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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
New Openings, Luxor: Restored tombs reopen in the West bank
The tombs of the wife of Ramses III and one of his top officials have
been officially inaugurated after their restoration
a bid to promote tourism to Egypt, which has declined since the 25 January
Revolution, Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim this week inaugurated two
tombs in the Valley of the Queens and Deir Al-Medina on Luxor’s west bank.
first tomb belongs to queen Tyti, wife of the Pharaoh Ramses III, and the
second is that of Inerkhaou, a senior official during the New Kingdom reigns of
Ramses III and IV.
Tomb of Queen Tyti, Valley of the Queens, West Bank of Luxor
tomb of queen Tyti is located in the Valley of the Queens and is smaller than
its counterparts from the later 20th Dynasty. When found, it was in a poor
state of conservation, having been reused in antiquity.
tomb consists of a corridor that ends with a burial chamber surrounded by side
chambers. It is decorated with colourful paintings that follow the same
decorative programme used in the tombs of the queen’s son Amenherkhepshef and
Ramses II’s son Khaemwaset of painted scenes on white, grey or yellow
walls of the corridor, burial chamber and side chambers are decorated with
scenes depicting the queen worshipping deities protecting her or the canopic
chests in the tomb. The most distinguished paintings are those on the front
wall of one of the rear chambers featuring Tyti as a young girl with the
braided hair of a teenager. On the left wall she is depicted as a middle-aged
woman wearing more conservative dress and make-up.
kinds of representations are not common in ancient Egyptian art, and the
contrast between the young girl and the older woman is striking,” Ibrahim said.
ceiling of the burial chamber is painted with delicate white stars on a golden
background, with the god Anubis depicted on the chamber’s front wall to protect
the tomb. On the left side a lion-headed image of the god Nebnery stands in
front of the queen, where there is also an image of the squatting youth
tomb of Inerkhaou is located in Deir Al-Medina and is very well-preserved,
containing painted scenes that have retained their original colours. The tomb
is vast for an official, and it originally belonged to both Inerkhaou himself
and family members.
was in charge of the craftsmen who decorated tombs in the Valleys of the Kings
and Queens. He has two tombs in Deir Al-Medina, indicating that he was a
favourite of the pharaoh though not of aristocratic birth.
from the last period at Deir Al-Medina were rarely decorated, perhaps due to
financial problems, a lack of qualified personnel or political unrest and an
increase in poverty among the workers.
period between the reigns of Ramses III and IV is known for its unrest and
economic difficulties, and it was the first period in which workers went on
strike due to non-payment of salaries. The government at the time seems to have
been strangled by a lack of resources and corruption.
Inerkhaou’s skills made him a favourite of the pharaoh and ensured that he was
able to build two tombs for himself in Deir Al-Medina. The first, the smaller
one, was intended for himself alone, and this for the time being remains
closed. The larger one, opened this week, was intended for his family.
tomb is decorated with scenes depicting Inerkhaou with his wife Wabet, a singer
to the god Amun, their children and deities. The most distinguished painting in
the tomb is one dedicated to the cult of royal figures buried at Thebes. It
depicts deceased pharaohs in the form of Osiris seated before Inerkhaou who is
depicted as a priest.
royal figures depicted include Ahmose-Nefertari and her son Amenhotep I,
patrons of the craftsmen at Deir Al-Medina, followed by Ramses I and Montuhotep
second chamber in the tomb contains exquisite decoration in three scenes that
continue onto the arched roof of the chamber. They depict the funerary world as
shown in the Book of the Dead.
of Inerkhaou paying homage to the gods are also found, as are scenes of daily
life with his family. A collection of funerary objects has been found within
the tomb as well as the remains of mummies.
stelae belonging to Inerkhaou are on display at the Museum of the Oriental
Institute in Chicago and at the Louvre in Paris. More About Deir Al-Medina, West Bank of Luxor