb, set in the wall with the circular end visible. The circular shape is identical to the shape of the sun’s disc and would allow the person whose name it carried to partake in the solar cycle.
In the tomb, the chapel is one part of a tomb complex; it is where the painted or carved decoration is found. However, the chapel is not the place where the tomb owner was buried. The chapel is the place where the living could go and also where rituals and prayers for deceased would be spoken and festivals performed, and the link for the spirits of the dead between their world and living. The body at the tomb owner was placed in chambers at the bottom of vertical shafts or sloping passage which are below the level of the chapel. In fact, the chapel represented the world of living and the underground area was the world of the dead, and also the realm of the god Osiris.
Eighteenth Dynasty tomb architecture continued the line of the development of saff tomb from the Eleventh Dynasty. The tomb consisted of a facade of a series of pillars, but the transverse hall area behind it became increasing important and pillar-less. The passage to the rear of the tomb became shorter then the Eleventh Dynasty tomb and the rear room was expanded too. The pillared facade was emphasised, as in the tomb of Ineni (TT 81) and the high priest of Amun Hepusoneb (TT 67). The areas between the pillars were partially filled in by their new owners, and leaving an impression of a series of small apertures near the top.
The enclosed front broad hall developed and the most characteristic form of large private tomb of the Eighteenth Dynasty period is the T- shaped tomb, for example the famous tomb of Rekhmire (TT 100). With rock cut tombs there is a wide measure of variation, some of which probably had to do with the means or status of the tomb owner. The Eighteenth Dynasty tombs before the Amarna period have the rear room and passage compressed to varying degrees, and sometimes all the functions of the T-shaped chapel were incorporated into one small room (Nakht TT 52, Menna TT 69).
The evidence for a pyramid over these chapels is ambiguous. They have also on been identified over the lower tombs at Amarna (TT131). Some tombs have some sort of small shrine in the rock above them and in Senimen is tomb (TT 252) a statue group was cut over his chapel.
The part of the underground apartments (the realm of the dead) is composed of a vertical shaft or sloping passage, it was one or more irregularly cut rooms used for deceased and his wife, and probably even for other members of his family who were buried there.
In the reign of Amenhotep III a new type was adopted by some of the high officials, characterised by its large size and also the use of several courts and pillared hall such as (Amenemhat Surer (TT 48), Kheruef (TT 192), and Ramose (TT55). New tomb types are the precursor to those at Amarna and also in Thebes in the Ramesside period and in freestanding form at Saqqara. The latter type of tombs are termed ‘’temple tombs’’, form the parallels between their gateways and pillared halls with similar features in the cult centres of major deities.
In the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasty, Ramesside tomb plans were variations on tombs which had gone before, but, there is a marked difference between the largest tombs (a relatively small number) and the more numerous small to medium sized chapels. However, in this period the large tombs follow the temple tomb concept noted in the late Eighteenth Dynasty. It has one or two pillared halls; some of them have a large courtyard in which were erected a set of brick-built gates, also paralleling the pylons in the temples of the gods. A good example of a tomb in the reign of Ramesses II, is the tomb of Djehutymose (TT 32), and other tombs of this date are the tomb of Paser (TT 106), and the tomb of Nebwenenef (TT 157).
However, in this period there is one type of burial shaft which is characteristic of Ramesside tombs. It has a sloping passage with two or more right angle changes in direction. In some of them this shaft is curved. For this shaft there is purpose; a design to represent the topography of the next world, that has with parallels in funerary literature in the Amduat. This type of tomb shaft is first encountered in the reign of Amenhotep III, and also it is found at Amarna. It was an attempt to copy the design and symbolism of the royal tomb.
The walls of Theban tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty depicted scenes of many kinds of subjects connected with the life of the tomb owner. The tomb was a monument to the deceased because in part it described the tomb owner’s close proximity to the king. However, every tomb also had a part to play in enabling the tomb owner to continue his existence after death.
The king was the most important person in the life of a tomb owner; for this reason the king had the largest figure on the walls of the tomb (e.g. TT 57).
An important scene showed the personal position of the tomb owner linked to the king. For example the vizier, high priests of Amun, and army personnel who were in direct contact the king in his real life, and their function inspired the artists to depictions such as upon (Tomb TT 79, 55, 66, 100, 131, 96, 72).
Examples of this showed the vizier and other officials receiving tribute on behalf of the king. Foreigners came to Egypt from all corners of the empire with their merchandise: “ bearded yellow-skinned Syrians with costly vases; curly haired Cretans bearing strange receptacles; black Nubians with rings of gold; equally dark-skinned people from Africa bringing myrrh, incense and exotic animals”.
Another type of scene showed supervision of workshops which came within the duties of the vizier and the high priests of Amun. They are seen supervising carpenters, metalworkers, potters, brickmakers, leatherworkers, chariotmakers and jewellers work busily under the gaze of their master. (Tomb TT 66, 18, 130, 110, 188, 66, 172).
The occupations of military men, governors or mayors are also depicted by scene showing how he lined up his men, fed and clothed them, marched them along in procession accompanied by trumpets and drums (TT 96, 162).
Some scenes of officials depicted them in operations such as measuring the fields, transporting the grain and recording it in the granary or celebrating a harvest festival (TT 38, 57, 69).
Some professions were obviously more suitable for depiction than others. Tomb scenes of the weighing of metal was easy to represent, and the overseer of works on the two great obelisks in the temple of Amun had no trouble in explaining which he wanted - the manufacture of the obelisks in question were showed in his tomb (TT 18, 130, 173).
These ‘daily life’ scenes are common and most frequently found in the transverse hall, a part of the tomb near the entrance. On either side of the entrance doorway is often found the representation of the king to whom the tomb owner is showing offering on braziers and libating to gods who are mentioned in the accompanying text (TT 29, 38, 42, 38, 52, 181).
Scenes of fishing and fowling are strictly symmetrical; one never occurs without the other. In the centre at the scene there is a clump of papyrus where the artist, if he was imaginative, took the opportunity to depict birds and insects. On one side of the scene is a small canoe with the tomb owner standing upright, frozen in the act of spearing two fish or hitting a bird with a throwstick. In this scene, the family members of the owner of the tomb are on board or they are standing by. This scene also shows the river, revealing a myriad of fishes, birds and, less agreeably, a crocodile (TT 345, 53, 82, 123).
Manniche suggests that the key to understanding this scene is the two fish, which are right in the centre with the harpoon pointing straight at them. The fishes are tilapia which have the habit of swallowing their young in danger, but spitting them out unharmed once the crisis is over. It appeared that the little ones had died, but also had been miraculously reborn. This scene may coincide with the tomb owner’s hopes, and the tilapia became a symbol of rebirth. (Tomb TT A 24).
Fowling may have contoined another aspect of the idea of rebirth: ‘’being able to go fowling in the Hereafter was a visible sign of strength and ability to function. Osiris himself, when departing form the world of the living, not only had speech and movement restored to him but most specifically his ability to go fowling”.
The tomb owner’s canoe sometimes carries an unusual passenger, a duck or goose standing in the prow of the boat or, in one example a duckling cradled in the hand of the tomb owner’s daughter. This scene is (according to Manniche) is tinged with eroticism. The duck was an erotic symbol and it’s the bird was discreetly introduced to assist the tomb owner on the path to his eternal life.
Fishing and fowling is usually shown in the hall of the tomb or the walls of the passage; its elongated shape suited the format of the wall.
A scene of spearing a hippopotamus was in the scene in the first half of the Eighteenth Dynasty, but it was a separate representation requiring a third figure of the tomb owner. However it is not a satisfactory solution and the individual scenes with the hippo are done with artistry reminiscent of the older representations of the same subject.
Scenes of hunting in the desert were shown, on foot or in his chariot, accompanied by his servants. Other scenes of hunting in the desert show the tomb owner striding in the desert accompanied by his servant and shooting his arrows at the beasts which have been trapped in a stockade on the pink sand. In one tomb the painter depicted a scene of the tomb owner fighting a hyena (TT 85).
Detail in landscape painting for the desert scenes was not great; undulating dunes of sand and a few items of vegetation. However, the animals that live there are beautifully captured when they are in flying gallop or when they are sleeping under a shrub. Servants were often shown carrying back the trophies of the hunt to show that the hunter meant business.
The desert may have been thought of as an enemy because of its red colour which was the colour of Seth (god of confusion), and it may have been intended to avert all evil in advance.
Hunting scenes were tall and well suited to narrow walls such as the end walls of the transverse hall. They were placed on the right wall of the passage because it is the part nearest to entrance and it shares the wall with the funerary rites. This subject was a particularly favoured during the reign of Tuthmosis III.
In an agricultural society such as Egypt; most tomb owners would have been able to cultivate a patch of land. However, agriculture was also shown in most of the tombs. The soil was tilled, seeds sown, and the grain harvested by cutting the ears and leaving the stubble in the field. The ears were taken to the threshing floor, worked by oxen, winnowed by farmhands and eventually measured in bushels and recorded. Scenes show the tomb owner sitting comfortably watching someone else’s work (Tomb TT 57, 255, 21, 345).
Agriculture was backbone of life of the Egyptians. An Egyptian wanted this activity depicted on the walls of his tombs, if his relatives did not bring food offerings or the priests did not recite the offering formula when the offering table depicted in the tomb ran out of supplies. However if these disasters took place it was comforting to know the little men on the walls will produce another crop and all would be right.
Scenes of vintage provided the tomb owner with fresh and constant supplies in the eternity. Here the grapes are picked up and pressed, the wine bottled, and the jars are stacked in the cellars. Butlers, Stewards or temple officials were shown in charge of the wine cellar of the temple because they had chosen this subject such as a matter of course and it became as a conventional representation. This subject is positioned in the right part of the tomb, in the hall; it is often a sub-scene to scenes of fishing and fowling in the tomb (Tomb TT 261, 155, 49, 90).
The scene of the funeral procession was one of the most important. It was shown in the inner room of the tomb, and represented on the left wall of the elongated passage (T- shaped tomb), or on the corresponding wall of tombs of different shape (TT 17, 20, 29, 56, 87, 99, 53, 96).
The procession to the embalming house and the dragging of the coffin to the tomb were standard, as was scene in front of the tomb with the mourners, and the grieving widow embracing her husband’s mummy or coffin (Tomb TT 54).
The depiction of the voyage to Abydos is obviously a symbolic representation in the tomb. The Egyptians wished to travel to Abydos and their respect to Osiris (King of the Dead) at his traditional burial place. These scenes are stylised and are not for this world. The scene shown, although symbolic of emphasised the rites performed through one of the annual festivals in the necropolis when model boats were placed in the tomb in order to help the deceased undertake this journey (TT 139, 56, 66, 82, 11, 17, 96).
The scene of the Opening of the Mouth was crucial. This ceremony was performed on the mummy or statue to help him to be able to speak and eat again. The scene showing the mummy or statue faces the entrance of the tomb with the mortuary priests looking in the opposite direction in the tomb.
The scenes of the banquet show Thebans when they are at their ease; they are drinking, smiling, gazing at each with big dark eyes and listening to music and song (Tomb TT 38). The scene of the banquet is an ideal picture of a happy occasion; also it fulfilled a function in the scheme of decoration in the tomb. In this scene there is a little detail which reveals the raison d’être of the subject. In this scene men and women carry the lotus in their hands in the picture. The lotus flower was a symbol of rebirth. According to one legend the sun god himself was born out of a lotus flower. The mandrake fruit carried the same connotations, but it is at different level. The women play games with the fruit, they are hiding it behind their backs and smelling it, because it was poisonous and not part of the evening fare. The scene shows them dressed in semi-transparent robes, which are revealing more than concealing. They wore wigs which were used on special occasions.
However, this subject sometimes has a linked vignette on another wall. In this scene, the bed is being prepared a mirror on it and eyes paint close to hand, underneath the bed. An unguent cone crowns the wig; a lump of scented fat, it was remodelled during the evening like the fat which melted, and enveloped the wig and clothes in fragrant grease. This scene played an important part in the erotic imagination of the Egyptians (Tomb TT 260).
One scene shows the husband and wife seated next to each other embracing, but the guests are usually not accorded the same privilege at the banquet. There is an area for men and another for women. In this scene the girls do not embrace their husbands, they embrace one another; they lift up a curl of a neighbour’s wig, grasping her wrist, holding a hand poised over her lap and they are play with mandrake fruits. The servants naked boys or girls, pour wine and beer flavoured with date juice. The idea of whole banquet scene renders in discreet terms, hinting at the proper atmosphere for creating new life.
The scene of the banquet is depicted in close proximity to the scene showing episodes from the Feast of the Valley, the annual summer celebration in the necropolis when a statue of Amun travelled from its shrine at Karnak across the river Nile. The scene show the statue carried up and down the winding path between the tombs of the deceased and their relatives who come and waited to see the god there. As well as the staff priests, priestesses and musicians accompanied the god. The tomb owner was depicted offering to the gods such as they passed the doorway of the tomb; is braziers follot bread, fowl and incense and myrrh is poured in the god’s path. A banquet for Amun, consisting of papyrus stems, lotus flowers, mandrake and poppy, was placed in the tomb for necklaces (Tomb TT 161).
The tombs of the New Kingdom at Thebes are found from Deir el-Medina in the south to Dra Abu el-Naga in the north, some sites were particularly of favoured.
The tombs at Deir el-Medina are those of members of the local community who were connected with work on the tombs of the royal family. From this period six main tombs have been identified. One of them is tomb of Kha (TT 8), who was a chief in the Great Place in the reign of Amenhotep II – III. It has a decorated upper chamber of modest proportions as well as a burial chamber below, which was found intact.
The site of Qurnet Murai has six tombs; one of these is tomb of Huy (TT 40) who was a viceroy of Nubia (Kush) in the reign of Tut ankhamun. The paintings on the walls of upper chamber were applied on a coarse surface of mud mixed with straw and hardly any grounding, and reflect the characteristics of the art of the late Amarna period. One of the walls shows Huy in his office when he received tribute from the Nubin people on behalf of his king, with details such as representation of a Nubian princess being led before the king in a vehicle draw by oxen, and sheltered from the blazing sun by a large fan.
The decorated chamber of Merymosi (TT 383), who was a viceroy of Kush, and son of Amenhotep III. Funerary cones were inset as a frieze along the upper edge of the façade of the tomb.
Amenemopet’s tomb is (TT 276) who for an Overseer of the Treasury in the reign of Tuthmosis IV. He depicted himself receiving solid rings of gold brought from Nubia, and he showed how the precious metal was transformed to vases and jewellery in the workshops.
At Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, there are tombs of Nakht (TT 52), who was an astronomer of Amun (temp. Tuthmosis IV) the tomb of Menna (TT 69), who was a royal scribe, child of the nursery (Temp. Tuthmosis IV) and the tomb of Userhet (TT 56). Userhet was a scribe (scribe of Pharaoh’s fields) of the army of Amenhotep II. On the wall he shows how the soldiers were lined up for their mealand how barbers came to shave them. The scene of hunting in the tomb is particularly successful with interesting details; for example showing a fox being caught hanging in a tree.
Khaemhet (TT 57) was Overseer of the Granaries of Upper and Lower Egypt (tomb Amenhotep III). It is almost devoid of colour, but the delicacy of the limestone relief and the vivacity of the scene emphasises the skill of the sculptor. However, two scenes of agricultural activities in his tomb show the whole range of conventional episodes from ploughing to harvesting with less common details, for example a boy taking a beat, from his labours to play a pipe and the climax to the seasons efforts with offerings being presented to the god of harvest.
The tomb of Ramose tomb (TT 55) is on the lower slope of the hill. Ramosi was Mayor of Thebes and Vizier in the reign of Amenhotep III and also extended into the reign of Amenophis IV. In his tomb; a spacious hall had a roof which was supported by papyriform columns. He chose the site of his monument in an area with excellent quality limestone. On the two walls, the sculptors successfully completed the decoration adjoining the entrance doorway. On the wall which is to the left on entering, they laid out a representation in several registers showing the funeral procession to the tomb; the coffin being dragged along on a sledge, and followed by mourning relatives, and professional weeping women, and by people carrying the numerous item of funerary furniture.
Rekhmire was a Vizier in the reign of Tuthmosis III, and Amenophis II. His tomb is TT 100. His scenes are depicted in great detail and with the hand of a master draughtsman. The transverse hall has a splendid procession of tribute bringers; it being a part of Rekhmires duties as Vizier to receive them. The animals show on the wall are giraffes, baboons, a bear; an elephant and exotic produce. Scenes in the passage show workshops of the brickmakers, leatherworkers, metalworkers, sculptors and jewellers, while people filly the granaries and storehouses of the king, bakers prepare loaves, cakes and sweetmeats. The banquet is on the opposite wall with all symbolic details depicted in delicate colours. The funerary rites on the walls are among the most elaborate in the necropolis a d sit the stander for representations of that subject, and the mast interesting of them is Rekhmir statue, it has the main part in the ceremonies; his eyes are opened to enable him to see abin; and his mouth is opened to allow him to speak and eat; also his bones are made firm in his body. Although he is purified with water and incense, in order to the ancient ritual goes on around him to ensure, his resurrection at the other side of the door that led from the inner chamber to the unknown existence beyond.
A few paces away from Rekhmires tomb there is tomb of Sennfer (TT 96). Sennufer was Mayer of Thebes in reign of Amenophis II. The burial chambers are not decorated. The path in front of the tomb continues until one reach lines of tombs along the upper edge of the hill. These tombs had little room for forecourts. Most are room tombs with now familiar transverse hall and elongated passage. Up here find a few more mayors, viziers and granary official also commanders of soldiers, stewareds, prophets of Amun, overseers of works and fan-bearers of the king. The occupations is reflected in the decoration in the walls of the tombs, its dedicated to the office of the owner an his relation to the king. The artists decided to depict them with different skin complexions to make the picture very interesting.
Amenmhab was lieutenant commander of soldiers (Tomb TT 85). He used two kinds of the faces of the pillars for inscribe hymns for the two kings he served them (Tuthmosis III and Amenophis II). Pictures showing his wife with a young prince on her lap, she had nursed and also various scene of offerings. However, the representation showing hunting in the desert and riverscapes that is the only example of his genre. The landscape is suggesting the setting of activate in their works. The painter depicted scene of Amenemheb in the wall when he is fighting a hyena in the desert.
At Deir el- Bahri, there is Kharuef tomb (TT 192). He was a contemporary of the vizier Ramosi, and his tomb like Ramosi tomb. It was decorated with fine relief. Kharuef was steward of Queen Teye (spouse of Amenophis III. The relationship is reflected in the decoration of the tomb, and also in the scene Amenophis IV is depicted as king. A precursor of the spirit of el-Amarna is the emphasis on representation depicting the royal family. They are shown as offering, going out of the palace, taking part in the religious ceremonies and being recipients of offering. The scene was being to show the relative between the tomb owner to his sovereing.
At hill of Khokha there is of Nebamun’s and Ipuky’s their owner tomb (TT181). The site chosen was ill suited for the sculpting of relief. Scene that is In the hall of the tomb depicted the banquet, arts and crafts and the funeral procession. The two owner of the tomb appear separate or together, and they are showing in the scene with their families on the wall of the tomb.
Parennufe was royal butler (clean a hands) at the court of Amenophis IV. He had tomb at el-Amaran and other one at Thebes (TT 188). The tomb is partly shown in relief, and partly in painting and shown some about the characteristics of the Amarana style.
Puyemre was second prophet of Amun. His tomb is (TT 39). It has pillared hall, atransveres hall, and there are three or more chapels at the rear. The scene showing the tomb owner kneeling before Osiris and goddess of West, and a Stella with funeral outfit and also he are standing with his wives. Also the decoration of the walls is showing in the relief, the good solid craftsmanship of the reign of Tuthmosis III.
The tombs at Dra Abu el- Naga are scattered over a very larg area. The hillside is intersected landscape by Valles, the dark that openings of the tombs are facing one to another across the barre desert.
Tetiky was mayor of the Thebes; his tomb is (TT 15). In the tomb there is a representation of Queen Ahmosi Nefetere who a member of the royal family. She was mother of Amenophis I and also she was considered mother of the whole of dynasty. In Tetiky’s tomb she was depicted during her lifetime.
Antef was royal herald of Tuthmosis III; his tomb is (TT 155). He was served under Queen Hatshepsut. A symbolical representation in the tomb: the hippopotamus was evil and dangerous, and by mastering it on wall.
Nebamum (TT 17) was a physician in the reign of Amenophis II In the tomb scene he depicted the most momentous avant in his career on one of the wall. The scene showing the cup extended to him contained one of the herbal potions for which Egypt was truly famous. The reward was product from the homeland of the nobleman including metal ingots and a silver Jug.
The tomb of Nakht who was the gardener is (TT 161), and Wensu whose tomb is (TT A4). However, Dar Abu el-Naga was likely the site of a tomb. That is among the most frequently depicted of all the tombs in the necropolis rival only by the tombs of Nakht at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna.
The owner of this tomb was scribe and counter of grain of the divine offerings of Amun. His name was certainly Nebamun, and his wife was called Hatshepsut. This tomb was decorted at same time as the tomb of Nakh and Menna. The period of the tomb was at the reign of Tuthmosis IV or in the beginning of Amenophis III. The most subject of painting is the banqueting lady, crowds of cattle and geese, Nebamum spearing fish in his tiny canoe.
Tomb of Neferhotep is (TT 49), who was in the reign of Ay at Khokha. It is open to visitors, but it has little to see because the tomb has been living in and the walls are blackened by smoke to the extent.
Tomb of Neferhotep is (TT 50) who was at Sheik Abd el-Qurna in reign of Haremhab. He was held a high office among the clergy of Amun. The
tomb is decorated in relief and it is chiefly known for its several harpist songs. The tomb had a number of points of interest to offer. Neferhotep and two of his fellow officials are shown they receiving the coveted reward of golden necklaces from the king in the third year of his reign. This subject was touched upon in the tomb of Ramosi and was most favour in the Amrana period.
However the decoration of the tomb is ensures the continued existence of the material depicted. The offering chapel used for rites for the owner of the tomb, also the most important was the regular provision of food and drink for their spirits. Such as a supply of food is show agreements were draw up between the tomb owner when he was alive and his relatives or priests who look after his tomb and provide offering for his ka.
An ancient Egyptian wished his cult to continue for ever, as well it should be put in place when the inevitable happened and practice of the cult stopped. However, the existence of painting of offerings and offering rituals on the walls meant, would magical come to replace the real material. Then the most basic set of scenes in an Egyptian tomb includes an offering ritual.
Magic was important to the ancient Egyptians. But real magical power is to be feared and disbelieved at one peril. The painted figures of the owner and his statues when he possessed them could magically provide a home for his spirit should disaster befall his body in his tomb. The power of these figures is illustrated by the hieroglyphs which that write an individual’s name were defaced by enemies intent on destroying the memory of an individual. The decoration is concerned with rebirth and projecting the tomb owner personality and to enabling him to continue his existence beyond the grave and also the pilgrimage to Abydos. The deceased would be shown travelling to the holy city of Osiris to take part in the god’s festivals and subsequently returning to Thebes; the deceased and his wife are shown in a semi-mummy form fashion and also their boat is accompanied by another bearing their coffins. However, if this trip was made in life, it was also an important part of the association with Osiris necessary for the afterlife.
The scenes of daily life are showing agriculture craftsmen at work. It is reflect matters related to the owner’s occupation on the earth. The agricultural scenes are found in the tombs of granary officials when viziers shown taxing scenes and other aspects of administration with which they were concerned. The official’s scenes are depicted before the king on walls of their tombs, because the tomb owner wished to stress how important he had been with the king in this life; showing the king in a tomb was surely is not a privilege granted to everyone. This scenes are just part of the concept of projecting the owner personality into the next world.
There are other scenes; one of them such is the common fishing and fowling scene. The tomb owner does indeed appear to be spearing fish and throwing sticks at birds. In the scene of the tomb owner is showing accompanied by his spouse in festive dress and there is a duck on the prow of the boat. The explanation lies in a complex mix of symbols, it is mostly of sexuality and for rebirth. However, the duck was an erotic symbol and the concept of a woman in fine clothes and also wearing a heavy wig, has sexual overtones (a woman in a well-known papyrus accuses a man of saying). The fish in the centre of the picture is the tilapia; that it is tendency to take its young into its mouth for protection, and also to let them out when danger was past. In order to, the Egyptians were great ones for seeing parallels between the natural world and their religious, and this scene it is for imagine that they would see this as a potential symbol for rebirth.
1. Baines, J. & J Malek (1980) Atlas of Ancient Egypt, Oxford.
2. Manniche, L. (1987) City of the Dead: Thebes is Egypt British Museum, London.
3. Manniche, L. (1988) Lost Tombs: a study of certain 18th Dynasty monuments in the Theban Necropolis KPI, London.
4. Spencer, A.J. (1982) Death in Ancient Egypt Penguin Book, London.
5. Strudwick, N. & H. (1999) Thebes in Egypt: a guide to the tombs and temples of Luxor British Museum, London.