Shabti of Ramesses VI

Shabti of Ramesses VI


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Shabti

Description Fragment of a Shabti. Top half of a figure, resembling a wrapped mummy. On the front there are the remains of a crudely painted face, wig and arms in black. Patches of a green wax and red pigment remain. This shabti was found in the tomb of Ramesses V by James Burton and brought back to England. Similar fragments were found in the tomb bearing the cartouche of Ramesses VI indicating this this shabti probably belonged to him also.

A shabti was a kind of servant figure that was buried with the deceased and found in elite burials from the New Kingdom. In the afterlife the deceased was expected to help maintain the 'reed fields' where they would be living in the afterlife. If the deceased was called on to do manual labour the shabtis would take his place. To this end they were often depicted holding tools in their hands.

Shabtis were commonly made of stone, wood, plaster, and faience. The number of shabtis included in a burial changed over the course of Egyptian history in the 18th dynasty, only one shabti was common, but by the Third Intermediate Period they could have one for every day of the year!

Some were inscribed only with the name and title of their master while others contained an inscription known as the 'shabti spell' or chapter 6 of the Book of Coming Forth by Day, better known as the Book of the Dead. This spell would make them answer when their master was called on to work. The word shabti means 'answerer'.


Ramses VI

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Ramses VI, Ramses also spelled Ramesses or Rameses, (flourished 12th century bce ), king of ancient Egypt (reigned 1145–37 bce ), who succeeded to the throne after the early death of his nephew, Ramses V.

Evidence indicates that Ramses VI was probably a son of Ramses III, the last outstanding ruler of the 20th dynasty (1190–1075 bce ). After taking the throne, he annexed the tomb of his predecessor, Ramses V, which remains one of the most impressive of the Theban royal tombs.

Reigning at least seven years, the king accomplished little building or decoration that has survived to the present day, and, after he annexed his predecessor’s tomb, the size of the workmen’s gang on the royal tomb was reduced. He was the last Egyptian king to work the copper mines at Sinai Nubia, Egypt’s territory to the south, however, remained under Egyptian control. Ramses was succeeded by his son Ramses VII, formerly identified as Ramses VIII.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.


Moses and Pharaoh

Ramses II became king as a teenager and reigned for 67 years. He aspired to defeat the Hittites and control all of Syria, but in the fifth year of his reign Ramses walked into a Hittite trap laid for him at Kadesh, on the Orontes River in Syria. By sheer determination he fought his way out, but in the light of his purpose the battle was an utter failure. Yet Ramses, like all the pharaohs, claimed to be divine therefore, the defeat had to be interpreted as a marvellous victory in which he alone subdued the Hittites. His wounded ego expressed itself in massive building operations throughout Egypt, and before his reign ended the boast of his success literally filled acres of wall space.

It was probably only a few years after the Kadesh incident that Moses and Aaron confronted Ramses with their demand, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go.’ ” As a god in human form Ramses was not accustomed to taking orders from lesser gods, let alone an unknown like Yahweh. “Who is the Lord,” he inquired, “that I should heed his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover I will not let Israel go.” Thus the stage was set for a long struggle between a distrustful ruler with an outsize ego and a prophet with a new understanding of Yahweh and his power.

Ramses increased the oppression of the Hebrews by the fiendish plan of requiring them to gather the straw binder for the bricks and still produce the same quota each day. Some of the Hebrews rebuffed Moses, and in frustration he asked Yahweh, “Why didst thou ever send me?” Moses’ doubt was allayed by Yahweh’s promise to take action against Pharaoh. Scholars differ widely concerning the narrative about the plagues. Some claim that three sources have been combined, but more recent scholarship finds only the two traditions. While granting that some of the plagues had a core of historicity, older critics tended to discount the present accounts as fantastic stories with pious decorations. A recent school of research suggests that, notwithstanding some later additions, all the plagues probably had a historical core.

The basic cause, according to one interpretation, was an unusually high flooding of the Nile. The White Nile originates in the lake region of east central Africa, known today as Uganda. The flow is fairly even throughout the year because of consistent equatorial rains. The Blue Nile, on the other hand, originates in the headwaters of the Ethiopian highlands, and it varies from a small stream to a raging torrent. At the time Moses was bargaining with Ramses, excessively heavy summer rains in Ethiopia washed powdery, carmine-red soil from the slopes of the hills. Around the Lake Tana region the blood-red torrent picked up bright red algae (known as flagellates) and their bacteria. Since there were no dams at that time, the Nile flowed blood-red all the way to the Mediterranean. It probably reached the delta region in August. Thus, this rare natural event, it is held, set in motion a series of conditions that continued until the following March.

During these months Moses used the plagues of the frogs, gnats, mosquitoes, cattle murrain, boils, hail, locusts, and thick darkness to increase the pressure on Ramses. At first the King was adamant. The Hebrews were not the only disgruntled slaves, and, if he agreed to let them go, then other groups would want the same privilege. To protect his building program, he had to suppress the slave rebellion at its outset. Yet he could not discount the effect of the plagues, and grudgingly he began to acknowledge Yahweh’s power. As an expedient attempt to restore order, he offered to let the Hebrews sacrifice in Goshen. When this failed, he suggested that they make offerings to Yahweh at the edge of the Egyptian border. Moses, however, insisted on a three-day journey into the wilderness. Pharaoh countered by allowing the Hebrew men to make the journey, but this, too, was rejected. As his final offer Pharaoh agreed to let the people go. He would keep the livestock, however, as the guarantee of their return. Moses spurned the condition, and in anger Pharaoh drove him out. After nine rounds with Pharaoh it appeared that the deliverance of the Hebrews was no nearer, but, in contrast to his earlier periods of doubt and frustration, Moses showed no despair. Apparently he had an inner assurance that Pharaoh would not have the last word.


Egyptian Occult History


Tales of Ancient Egypt:  Princess Ahura:  We were the two children of the King Merneptah, and he loved us very much, for he had .

KV 2 (Rameses IV)

The tomb of Ramesses IV in the Valley of the Kings is rather different than most other royal tombs built here. Ramesses III, had been assassinated, and when his some, Ramesses IV took the thrown, he did so in a period of economic decline in Egypt. Though large, his tomb is highly simplistic, and unique in many ways. The tomb was known early on, and was in fact used as a sort of hotel by early explorers such as Champollion and Rosellini (1829), Robert Hay, Furst Puckler, Theodore Davis and others. It was also an important Coptic Christian dwelling, and was also frequently visited in antiquity. There was considerable Coptic and Greek graffiti on the tomb walls.

Interestingly, two sketched plans of this tomb are known, the most famous and complete of which is contained within the a papyrus in Turin.

One unusual aspect of the tomb is that there is very little decline as one travels from the first part of the tomb through to its rear. The entrance begins with a split stairways to either side of a ramp, opening into a first, second and third corridors. The final corridor leads to a smallish antechamber, and then to the burial chamber. To the rear of the burial chamber are some small annexes, but otherwise the tomb contains no lateral annexes. The corridors are unusual for their width and height, some measuring three meters (10 feet) wide and four meters (15 feet high).

The facade of the tomb is decorated with scenes of the king's coronation, as well as a scene depicting Isis and Nephthys venerating the sun disk. Within the first two corridors are scenes and text from the Litany of Ra, proceeded by a typical painting of the king worshipping the falcon headed sun god, Re-Horakhthy. On the ceilings are vultures, falcons and winged scarabs with spread wings.

In the third corridor we find the first and second parts of the Book of Caverns, with simple ceilings decorated with stars, but which later becomes vaulted. From this corridor, a ramp leads through the antechamber into the burial chamber. The antechamber is decorated with scenes from the Book of the Dead, mostly chapter 125 which deals with the judgement of the dead. The burial chamber, which is not large, is almost filled by the still resident sarcophagus. However, this sarcophagus is unusually large. The burial chamber is decorated with the second, third and fourth hours from the Book of Gates. The ceiling is uniquely decorated with two large figures representing Nut, rather than the usual stellar constellations. There are also scenes from the Book of Nut, and the Book of the Night. The annexes behind the burial chamber contain text from the first part of the Book of Caverns. Other parts of this annex are painted with burial offerings such as beds, shrines and canopic jars.

Note the complete absence of pillars within this tomb, as well as the lack of the Amduat within its decorative program.

General Site Information

Structure: KV 2
Location: Valley of the Kings, East Valley, Thebes West Bank, Thebes
Owner: Rameses IV
Other designations: 13 [Champollion], 2 [Hay], 2 [Lepsius], B, plan A [Pococke], IIe Tombeau à l'ouest [Description], N [Burton]
Site type: Tomb

Description: KV 2 is cut into the base of a hill on the northwest side of the main wadiof the Valley of the Kings, just south of the branch wadi leading to KV 1. The tomb consists of three gently sloping corridors (B, C, D) followed by a chamber (E), a burial chamber (J), and a corridor beyond (K) with side chambers Ka-c. The tomb is decorated with scenes from the Litany of Ra (corridor B, corridor C), Book of Caverns(corridor D, corridor K), Book of the Dead (well chamber E), Book of Gates (burial chamber J), Imydwat (burial chamber J), Book of Nut (burial chamber J), Book of the Night (burial chamber J), Book of the Earth (gate Kb), deceased and deities (corridor B, corridor K, side chamber Ka, side chamber Kb, side chamber Kc), and burial furniture (side chamber Kb).

The original plan of the tomb was altered after the death of the king, and the chamber which would have been pillared chamber F was used for burial chamber J. Two plans of the tomb are known: a plan of the whole tomb drawn on a papyrus now in the Turin Museum (Cat. 1885), and a sketch of the doorway of the tomb on an ostracon found in the rubble at the entrance.

Noteworthy features: Notable architectural features of this tomb include: the barrel-vaulted ceiling of corridor D the ramp through the floor of corridor D, gate E and chamber E the conversion of a pillared chamber into a burial chamber side chambers and recesses off the rear corridor K. Also unusual are the number of foundation deposit pits, although not all were used.

Decoration unique to this tomb includes the representation of Shu and Nut from the Book of Nut on the ceiling of burial chamber J, the mummiform figures in Ka and Kc, and parts of the Book of Caverns, which appear for the first time in the Valley of the Kings.

KV 2 is one of the few tombs for which an ancient plan has survived.

The tomb was frequently visited in antiquity, and graffiti are scattered throughout the tomb. In general, each visitor left his name, his profession, his origin, and personal comments about the tomb. There is a significant number of Coptic graffiti, including representations of saints and Coptic crosses.

Axis in degrees: 291.5
Axis orientation: West

Latitude: 25.44 N
Longitude: 32.36 E
Elevation: 167.807 msl
North: 99,723.763
East: 94,074.579
JOG map reference: NG 36-10
Modern governorate: Qena (Qina)
Ancient nome: 4th Upper Egypt
Surveyed by TMP: Yes

Maximum height: 5.21 m
Mininum width: 1.24 m
Maximum width: 8.32 m
Total length: 88.66 m
Total area: 304.88 m²
Total volume: 1105.25 m³

Additional Tomb Information

Entrance location: End of spur
Owner type: King
Entrance type: Ramp
Interior layout: Corridors and chambers
Axis type: Straight

Categories of Objects Recovered

Architectural elements
Furniture
Human mummies
Tomb equipment
Vegetal remains
Written documents

The construction of the pillared chamber was cut short at the king's death when little beyond the pillared chamber was completed. That chamber was converted into a burial chamber, the pillars removed, and the floor lowered to accommodate the massive sarcophagus. Later, after vandals had disturbed the burial, the king's mummy was reburied in a re-used coffin in the cache in KV 35.

KV 2 has been open since antiquity. There are over seven hundred Greek and Latin graffiti throughout the tomb. Over fifty Coptic graffiti show that the tomb was used during the Byzantine Period. During the first half of the nineteenth century, the tomb was often used as a dwelling by European explorers investigating the Valley.

This site was used during the following period(s):
New Kingdom, Dynasty 20, Rameses IV
Graeco-Roman Era
Byzantine Period

The open entryway has steps divided by a central ramp descending to gate B. The upper edges of the cutting for the entry were augmented during construction with rubble walls. A modern support constructed at the outer end of the damaged overhang gives the erroneous impression of a second outer set of door jambs. A crack in the overhang has been filled in. Various graffiti, including Coptic texts, are located near the first gate. Nine foundation deposit pits were located, two pairs on either side of the entry and one on the axis. However, only the axial pit and the two pair closest to the tomb door contained objects.

Architectural Features

Divided stairway
Overhang

Undecorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Width: 3.66 m
Length: 14.01 m
Area: 51.52 m²
Orientation: 291.5°

Pictorial: Coptic cross Left (south) wall
Coptic text: one graffito Left (south) wall
Greek text: eight graffiti Left (south) wall
Greek text: two texts Right (north) wall

Door pivot holes are present at the rear of the lintel at the beginning of the ceiling recess in corridor B, and there also are pivot holes beyond the step down from the threshold at the start of a flat landing. These features indicate that two wooden door leaves once closed the gateway. The sun disk in the horizon is shown on the outer lintel of the door leading into the tomb. The disk contains a scarab and the ram-headed form of the sun god Ra and is flanked by the king's cartouches and kneeling figures of Isis and Nephthys. On the jambs and thicknesses are the king's names executed in sunk relief.

Porter and Moss designation: A

Architectural Features
Door pivot holes

Decorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Height: 4.01 m
Width: 2.78 m
Length: 0.77 m
Area: 2.14 m²
Volume: 8.38 m³
Orientation: 0° from entryway A
Maximum slope: -4.95°

Names and epithets Lintel
Names and epithets Reveals
Names and epithets Thicknesses
Sun disk on the horizon: kneeling Isis and Nephthys flanking disk Lintel

Pictorial: four Coptic crosses Left (south) jamb
Pictorial: six Coptic crosses Right (north) jamb
Coptic text: two graffito Right (north) thickness
Coptic text: four painted texts Right (north) thickness
Greek text: four graffiti Right (north) jamb
Greek text: four graffiti Left (south) jamb
Modern European language text: "Ralli" Right (north) thickness

The decoration on the left (south) wall shows the king before Ra-Horakhty, the opening vignette of the Litany of Ra, followed by the text of that composition continued on the right (north) wall. On the ceiling are alternating depictions of vultures, falcons, winged scarabs and the king's names. There is either an artist's sketch or graffito of a man with a staff on the beginning of the left wall. A concentration of graffiti, many Coptic, is present in this corridor. These include prayers, saints' figures, and magical emblems (crosses, stars, knots).

There are three hieratic graffiti, including one of the Dynasty 21 official Penamen which may record the inspection that led to the reburial of the mummy of Rameses IV.

Porter and Moss designation: A

Architectural Features

Decorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Height: 4.23 m
Width: 3.16 m
Length: 15.17 m
Area: 47.95 m²
Volume: 202.87 m³
Orientation: 0° from entryway A

Deceased with deities: Ra-Horakhty Left (south) wall
Flying vultures: vultures alternating with falcons, scarabs, and king's names Ceiling
Litany of Ra: opening scene and text Left (south) wall
Litany of Ra Right (north) wall

Pictorial: two saints, raising their arms Right (north) wall
Pictorial: saint Left (south) wall
Pictorial: four Coptic crosses Left (south) wall
Pictorial: pharaonic figure (ca. 45 cm/18 inches) between gate and first scene Left (south) wall
Anatolian language text: one graffito Left (south) wall
Coptic text: nineteen graffiti Right (north) wall
Coptic text: seven graffiti Left (south) wall
Demotic text: fourteen graffiti Right (north) wall
Demotic text: seven graffiti Left (south) wall
Greek text: 185 graffiti Right (north) wall
Greek text: 128 graffiti, one dated to A.D. 144 (reign of Antonius Pius) Left (south) wall
Hieratic text: two graffiti Right (north) wall
Hieratic text: three graffiti Left (south) wall
Latin text: three graffiti Right (north) wall
Modern European language text: "Carmelo Bonello" (Maltese) Left (south) wall

Door pivot holes in the floor and ceiling inside the lintel and threshold indicate that the gate was closed by a pair of wooden door leaves. There is a step down from the threshold to the floor of corridor C. There is a winged sun disk on the outer lintel, a vulture with spread wings on the soffit, and the king's names and titles on the reveals and thicknesses.

Porter and Moss designation: B

Architectural Features

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated

Height: 3.86 m
Width: 2.72 m
Length: 1.05 m
Area: 2.84 m²
Volume: 11.17 m³
Orientation: 0° from corridor B

Flying vultures: one vulture Soffit
Names and epithets Thicknesses
Names and epithets Reveals
Winged sun disk Lintel

Anatolian language text: one graffito Left (south) jamb
Greek text: thirteen graffiti Right (north) jamb
Greek text: sixteen graffiti Left (south) jamb

A pair of rectangular recesses are cut high in the walls near the beginning of the corridor. Manifestations of Ra decorate these recesses. These figures also continue as a register above the texts of the Litany of Ra, which cover both walls of this corridor. Frieze texts elaborate on the king's names and titles. A disk containing the ba of Ra, flanked by Isis and Nephthys as kites, and followed by further manifestations of Ra, adorns the central length of the ceiling. The remainder of the ceiling is decorated with a star pattern.

Porter and Moss designation: B

Architectural Features

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated

Height: 4.23 m
Width: 3.15 m
Length: 12.66 m
Area: 39.89 m²
Volume: 168.73 m³
Orientation: 0° from corridor B

Rectangular, right and left (height: 1.65 m, width: 2.64 m, length: 0.52 m)

Litany of Ra Ceiling
Litany of Ra Left (south) wall
Litany of Ra Right (north) wall
Star pattern Ceiling

Pictorial: one Coptic cross Right (north) wall
Pictorial: one Coptic cross Left (south) wall
Coptic text: two graffiti Right (north) wall
Coptic text: two graffiti Left (south) wall
Demotic text: two graffiti Right (north) wall
Greek text: thirty-one graffiti Right (north) wall
Greek text: thirty-two graffiti Left (south) wall
Latin text: one graffito Right (north) wall

On the outer lintel is a winged disk. The door jambs and thicknesses bear the king's names. Door pivot holes are found in the floor and ceiling inside the lintel and threshold and indicate that the gate was once closed by a pair of door leaves. There is a step down from the threshold to corridor D.

Porter and Moss designation: C

Architectural Features

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated

Dimensions

Height: 3.82 m
Width: 2.77 m
Length: 1.06 m
Area: 2.92 m²
Volume: 11.4 m³
Orientation: 0° from corridor C

Names and epithets Thicknesses
Names and epithets Reveals
Winged sun disk Lintel

Demotic text: one graffito Right (north) jamb
Demotic text: one graffito Left (south) jamb
Greek text: six graffiti Right (north) jamb
Greek text: twelve graffiti Left (south) jamb

This corridor features a vaulted ceiling and a pair of vertical recesses set low at the rear ends of the walls. A ramp was cut into the rear half of the level floor and descends through E gate to chamber E. On the right (north) and left (south) walls are the first and second divisions of the Book of Caverns. The ceiling is decorated with the king's names surrounded by the star pattern. The vertical ends of the vault show pairs of winged uraei flanking the cartouches of the king.

Porter and Moss designation: C

Architectural Features

Vaulted ceiling
Recesses
Ramp

Decorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Height: 5 m
Width: 3.12 m
Length: 12.17 m
Area: 38.05 m²
Volume: 191.29 m³
Orientation: 0° from corridor C

Book of Caverns: first division Left (south) wall
Book of Caverns: second division Right (north) wall
Names and epithets Ceiling
Star pattern Ceiling

Pictorial: one Coptic cross Right (north) wall
Anatolian language text: one graffito Right (north) wall
Anatolian language text: one graffito Left (south) wall
Coptic text: three graffiti Right (north) wall
Coptic text: two graffiti Left (south) wall
Demotic text: nine graffiti Right (north) wall
Demotic text: seven graffiti Left (south) wall
Greek text: sixty-nine graffiti Right (north) wall
Greek text: ninety-eight graffiti, two dated to A.D. 5 and A.D. 20 Left (south) wall
Hieratic text: one graffito Right (north) wall
Latin text: one graffito Left (south) wall
Modern European language text: one graffito Right (north) wall

The outer lintel displays a winged sun disk and a vulture with outspread wings is on the soffit. The reveals and thicknesses are covered with the king's names. A circular hole was cut in each thickness near the inner edge, probaly for door bolts. There are door pivot holes in the ceiling inside the soffit, but none are preserved in the sloping ramp, and it is uncertain how the gate would have closed.

Porter and Moss designation: D

Architectural Features

Door pivot holes
Door bolt hole
Ramp

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated

Height: 4.78 m
Width: 2.76 m
Length: 1.08 m
Area: 2.9 m²
Volume: 14.21 m³
Orientation: 0° from corridor D
Maximum slope: -8.29°

Flying vultures Soffit
Names and epithets Thicknesses
Names and epithets Reveals
Winged sun disk Lintel

Greek text: one graffito Right (north) jamb
Greek text: eleven graffiti Left (south) jamb

Although no well shaft was ever cut, the floor level has been lowered by a descending ramp that begins in the floor of corridor D and ends in burial chamber J. The level of the original floor is preserved now as a bench on either side of the ramp. Texts from the Book of the Dead, including spell 125, which deals with the judgment of the dead, are inscribed on the walls in seventy-four columns.

Porter and Moss designation: D

Architectural Features

Decorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Height: 4.09 m
Width: 4.2 m
Length: 3.66 m
Area: 15.36 m²
Volume: 62.82 m³
Orientation: 0° from corridor D

Book of the Dead: spells 123, 124, 127, 125 Left (south) wall
Book of the Dead: spell 125 Right (north) wall
Names and epithets Ceiling
Star pattern Ceiling

Modern European language text Right (north) wall

A ramp was cut through the original threshold of the gate and still can be seen at the bottom of the inner thicknesses of the compound jambs. Door pivot holes are found inside the soffit, but not on the ramp surface, and it is not certain if the gate was closed by door leaves. On the outer lintel is a winged disk, and a vulture with spread wings is on the soffit. The reveals and thicknesses bear the king's names.

Porter and Moss designation: E

Architectural Features

Door pivot holes
Compound jambs
Ramp

Decorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Height: 5.04 m
Width: 2.76 m
Length: 1.08 m
Area: 2.97 m²
Volume: 15.24 m³
Orientation: 0° from chamber E
Maximum slope: -5.54°

Flying vultures Soffit
Names and epithets Thicknesses
Names and epithets Reveals
Winged sun disk Lintel

Pictorial: one Coptic cross Left (south) jamb
Pictorial: Coptic cross Right (north) jamb
Greek text: two graffiti Right (north) jamb
Greek text: four graffiti Left (south) jamb
Hieratic text: one graffito noting delivery of five items of tomb equipment Left (south) jamb

The burial chamber, located where normally would have been pillared chamber F, reflects an alteration of the traditional royal tomb plan resulting from an apparent need to finish the tomb prematurely. A ramp descends from corridor D through chamber E to the floor of the chamber which was cut one meter (three feet) lower.

The background color of the walls is a rich golden yellow, with the figures and texts executed in multiple colors, and with the texts on a white background. The decoration of the walls of the burial chamber is executed in sunk relief and consist of excerpts from the first three divisions (P)/opening scene and first two hours (H) of the Book of Gates. The composition begins with the first division on the right side of the front (east) wall and continues clockwise around the walls of the chamber. Two frieze texts beginning on the rear (west) wall and ending on the front wall give excerpts from the sixth and ninth hours of the abbreviated version of the Imydwat. Two elongated Nut figures decorate the center of the ceiling enclosing part of the Book of the Night on the right (north) half and the Book of Nut on the left (south) half, where a centrally placed figure of Shu with upraised arms supports Nut.

Chamber plan: Square
Relationship to main tomb axis: Parallel
Chamber layout: Flat floor, no pillars
Floor: One level
Ceiling: Flat

Porter and Moss designation: E

Architectural Features

Sarcophagus emplacement
Sarcophagus
Ramp
Burial pit

Decorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Height: 5.22 m
Width: 8.33 m
Length: 7.3 m
Area: 60.53 m²
Volume: 317.23 m³
Orientation: 0° from chamber E

Book of Gates: third division (P)/fourth hour (H) Front (east) wall
Book of Gates: first division (P)/second hour (H) Front (east) wall
Book of Gates: first and second division (P)/second and third hour (H) Left (south) wall
Book of Gates: third division (P)/fourth hour (H), fourth gate Rear (west) wall
Book of Gates: second division (P)/third hour (H) Rear (west) wall
Book of Gates: third division (P)/fourth hour (H) Right (north) wall
Book of Nut Ceiling
Book of the Night: second, third and fourth hours Ceiling
Imydwat: ninth hour, abridged version Front (east) wall
Imydwat: sixth hour, abridged version Front (east) wall
Imydwat: sixth hour, abridged version Left (south) wall
Imydwat: ninth hour, abridged version Rear (west) wall
Imydwat: sixth hour, abridged version Rear (west) wall
Imydwat: ninth hour, abridged version Right (north) wall

Pictorial: Coptic cross Left (south) wall
Coptic text: two graffiti Left (south) wall
Greek text: one graffito Right (north) wall
Greek text: fourteen graffiti Left (south) wall

Extant remains: Box and lid
Sarcophagus form: Cartouche-shaped with effigy on lid
Material: Red granite
Length: 3.5 m
Width: 2.06 m
Height: 2.95 m
Orientation: west
Emplacement: Pit
Comments: The lid was broken in half laterally and its upper edges were damaged by tomb robbers.

Book of the Earth Box exterior
Deceased with deities: Isis, Nephthys along with crocodile, serpent and human-headed uraei flanking king as Osiris Nut standing at foot end. Lid exterior

Door pivot holes inside the soffit at the beginning of a ceiling recess show that the gate was closed with a pair of wooden door leaves. The outer lintel panel displays the king's names in the centre, flanked by figures of a falcon with outspread wings standing on the sign for gold and presenting the symbol for the heb seb or jubilee festival. The king's names again are repeated as vertical columns on the door jambs and thicknesses.

Porter and Moss designation: F

Architectural Features

Decorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Height: 3.5 m
Width: 2.08 m
Length: 0.68 m
Area: 1.42 m²
Volume: 4.98 m³
Orientation: 0° from burial chamber J

Names and epithets Thicknesses
Names and epithets Reveals
Names and epithets: flanked by two falcons with outstretched wings standing on gold symbols Lintel

Greek text: seven graffiti Left (south) jamb

There is a gate in each side wall leading to a side chamber. Beyond each gate is a two-tiered recess. A gate in the rear wall leads to a small side chamber. The walls of the corridor are painted with columns of text from the Book of Caverns. Images of enshrined gods below offerings are painted in the recesses. On the ceiling, a central text band gives the king's names and epithets and is flanked by stars.

Porter and Moss designation: F

Architectural Features

Decorated
Excavated
Cutting finished

Height: 3.46 m
Width: 2.58 m
Length: 6.96 m
Area: 17.87 m²
Volume: 62.23 m³
Orientation: 0° from burial chamber J

Rectangular, right and left (height: 0.93 m, width: 3.02 m, length: 0.72 m)

Book of Caverns Left (south) wall
Book of Caverns Right (north) wall
Deities Left (south) wall
Deities Right (north) wall
Names and epithets Ceiling
Star pattern Ceiling

Greek text: ten graffiti Right (north) wall
Greek text: fifteen graffiti Left (south) wall

The gate leads into side chamber Ka.

Porter and Moss designation: G

Excavated
Decoration undetermined
Cutting finished

Height: 1.8 m
Width: 1.3 m
Length: 0.39 m
Area: 0.5 m²
Volume: 0.93 m³
Orientation: 89.01° left from corridor K
Maximum slope: -1.75°

The walls are decorated with mummified figures of the king.

Porter and Moss designation: G

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated

Height: 1.75 m
Width: 1.6 m
Length: 3.66 m
Area: 5.85 m²
Volume: 10.25 m³
Orientation: 89.01° left from corridor K

Funerary objects: Rameses IV as shabtis All walls

Coptic text Rear (south) wall

On the outer lintel is a depiction of the sun god Ra's bark poised over a double sphinx, the personification of Aker. The jambs and thicknesses are decorated with the kings names and epithets.

Porter and Moss designation: I

Excavated
Cutting finished
Decorated

Height: 1.85 m
Width: 1.3 m
Length: 0.39 m
Area: 0.51 m²
Volume: 0.94 m³
Orientation: 0° from corridor K

Book of the Earth Lintel
Names and epithets Thicknesses
Names and epithets Reveals

Situated at the rear of corridor K is a side chamber extending west. On the side walls are depictions of a couch and stool set between shrines. Below are canopic jars. The rear wall bears representations of two goddesses making a nini gesture.

Porter and Moss designation: I

Excavated
Decorated
Cutting finished

Height: 1.78 m
Width: 1.54 m
Length: 3.72 m
Area: 5.74 m²
Volume: 10.19 m³
Orientation: 0° from corridor K

Deities Rear (west) wall
Funerary objects: canopic equipment Left (south) wall
Funerary objects: canopic equipment Right (north) wall

Greek text: twenty-eight graffiti Left (south) wall
Latin text: two graffiti Left (south) wall

The gate leads into side chamber Kc.

Porter and Moss designation: H

Excavated
Decoration undetermined
Cutting unfinished

Height: 2.07 m
Width: 1.24 m
Length: 0.51 m
Area: 0.64 m²
Volume: 1.32 m³
Orientation: 90.87° right from corridor K
Maximum slope: -1.63°

The walls of this side chamber, located off the right (north) wall of corridor K, are decorated with mummified figures of the king representing shabti figures.

Porter and Moss designation: H

Excavated
Decorated
Cutting finished

Height: 2.09 m
Width: 2.25 m
Length: 2.35 m
Area: 5.29 m²
Volume: 11.07 m³
Orientation: 90.87° right from corridor K

Funerary objects: Rameses IV as shabtis All walls

Coptic text
Greek text Left (west) wall

History of Exploration

Sicard, Claude (1718): Visit
Pococke, Richard (1737-1738): Mapping/planning
Bruce, James (1768): Visit
Burton, James (1825): Mapping/planning
Wilkinson, John Gardner (1825-1828): Visit
Franco-Tuscan Expedition (1828-1829): Epigraphy
Jones, Owen (1832): Visit
Pückler-Muskau, Hermann Ludwig Heinrich (1837): Visit
L'Hôte, Nestor (1838): Visit
Ayrton, Edward Russell (1905-1906): Excavation (discovery of foundation deposits at entrance, made for Theodore M. Davis)
Carter, Howard (1920): Excavation (conducted for Earl of Carnarvon)

Conservation history: Recent work by the Egyptian Antiquities Association/Supreme Council of Antiquities included in-filling of cracks and holes in walls and ceiling, the cleaning of painted decoration, the installation of new lighting, wooden walkways and glass panels.

Site condition: KV 2 was spared floodwater damage, and the painted decoration on the walls is well-preserved.


This struggle for power in Egypt, occurring several years after the deaths of Bay and Siptah, cannot have anything to do with Bay-Joseph but is actually about another figure—namely, Moses.

Today we know that Bay was executed by Siptah earlier on, so I claim that this struggle for power in Egypt, occurring several years after the deaths of Bay and Siptah, cannot have anything to do with Bay-Joseph but is actually about another figure—namely, Moses. My claim is that the exodus from Egypt occurred in a specific year: 1186 BCE, which was the second year of Pharaoh Setnakhte’s reign. The Syrian leader who despised Egyptian religion and brought mercenaries over from Syria or Lebanon, mentioned in these sources, is Moses.

In summary, I believe the Israelites came to Egypt during the great famine, which began at the end of Ramses II’s reign, around 1225 BCE. They left at the beginning of Setnakhte’s reign, around 1186 BCE. This is a span of about 40 years. If we recall that Moses is described as “a very great man in the land of Egypt” (Exod. 11:3), we now understand that this verse describes Moses’s historical status. He really was well known throughout Egypt, and he brought together a group of armed supporters who left Egypt with him and who included a band of mercenaries, the “erev.”


A glimpse into burial chamber of Ramesses IV

Arid, desolate and dusty, the colorless desert landscape of the Valley of the Kings belies the magic and mysticism hidden beneath in the tombs of the pharaohs.

Our early morning arrival allowed us to avoid some of the crowds, a welcome reprieve, as we’d travelled halfway around the world and didn’t want to share our trip with throngs of other tourists. And though the entrances to Egypt’s New Kingdom pharaohs’ burial chambers were intended to remain secret, they now dot the barren tract of land in every direction you look.

Wally near the tomb’s entrance

While visiting the site, your ticket includes admission for three tombs. Our guide, Mamduh, chose the tombs of Ramesses III, IV and IX — each of which is beautiful and unique in its own way.

We refer to many Egyptian pharaohs with Roman numerals like those of the kings of Europe. But, as Barbara Mertz points out in Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs, “such designations were never used by the Egyptians. (It’s easier to keep track of these fellows by such means than by trying to remember their distinctive throne names, which are often annoyingly similar and which were sometimes changed midreign.)”

The pharaoh with the god Horus

Heqamaatre Ramesses, otherwise known as Ramesses IV, was the fifth and youngest son of Pharaoh Ramesses III. He was appointed crown prince by the 22nd year of his father’s reign, after his brothers had died — it wasn’t uncommon for people to die young in Ancient Egypt. With the assasination of his father in 1156 BCE, Ramesses IV, who was at this time middle-aged, inherited the throne. He died a mere six years into his reign.

Magic spells line the walls of the tomb to guide Ramesses through the dangers of the afterlife

Passage to the Underworld

Each site in the Valley of the Kings now has a designator that begins with KV, for Kings’ Valley. Ramessess IV’s tomb is known as KV2 and has been open since antiquity. The area in front of the entranceway to the tomb was excavated by Edward Ayrton in 1905, and later by Howard Carter in 1920 (of King Tut fame). The archeological dig yielded a few relics, including shabti figures (which would act as servants in the afterlife) and glass and glazed earthenware pottery known as faience.

Early explorers, such as Jean-François Champollion (who deciphered hieroglyphics using the Rosetta Stone), Ippolito Rosellini and Theodore David, among others, used the tomb as lodging during their time excavating the valley.

The entryway has a staircase divided by a sloping central ramp that descends into a linear 292-foot-long passageway representing the symbolic journey of the sun god Ra (or Re). The tomb’s design is comprised of three corridors, an antechamber and a burial chamber with small annex chambers beyond. A large number of Coptic Christian and Roman graffiti can be seen scattered throughout the tomb, including prayers, drawings of crosses and saints. A particularly large inscription in red paint can be seen near the entrance to the tomb.

Those naughty Coptics defaced the walls near the entrance

Look for the red graffiti left by early Christians

Unlike other tombs from this era, KV2’s original design was modified: The chamber intended to be a pillared hall was converted to a burial chamber when the king died sooner than expected. Ramesses IV had doubled the workforce on the project to speed it along, but no one can stop death from coming — even a deified ruler.

A pair of rectangular niches set high into the walls at the front of the second corridor are decorated with manifestations of Ra. These figures continue as a register above the texts of the Litany of Re, which cover both walls of this corridor. The detailed carvings remain vibrant, despite the age of the tomb.

Look up to see stars painted on the ceiling

Seeing Stars

The third corridor contains a vaulted ceiling decorated with scenes from the funerary text the Book of Caverns. Although no well shaft was ever cut, a descending ramp passes through the antechamber and ends at the burial chamber’s entrance. Surrounded by golden stars on a blue background, the king’s names follow the path of the sun — the pharaoh and Ra had become one.

The paint is surprisingly bright, considering it’s millennia old

The massive stone sarcophagus would have housed at least two coffins like nesting dolls

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

In the burial chamber, scenes from the Book of Gates show towering gateways that separate the divisions of the underworld guarded by fire-spitting serpents. Illustrations from other funerary texts, including the Amduat and the Book of Heavens, were inscribed on the ceiling of the sarcophagus chamber, depicting Ra’s nightly journey through the underworld.

Watch out for snakes! A depiction of what we can expect in death

Scenes from funerary texts were carved onto the walls of the tomb

Cobras and Anubis, a jackal-headed god of death

Ancient Egyptians believed that paintings could come to life — no need to bury servants alive just draw them on the wall!

The burial chamber is almost filled by the massive quartzite sarcophagus. Twin figures of the sky goddess Nut are depicted on the ceiling, her elastic, naked body held aloft by her father Shu, the god of air and sunlight. Nut’s arms and legs extend downward to touch the horizon. Each night she swallows the sun disk, which travels through her body and emerges in the form of a winged scarab from her womb in the morning.

Ramesses IV’s tomb is an impressive example of New Kingdom burial chambers — though I’m not sure I’d want to have a slumber party in there like all those archaeologists. –Duke


Past & present

"Indeed you are good, and my father belongs to you. Be a
pilot for the Scribe of the (Royal) Tomb Tjaroy! You know he
is a man who has no courage(?) of his own at all, since he
has never before made such journeys as now. Help him in the
boat. Look after (him) with vigilance at evening as well,
while he is in your hands, since you are journeying [. ]. Now
a man is wretched(?) when he has become troubled, when he
has never before seen the face of fear (i.e. of a crocodile).
Now your people are alive no harm has come to them. I am
writing to let you know." (Translation from
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research accessed on
23.9.2012)

The remains of Butehamun's house inside the temple enclosure of Medinet Habu

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Sarcophabus of Ankhnesneferibre British Museum EA 32 26th dynasty, about 530 BC From Thebes. Found by the French expedition in the rock tomb above Deir el-Medina in 1832. Ankhnesneferibre was the last "God's Wife of Amun" or "divine adoratrice of Amun" before the Persian conquest of 525 BC. She was a daughter of Psamtek II (595-589 BC). Although the sarcophagus was found in so called "tombs of Saite princesses" at Deir el-Medina, Ankhnesneferibre and several other women with the same title had tomb chapels at Medinet Habu, in front of the Ramesses III's temple. The sarcophagus was reused in Roman times by Amenhotep Pamontu, a priest of the late Ptolemaic or early Roman period, whose brother Montuzaf was buried elsewhere in the necropolis. Amenhotep Pamontu added the inscription around the upper edge of the sarcophagus base. He also added his own name in the princess's cartouches and changed the pronouns in the text. The lid shows the princess clasping the royal crook and flail, symbolising her powerful position in Thebes. The office of divine adoratrice became a focus of power and influence during the Late period. The inscriptions represent a variety of religious texts. They include parts from the Pyramid Texts, the Book of the Dead, several mythological texts, recitations from funeral rites, magical texts, a hymn to the sun, and hourly rituals for a vigil over the deceased, as well as offering formulas. The combination is unparalleled elsewhere. Length : 259 cm

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The text on this page was compiled by Lenka Peacock using the sources listed below. Photography by Lenka Peacock. All photographs © of the Trustees of the British Museum.
Sources: 1. Strudwick, Nigel: The British Museum masterpieces of ancient Egypt. London : The British Museum Press, 2006. 2. Taylor, John H.: Death and afterlife in ancient Egypt London : British Museum Press, 2001. 3. Pharaoh's workers : the villagers of Deir el-Medina / edited by Leonard H. Lesko Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1994. 4. Shaw, Ian, Nicholson, Paul: British Museum dictionary of ancient Egypt London: British Museum Press, 1995. 5. McDowell, A.G.: Village life in ancient Egypt : laundry lists and love songs Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999. 6. Janssen, Rosalind: Growing old disgracefully at Deir el-Medina In Ancient Egypt, December 2004/January 2005, pp. 39-44. 7. Janssen, Rosalind: The old women of Deir el-Medina: Paper delivered at the Institute, 8 December 2006. In Buried history: The journal of the Australian Institute of Archaeology, 2006, Vol. 42, p. 3-10. 8. Janssen, Rosalind and Janssen, Jac. J.: Growing up and getting old in ancient Egypt London : Golden House Publications, 2007. 9. James, T.G.H.: Pharaoh's people : scenes from life in Imperial Egypt New York : Tauris Parke, 2003. 10. Bierbrier, Morris : The tomb-builders of the pharaohs Cairo : The American University in Cairo Press, 1982. 11. Davies, Benedict G.: Who's who at Deir el-Medina : a prosopographic study of the royal workmen's community Leiden : Nederlands Instituut voor Her Nabije Oosten, 1999 12. Davis, Benedict G.: Genealogies and personality characteristics of the workmen in the Deir el-Medina community during the Ramesside period. Thesis submitted in accordance with the requirements of the University of Liverpool for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Liverpool : University of Liverpool, February 1996.
13. Strudwick, Nigel and Helen: Thebes in Egypt : a guide to the tombs and temples of ancient Luxor London : British Museum Press, 1999. 14. Weeks, Kent R.: The treasures of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings Cercelli : White Star Publishers, 2005 15. Houlihan, Patrick F.: Wit & humour in ancient Egypt London : The Rubicon Press, 2001. 16. Keith, Jean Lewis: Anthropoid Busts of Deir el Medineh and Other Sites and Collections : Analyses, Catalogue, Appendices / with contributions by Sylvie Donnat, Anna K. Stevens, Nicola Harrington Le Caire : Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, 2011 17. Museum's website at www.thebritishmusuem.ac.uk 18. The British Museum's gallery labels 19. The British Museum's web site http://www.britishmuseum.org
The depositories, store rooms and papyrus rooms of the British Museum
On November the 19th 2005 the class of the Birkbeck College course "Real life at Deir el-Medineh" visited the British Museum with Rosalind and Jac Janssen. Eleven objects originating from Deir el-Medina were waiting for us in the Ancient Egyptian department's study area/library.
All the photographs on this page are © of Steve Bayley, a colleague on the course, and were taken by kind permission of the Trustees of the British Museum. The accompanying text is written by Lenka Peacock.

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Stela of Paneb EA272 19th dynasty, circa 1195 BC Limestone Rectangular shape Height: 19.3 cm Width: 17 cm In the top register : Paneb, a foreman of the tomb-workers, is depicted kneeling, worshiping the goddess Meretseger, who is in the form of a serpent. The coiled cobra is doubtless Meretseger, the goddess of the Theban necropolis. The lower register : there are three kneeling male figures, Paneb's descendants. On the right there is Aapakhte, Paneb's son, together with his two sons - Paneb and Nebmehyt. Aapakhte was accused of crimes as an accomplice of his father.
Stela of Paneb EA273 19th dynasty, circa 1195 BC Limestone Round-topped Height: 20 cm Width: 13 cm Top register : kneeling Paneb depicted worshiping Meretseger in the form of a cobra headed goddess in shallow sunk relief. Meretseger is seated on the throne. Lower register: Paneb's sons Aapakhte and Hadnakht are shown kneeling and worshiping. Both registers are accompanied with simply incised text. The top and bottom corners on the left side of the stela are chipped, but otherwise the stela is well preserved. There are no traces of colour.

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Stela of Aapakhte EA35630 19th dynasty, circa 1200 BC Limestone Round-topped Height: 21.2 cm Width: 14 cm Depth: 2.5 cm Aapakhte was son of Paneb and a royal craftsman and a deputy of the crew in the Place of Truth. He is shown adoring the god Seth. The figures are both carved in sunk relief and are accompanied by incised text. The writing of the text is erratic as can be seen in the word ỉdnw and the reversal of the pḥty- sign in the owner's name. The craftsman's name is a play on the phrase aa-pehty meaning "great of strength", one of the epithets of Seth. During Ramesside times Seth became a patron of Egypt along with Amun, Ra and Ptah. Jac Janssen suggested it was likely the stela came from the rock shrine of Ptah and Meretseger judging by the limestone and the saw-cut bottom edge.
Stela of Khamaul EA344 19th dynasty Limestone Round-topped The stela depicts the deceased Khamaul seated. His left hand is outstretched towards an offering table piled with food. He holds an object in his right hand, possibly an ankh sign. Khamaul is identified here as the 3h ikr n R' . the term by which these stelae are known today. It can be translated as "the able spirit of Re" or "the one who is continually effective to/for/on behalf of Re". Khamaul represents the divinized private ancestor to whom petitions could be made by the living. Most of the stelae were originally painted. We could see some remains of red pigment left on the stela. Height: 19 cm Width: 13 cm

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Stela of Pabaki EA797 19th dynasty Limestone Round-topped Height: 38 cm (case) Width: 29 cm (case) This large 3h ikr nR' stela of Pabaki depicts the deceased seated in front of an offering table. He holds a lotus in his left hand. In the lunette at the top there is a depiction of a deity seated in a sacred barque.
Stela of Nefersenut EA316 19th dynasty Limestone Round-topped Nefersenut was the biological father of Paneb. He is depicted in the top register kneeling with a brazier containing an offering before the goddess Hathor, who sits on the throne. The lower register shows three kneeling figures. On the left there is Nefersenut's eldest son Paneb, who was to rise to the post of foreman of the workmen, next to him his son Aapakhte, and on the right there is the son of Paneb's daughter, Paneb's grandson. Four generations of Paneb's family are depicted here.

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A letter from Kenna to the god Amenhotep Hieratic ostrakon O.BM5625 Clearly dated ostrakon, well-written in horizontal lines Contains a letter, where Kenna complains that Merysakhme wanted to share the chapel that Kenna has rebuilt.

Year 4 (of Ramesses IV), IV 3ht (inundation) 30.

This day, the workman Kenna, the son of Siwadjit,
reported to King Amenhotep, the Lord of the Village,
saying: &ldquoCome to me, my good Lord. It was I who
rebuilt the chapel of the workman Pakharu when it
was collapsed.
And look, the workman Merysakhme, the son of
Menna, does not let me sit in it, saying:
&lsquoIt is the god who told me to share it with you&rsquo.
So he said, although he had not built it together with
me&rdquo.
[At the bottom of the recto and at the top of the
verso (actually the same side of the sherd] something
is lost]

Verso &ldquo&hellip&hellip give the chapel back to Kenna, its owner. It is his, by order of Pharaoh, and nobody shall share it with him&rdquo. So said the god, in the presence of: [the 2 foremen, the scribe, the bearers of the god, and the entire gang], at the entrance of the tomb of Kaha. [Merysakhme had to swear that he accepted the verdict]

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A receipt for an ox Hieratic ostrakon O. BM 5649 Limestone Recto: Listo of goods delivered in return for an ox, showing value in deben with clearly marked numbers. An ox represented a substantial investment. Verso: Summary of various values "w makes y deben".

Jac Janssen pointed out that texts without dates can sometimes be assigned approximate dates by studying the style of the writing and the language uses. The names of any known workmen mentioned in text can be used as clues.

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Given in exchange for the ox, which Amenmose brought:

5 smooth ghalabiyehs, makes 25 deben copper
1 smooth sheet, makes 10 deben
1 bed with matting, makes 25 deben
1 bed, makes 12 deben
1 hin (=½ litre) honey, makes 4 deben
15 hin oil, makes 10 deben
5 deben of scrap copper
1 wooden coffin, makes 20 deben
1½ khar of grain, makes 8 deben

Given to him by Amenkha&lsquou: 5 deben
Given to him: 1 pair of sandals
Given to his daughter: 1 mat and 10
loaves (this is for the 5 deben)
Given to him: 1 pot of beans

Vs. Total 119 deben of
copper (correct!)

Translation from Janssen, Jac: Commodity prices from the Ramessid period : an economic study of the village of necropolis workmen at Thebes
Ostrakon of Khnummose EA8510 Painted limestone Black and red ink Height: 16.5 cm Width: 20.2 cm Figured ostrakon showing the workman Khnummose worshipping the serpent form of the goddess Meretseger. Jac Janssen suggested that this ostrakon had been used as a stela and that the work was not finished.

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Verso The verso shows several different inventory references, indicating the object has been in several different collections.

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Papyrus Salt 124 (verso) EA 10055 Late 19th dynasty, c. 1200 BC From Deir el-Medina The papyrus contains the petition of the workman Amennakhte denouncing the crimes of the foreman Paneb.

Amennakhte felt that he himself should have been chief workman and that Paneb had taken the job from under him by bribing the vizier. His aim was to have Paneb dismissed on the grounds that he was unworthy and incompetent. The charges he lists here vary from criminal offences to evidence of bad character.

The list of charges starts with claiming that he bribed the vizier with 5 servants to gain his appointment.
a) He was charged with stealing &lsquothe cover of a chariot&rsquo from the tomb of Seti II.
b) Charges relating to goings-on with married women or women who were living with other men. Hel was one of the women mentioned. Herysunnebef, husband of Hel, was the other adopted son of Neferhotep, and he later divorced Hel, as we know from another source .
c) Stealing stones from the tomb of Seti II for use in his own tomb and using the workmen to work in it (but maybe this wasn&rsquot so bad as other people also used the workmen).
d) The row with Neferhotep, which resulted in Paneb being punished by the vizier. Paneb appealed to pharaoh himself and had the vizier sacked. Paneb evidently was in favour with the right people!
e) He stole the bed from the tomb of a colleague on which the dead workman was lying.
f) He stole a large spike and hid it behind a big stone when a search was made for it.

Other charges include sitting on the king&rsquos sarcophagus when the king was in it, drinking and urinating. He also stole a model of a gilded goose from the tomb of Henutmire who was a wife of Ramesses II and daughter of Seti I. The goose was found in his house, and it may have been with this crime that Paneb went too far.

How far are all these charges reliable? Some of them are not uncommon, but Paneb may have overdone things with the number and variety of his misdeeds. The alleged bribery of the vizier may in fact have been a gift, which Paneb gave in thanks after the event.

Hieratic papyrus EA10416 (verso) Ramesside Period Former Salt collection Height: 23.5 cm Width: 22 cm 11 lines on the recto and 13 lines on the verso Jac Janssen suggested the grey colour of the sheet indicated a palimpsest ( a manuscript page from a scroll or book from which the text has been scraped or washed off and which was used again). In the commentary to his translation, Janssen summarises the text: A married man, very probably Nesamenope, had an adulterous relationship for 8 full months with an unnamed woman, incensing the friends and relations of his legal wife.

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They blamed the woman and threatened to beat her up as well as her people, but were restrained by a steward. In a message the steward sent to the woman he expresses his doubts as to the reasons for her behaviour and urges the man to go to court with his own wife, evidently in order to get a "legal" divorce - whatever that meant in those days - then he might live on with his lover if he chose. If, however, he neglects this advice, the steward washes his hands of him and will not again try to restrain the people when they seek out the woman (Janssen,1991,32).
The text of this chapter on the page was composed by Lenka Peacock. Photography © The Trustees of the British Museum. The photographs were taken by Steve Bayley 2005.
Sources: 1. Shaw, Ian, Nicholson, Paul: British Museum dictionary of ancient Egypt London: British Museum Press, 1995. 2. Janssen, Rosalind and Janssen, Jac. J.: Growing up and getting old in ancient Egypt London : Golden House Publications, 2007. 3. McDowell, A.G.: Village life in ancient Egypt : laundry lists and love songs Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999. 4. Pharaoh's workers : the villagers of Deir el-Medina / edited by Leonard H. Lesko Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1994. 5. Les artistes de Pharaon : Deir el-Médineh et la Vallée des Rois : Paris, musée du Louvre, 15 avril - 5 aout 2002 Paris : Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2002. 6. Bierbrier, Morris : The tomb-builders of the pharaohs Cairo : The American University in Cairo Press, 1982. 7. Janssen, Jac. J.: Late Ramesside letters and communications London : British Museum Press, 1991. (Hieratic papyri in the British Museum VI, 1991).
Visit to the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum
On March the 3rd 2010 I joined the class of the Birkbeck College course "Real life at Deir el-Medineh" (taught by Rosalind Janssen). We visited the library of the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum with Rosalind and Jac Janssen. Rosalind's module is all about the minutiae of daily life in a New Kingdom settlement. It aims to increase our understanding of the social life of the Ancient Egyptians, as revealed by archaeology and texts, and to foster an awareness that real life was similar to &ndash yet different from &ndash our own. Marriage, adultery and divorce, the roles of the village doctor, the wise woman and the scorpion charmer, punishing crime, worshipping the ancestors, earning a living, going to parties, doing the laundry - are the topics of the classes. On Wednesday ten objects originating from Deir el-Medina were awaiting us in the Ancient Egyptian department's study area/library. All the photographs on this page were taken by Lenka Peacock by kind permission of the Trustees of the British Museum.

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Ancestor bust of Muteminet EA 1198 Possibly from tomb 373 at Thebes 19th dynasty Limestone Height: 51 cm Width: 26 cm Thickness: 29 cm Date of acquisition: 1897
This finely carved bust is incised with three columns of hieroglyphic text. The main text bears a dedication to the sistrum-player of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, called Muteminet (Mwt-m-int). The back of the bust is roughly finished. The bust has been severely damaged at the base and its back with much loss of the stone surface. There are a few gouges on the body and its face. Traces of black ink are left in the hieroglyph in the central column of the text. A parallel bust of Pendjerti, husband of Muteminet, was discovered in the tomb of their son Amenmose, no. 373 at Thebes. There is little doubt that this bust was one of a pair from that tomb. The royal scribe Amenmose is attested on several monuments and flourished in the reign of Rameses II (L. Habachi in 'Studies in Honor of George R. Hughes' (Chicago, 1976), 83-103.

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Ostrakon EA5644 From Deir el-Medina Ramesside (late 19th dynasty) Pottery Height: 12.5 cm Width: 15 cm Thickness: 4.5 cm on one side (convex) only, seven lines of an incomplete text concerning payment made by Amenemope to the carpenter Meryre for a bed. Text: J. Černy and A.H. Gardiner, &lsquoHieratic Ostraca&rsquo (Oxford 1957), pl. 5644.3

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Stela of Nefersenut EA316 From Deir el-Medina 19th dynasty Limestone Round-topped Nefersenut was the biological father of Paneb.
Top register: the goddessHathor sits onthe throne and holds was sceptre in her left hand. She wears a crown of uraei, consisting of 24 cobras.
Nefersenut is depicted in the top register kneeling with a brazier containing an offering before the seated Hathor.
The lower register shows three kneeling figures. On the left there is Nefersenut's eldest son Paneb, who was to rise to the post of foreman of the workmen, next to him his son Aapakhte, and on the right there is the son of Paneb's daughter, Paneb's grandson. Four generations of Paneb's family are depicted here.
After discussing all the objects prepared for us in the Library, we went to see several objects exhibited in the public galleries of the British Museum. First we went to the Nebamun's gallery to see the objects used by the workmen form Deir el-Medina:

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Top: Rectangular smoother with integrated handle EA 5986 It is carved from one piece of wood. Such tools were used for smoothing plaster, for example in painted tomb chapels, or on the surface of mud brick house walls. Height: 5.8 cm Width: 4.3 cm Length: 17.2 cm Middle: EA 6045 Bronze chisel with a wooden handle and copper alloy blade. The blade flares out at the cutting edge. Length: 25.4 cm Bottom: EA 15740 Bronze chisel, square-sectioned at one end, and tapering to a cutting edge. Length: 12.7 cm

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Palm fibre brushes EA 5555.1-3 The brushes are bound with strings and cut at either end. Length: 13 cm Diameter: 1.9 cm Originally purchased from Henry Salt
Paint brush EA 36893 Paint-brush formed from sticks bound together and frayed at one end stained with red paint. Length: 28.2 cm
Paint brush EA 36889 Paint-brush made from fine palm fibres, bound with strung fibres. The fibres have been cut at one end to create a brushing tip. Traces of red pigment are preserved on the brush end. Length: 24.7 cm Diameter: 2.8 cm EA 36892 Fibre brush held together with bitumen at one end, and bound with cord. Length: 21.5 cm

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Scribal palette EA 36825 Wood Rectangular 18th dynasty Length: 29.8 cm The upper surface is cut with a row of 9 oval ink wells on the right of the palette. There are two longer and narrower ink wells in the left corner. These wells bear traces of the red, yellow and black pigments used by the owner. A column of inscription, set within a recess, starts with the title 'outline draughtsman (sesh-qed)', but the name of the individual has been erased (other than the male determinative). Beneath the pen-slot, a horizontal inscription states 'the outline draughtsman, Min-nakht, true of voice'. Beneath, in thick ink strokes, three signs are roughly drawn: a falcon head wearing a sun-disc and uraeus, and two examples of a disc and crescent. The top left corner bears an incised inscription on the thickness of the palette, wrapped around the corner: 'Amun-Ra' and 'Ptah lord of Maat'.
Pigment samples EA 5563, EA 5568-9 Small pieces of Egyptian pigments. Egyptian blue was the principal pigment used for blue colour in Egyptian paintings and upon sculpted surfaces.

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The Egyptiana Emporium

View of the burial chamber of KV1 (Source: Luxor News).

KV1 is the tomb of the Twentieth Dynasty pharaoh, Ramesses VII. The tomb has been open and visited many times throughout antiquity, its walls bearing 135 individual examples of ancient Greek and Roman graffiti. The tomb has also been visited in more recent history, by the 18th century English anthropologist, Richard Pococke, and also by Napoleon’s men during his campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798–1801). The tomb was cleared in the 1950s, but was not properly investigated until 1984 when Edwin Brock began his excavation funded by the Royal Ontario Museum.

Enigmatic composition depicting Osiris worshipped by two goddesses and two gods emerging from burial mounds (Source: Theban Mapping Project).

The tomb is laid out on a straight axis in the typical style of the Ramesside kings. There is evidence that the burial chamber is actually an enlarged corridor, suggesting that the tomb was altered hastily in order to accommodate the burial of the king – Ramesses VII died when he was only in his seventh year of rule. The work on the subsequent room was also halted, further indicating the hasty completion of the tomb.

The decoration of the tomb closely follows that of the king’s predecessor, Ramesses VI however, KV1 possesses an emphasis on Osiris (for example, the scene above), returning to the traditional practice of emphasising the god’s iconographic presence within the tomb. Furthermore, the ceiling of the burial chamber features a double image of the goddess, Nut (below), reflecting the style of the kings of the Nineteenth Dynasty.

The decoration also features scenes from the Book of Gates, the Book of Caverns, and the Book of the Earth, as well as many depictions of deities including Weret-Hekau “Great of Magic” (below), Isis, Nephthys, the falcon-headed solar god Re-Horakhty-Atum-Khepri, and Ptah-Sokar-Osiris.

Weret-hekau holding papyrus bouquet and sistrum (Source: Theban Mapping Project).

The tomb was robbed in antiquity so little more was found within it during excavation than some shabti fragments. The tomb had been reused by Coptic Christians, and potsherds and ostraca dating to this period were found within the tomb.

The sarcophagus was cut directly into the tomb floor and a huge stone covering was placed over the hollow. An opening at the foot of the cover reveals how the body of the king was removed however, his body has not yet been discovered. Four faience cups were found near to the Deir el-Bahri mummy cache (DB320), indicating that the body of Ramesses VII may be among the hitherto unidentified mummies.


King Tut's obscurity assured him a different kind of immortality

Colossal statue of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten in nemes and double crown: 18th Dynasty Sandstone.

As is to be expected, King Tut gets star billing - and prime real estate - in the traveling exhibition Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs.

While the first half of the exhibit, which opens today at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, includes objects associated with 30 Egyptian dynasties spanning 2,000 years, the second half is all Tut all the time. Treasures from his tomb are joined by replicas of his mummy and of British archaeologist Howard Carter's tent at the Valley of the Kings site where Carter discovered the tomb in 1922.

That's not to say the boy king, an 18th-dynasty pharaoh whose tomb is one of history's most-hyped archeological finds, was a major figure whose reign had a lasting impact on ancient Egypt. To the contrary, he's famous today precisely because of his obscurity in the years following his death in 1323 B.C. at age 19 after ruling for 10 years.

That obscurity was largely fallout from what's been called the Amarna revolution, a period of religious extremism instigated by his father, Amenhotep IV.

"(Amenhotep IV) favored a single god, the Aten, disk of the sun, over all other divinities and eventually banished the multiple gods, abandoned their temples and disbanded the priesthood," Egyptologist and exhibition curator David Silverman writes. "Having changed his name to Akhenaten to honor his unique deity, he built a new capital city midway between the traditional centers of Memphis in the north and Thebes in the south. &hellip The very concept of kingship changed as well, and architecture, literature, art, and doctrines reflected the new concepts he introduced."

After becoming king at age 9, Tut began restoring orthodoxy, but his efforts to do so were cut short by his death under still-mysterious circumstances. His immediate successor, Ay, reigned just three years before the throne passed to Horemheb, who continued the religious restoration and usurped many of Tut's monuments during his 59-year reign.

"(Horemheb) died without an heir, and the kings of the 19th dynasty who came after him attempted to erase the names of all the Armana kings, including Tut, from history," writes catalog contributor Zahi Hawass, former secretary general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. "By the reign of Ramesses VI, about 200 years later, it would seem that they had been successful, for workmen carving his tomb built temporary huts over the entrance to Tutankhamun's tomb, hiding it completely from view."

In the early 20th century, evidence of Tut's reign began popping up on archeological digs in isolated pieces - a small nonglazed ceramic cup here, a few pottery vessels there. Then Carter's team found what appeared to be steps descending into a tomb. After clearing the stairs and a corridor, Carter made a hole in a wall blocking its doorway.

Later, he described what happened next: "At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle light to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues of gold - everywhere the glint of gold."

TUTANKHAMUN: THE GOLDEN KING AND THE GREAT PHARAOHS

The exhibit requires timed tickets during the hours noted below.

When:10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 12:30-5:30 p.m. Sundays, through April 15

Where:Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet 713-639-7300

Tickets: $15-$23 for MFAH members, $16-$33 for nonmembers includes MFAH general admission available at kingtut.org

Vouchers:On Mondays, the entire Law Building, Millennium Gallery, Lower Corridor/Tunnel and Café Express will be open. Tut guests will receive vouchers to return and visit other museum galleries on another day.

The rest is much-hyped history. Tut's ancient obscurity largely kept his tomb - which was small, hastily completed and possibly originally meant for a private burial - off the radar of grave robbers, who thoroughly plundered the grander tombs of far more important pharaohs.

And it eventually brought him global celebrity, if not the kind of immortality he had in mind.


Watch the video: The tomb of Ramses V and VI in the Valley of the Kings Egypt.