THE THREE TOMBS - concluded"
The tomb is located in the centre of the necropolis, below the house of excavations of the IFAO. It includes three juxtaposed chapels, constructed from fired bricks, but the chapel at the centre was the only one to be decorated.
This decoration is exceptional: first of all, it belongs to the style called monochrome, specific to Deir el-Medineh (further details are available here: the monochrome tombs of D. el M.). Also, the surface chapel of TT250 is the only one decorated in this style, in all others cases it is only in the vaults. Finally the great number of characters mentioned permits many genealogical cross-checks to be made.
The chapel had first been assigned, in modern times, to a Neferhotep and an Amenmes, before it became noticed that the two main characters of the monument were "The Osiris, the scribe in the Place of Truth, Ramose, justified" and his wife Mutemwia, who appear in the upper curved section of the stela-form, painted on the west wall. Besides Amenhemheb and Kakai, the father and mother of Ramose (they are identified explicitly) lead the religious procession of the Hathor cow on the north wall, middle register.
However, the tomb had not been conceived for the use of Ramose, as already noted on the previous TT7 page, as that tomb was actually intended for Ramose. Indeed, the two funerals represented on the walls here concern four women on the south wall - of whom three are designated explicitly as maids or slaves according to the meaning given to the ancient Egyptian word "Hmt" - and five on the west wall, identified as "his/her mother", "his/her sister", "his/her daughter" (there are three of these daughters). All the women of this group therefore have family relationships, but it is unknown whether the possessive pronoun here is to be taken as "his" or "her", because the person involved is unknown. One of the mummies, Henumehyt, could be the same person as the one found elsewhere, together with Mutemwia, the wife of Ramose. It should be noted that the word "wife" is also written as "Hmt", but this time the hieroglyphic form is .
Numerous other people are named, among which are two foremen of the team of the tomb, Neferhotep (TT216) with his wife Iyemuau and his son Nebnefer (TT6), "the scribe in the Place of Truth, Huy", "the guard in the Place of Truth, Kenherkhepeshef" (not to be mistaken with the scribe, the adopted son of Ramose), "the guard in the Place of Truth, Tusa", "the draftsman of Amon, Nebre", and others.
The couple are also greeted by another couple where the wife's name is Tenuro, a name which is also that of one of the five standing mummies.
It can be assumed therefore that tomb TT250 was destined for the parents of Mutemwia, as well as for members of the feminine staff of the household of Ramose. Tomb TT212 would have been the masculine counterpart of it.
In front of the chapels is an oblong courtyard, measuring 6.15 x 3.70m, which is entered from the middle of the surrounding wall, to the east. The group of three chapels is on the west side. The chapel to the north measures 2.60 x 1.40m and 2.10m in height with an arched ceiling. Its walls have been plastered and cleared, without decoration. The one to the south has lost its ceiling and measures 2.63 x 1.62m and doesn't include any decoration. The chapel in the centre has a flat ceiling and measures 2.65 x 1.83m and 1.95m in height. The west wall is painted, as in tomb TT7, in the form of a stela with a curved top.
North wall and north section of the east wall
The north part of the east wall is a narrow area to the right on entry. The parts of the scenes which it carries are a continuation of those on the north wall and only have space for approximately three characters (see right-hand side of Bruyère pl.7 line drawing).
The combined walls are divided into three registers of approximately the same height.
|North wall west
||West wall and north wall
1) - Upper register
A group of characters - who have nearly all disappeared - head towards the rear of the chapel, to the west, where a couple are seated facing east. These represent in-laws of Ramose, foreman Neferhotep and his wife Iymaw. The woman, who is better preserved, is seated on a stool without a backrest. She is dressed in an ample tunic with puffed, fashionable sleeves of the Ramesside period. She wears a long wig which hides, in part, a buckle earring. The top of her wig is surmounted by an ointment cone. It has been mentioned several times on Osirisnet that the real nature of this cone has been discussed and that it could be a metaphor to designate perfume. Around her forehead is a headband and, at the front, an open lotus flower. The lady raises her right arm whilst her left hand encloses a folded piece of linen. The man in front of her is less preserved. He is seated on a chair with legs ending in paws of a lion. His seat has a backrest and his feet rest on a raised platform. In front of the couple is a pedestal supporting the offerings. At the other side of this, a man makes a libation. The rest of the decoration of this register is difficult to describe, other than the fact that this man making the offering is followed by at least eleven other people, all wearing long garments, they could be a mixture of both men and women.
2) - Middle register
The characters of this register advance in the same direction, towards the mountain of the west, from which emerges the Hathor cow. She gets ready to receive the deceased in her lap in order to be able to put him back into the world the following day, a real revival which, by the power of magic of the images, he will be renewed eternally. The body of the cow comes halfway out of the mountain, around the neck is worn a large menat necklace and between the lyriform horns is a solar disk surmounted by a tall pair of feathers. The hooves rest on a heightened ground level, as would the deceased's mummy when the ritual of opening of the mouth is performed in front of the entrance to the tomb. In front of Hathor is a bouquet and a pedestal on which is placed a vase, as well as two stems of lotus, one open, the other closed, the symbols of rebirth. The whole of these, including the mountain of the west, rest on a further raise area.
The first character who pays homage to the goddess is "his father, Amenemheb", clothed in a long pleated garment with large sleeves and triangular front-piece. He is followed by "his mother, the mistress of the house, Kakai", clothed in an ample dress, with a long wig surmounted by a cone and holding in her right hand a vase by its long neck.
Then come eight couples: all the men wear a large loincloth, without a tunic and with no cone on their heads; all the women are clothed like Kakai and do have a cone on their head. All the characters have their left hand raised and hold something in the right hand: a scribe's palette, a duck, a lotus, etc. The scribe Huy is immediately behind Kakai, followed by Penbuy, whose tomb is TT10. The final three, possibly four, characters are actually on the north part of the east wall.
3) - Bottom register
This includes two scenes of homage. The section to the east (right) includes both seated men and women, with only the three people to the right being on the east wall. That to the west, totally on the north wall, includes only seated women. Only the women of these scenes have a cone of ointment on their head.
A - Scene on the right (east)
This occupies about 1/3 the total length and is comprised of a man standing in front of seven seated people. The seated characters are, from the right: two couples, then a man and finally two women, all facing right (east) and their seats rest on a raised platform, although the artist has not extended the platform under the rear legs of the final seat. The man who stands in front of them, named "his son, Huy", offers to them a vase containing the seeds in germination. The first couple is Khauy (TT214) and of his wife Tauret, next is Amenmes (TT9) and the lady Henut?, the next is a man named Hanakht, and finally the ladies Neferetnebut and Werenwer.
B - Scene on the left (west)
At the west end, six women are seated on chairs without backrests which rest directly on the ground, without the raised platform. Each tightly holds in her right hand a folded piece of material. From right to left they are: "the mother of her mother, Huiatjatet" (the text is written in front of her, not above) and "her mother Tiy" ("her" probably making reference to a woman, probably Mutemwia). Finally, the other four, the last two sitting next to each other, are all referred to as "her daughter".
In front of them parade ten people, men and women. All the men and some of the women hold in one hand a stem of papyrus surrounded with bindweed (which gives him a false aspect of palm, see the article on the bindweeds of Egypt). The first, left, is "the daughter of her daughter, Baketdua" who offers the content of a special type of vase, often found at Deir el-Medineh (see an example coming from the Louvre museum). Then comes Henumehyt, who holds a vase with a long neck. Then follow the sons or daughters: Pabak, Nefertari, Nebenmaat, Hori, Sethy, ?, Wadjet-renpet, the last is lost.
This is painted to imitate a stela with a curved top. On either side of the curve, the space is occupied by an udjat eye. Under the one on the right, is written: "The Osiris, the mistress of the house, Mutemwia", and under the one on the left, only "The Osiris, [...]s, justified". The three registers are of almost identical height; the top (in the curved area) and middle register are similar in design and each consist of two scenes symmetrical from the centre.
1) - Upper register
In the middle of the register, separating the two scenes, is a column of vertical text, where can still be recognised: "[...] all stability, power, vitality, as Re".
A - Left-hand side
A man, whose name is lost from the text, but who can be only Ramose, advances in worship towards Osiris. He wears a large long pleated garment which reaches down to his ankles, with broad sleeves and triangular front-piece. In the text above him, and continuing behind him, he is designated as "The Osiris, the scribe in the Place of Truth, (behind) [Ramo]se, justified by the great god. [His wife] the mistress of the house, Mutemwia, justified". Although listed here, his wife isn't shown.
Osiris is seated on the archaic cubic throne with a small backrest. He wears the atef-crown and the false beard with the hooked tip (reserved for the gods and Pharaoh). Osiris wears a shroud fasted tightly at the waist by a long piece of dark fabric. He holds in his hands the attributes usual to his function, the crook and flail. Between the god and the one making the offering, with his arms raised, is a pedestal carrying a vase of water and a bouquet of lotus flowers in both full bloom and buttons, which can also be found in three other scenes of the same type.
B - Right-hand side
Here Mutemwia, the wife of Ramose, is designated in the text above and behind her, but still within the arch, as "The Osiris, the mistress of house, greatly praised by Hathor in all her places, (behind) Mutemwia. The Osiris, the maid, Henuttawi[a]". Again, this identified person is not shown in the scene. Mutemwia stands in worship before the deified king Djeser-Ka-Re, Amenhotep I (also known as Amenophis I). On this site, a special page is dedicated to the cult of king Amenophis I and his mother, queen Ahmes-Nefertari by the inhabitants of Deir el-Medineh.
The king is seated on the same type of throne as the one of Osiris. He wears a curved wig and is clothed in a long kilt which extends to his ankles, it is held tight at the waist by a fabric belt with embossed flaps. In his right hand, he holds a symbol of life near his knees, whilst in his left, he tightly holds the crook and flail, which rest on his left shoulder.
2) - Middle register
A - Right-hand side
Under the king and in a similar position,is found his mother, queen Ahmes-Nefertari. With one hand she holds the ankh sign of life, and in the other the drooping floral sceptre of the queens. On her wig is the mortar of the mothers. In front of her stand a man and two women (but only the bottom part of these two has survived). Standing at their side can be seen the small and naked bodies of two young boys. The first looks toward the rear and holds the mother's hand, as well as a duck, by the wings, with his other. The second holds a stem of papyrus and a cane (?). No names have survived, except in the corner formed by the pedestal and the man's tunic, where can be read the name of Pached, without knowing if it designates the adult or the child (see eh-03).
B - Left-hand side
On the other side of the vertical column of propitiatory signs, is found the seated figure of Anubis, replacing Osiris from the scene above.
As noticed by Bruyère (Report 1926, p.64): "these four scenes are firstly an example of cult worship of Amenhotep I and Nefertari, the queen has black skin, then their disposition establishes a constant parallel on the one hand between Osiris and the king, and between Anubis and the queen on the other hand".
Anubis holds in one hand a sign of life and the other a was-sceptre. In front of Anubis, the other side of the offerings stand, are three people, firstly two men, then a woman. The first character who pay homage is "the guard of the Place of Truth, Tusa". He is followed by "his son, (wrongly written just as t.f, designating a female) the one who hears the words in the Place of Truth, Amenemope". The woman's name, designated as "his daughter", is lost.
3) - Bottom register: the opening of the mouth ceremony
B - Left-hand side
Five coffins of woman are raised on a platform, in front of the entry to the chapel. The five mummies are named: "The Osiris, her mother, Tenuro", "her sister, whom she loves, Ia, justified", "her daughter, Baketdua, justified", "her daughter, Henut-mehyt, justified", "her daughter, Nefertari". To whom the "her" in "sAt-s" refers to is uncertain.
At the foot of each coffin squats a mourner who is in a wailing posture. They are named as follows: "her daughter's girl, Meryt", "her daughter, Tjenuro", "her daughter, Wia", "her daughter, Wadjetrenpet", "her daughter, Meryt". Some of these names are also found on the lower register of the north wall.
A man stands in front of them, merely clothed in a loincloth, without the feline skin of a sem-priest, making a libation. The water flows out of a ewer in jets which envelope each mummy, flowing over their heads. In front of his arms, can be read a sybiline formula: "for (or 'by') the Osiris, Tjenuro, with his children".
The chapel is surmounted of a small pyramid, topped a smaller pyramidion, with the sky opening destined for a statue or a stela. Nina Davies collected a certain number of these representations from different tombs, showing their uniformity in the necropolis.
B - Right-hand side
On a table are stacked the necessary instruments for the practice of the ritual: a pesech-kaf (double feather) amulet, a magic stick with, at the middle, an open lotus flower, a nu-adze, several pieces of meat which appear in the form of khepesh axes are to the right of a leg of meat. Above are fourteen small vases containing a grain-like substance and below them are four sachets.
Behind this is the reader priest, whose role is held by "the draftsman of Amon, Nebra, justified", who, unscrolling his papyrus, reads the formulae required to open the mouth and pronounce an invocatory offering whose items are written in front of it: "a thousand of bread, a thousand beer crocks, a thousand head of livestock and waterfowl". Behind the reader are six women, standing in pairs, side by side, all wearing long dresses. The first four are professional officiants, as the mourners, and the final two are named above as Tauseret and Pached, the last possibly being the wife of the officiant, Nebre. Although these last two women are listed in the text above them (in two columns), it would appear that the artist forgot to create the small representation of a woman standing at the side, behind her: that is, no extra foot or face outline. The one who is visible, holds a a stem of papyrus in her right hand a bunch of flowers in the other. Her hair has a headband with a lotus bloom at the front, she also wears bangles on her wrists.
- The responses of the four officiants
Their hair is tied at the level of their ear, they have neither a head band nor nor jewelry. Standing erect, they tightly hold their left forearm with their right hand. They have the names: Iwy, Hemtnetjer, Weben and Tanehesi. Iwy and Hemetnetjer are also present in chamber B of the tomb of Nakhtamon, TT335, where, unlike in TT250, they are designated with the title of "Tst" , meaning "troop / group" or "troop / group member", because they are the ones who accompany the reader priest. Hemetnetjer is also present in the tomb of Amennakht, TT218, and that of Nebenmaat, TT219.
These women are followers of the cult of Amon and Hathor and they give retort to the priests; after a long discussion, Bruyère (Report 1926, p.65-72) concludes "(they) are, in the necropolis, obligatory female assistants of the priests for all funerary ceremonies and, playing the role of Isis and Nephthys in the Osirian tragedy of death, they sing the laments, answer the questions recited by the officiants, and dedicate the offerings to the deceased".
South wall and south section of the east wall
Only the lower register has survived, which includes the south part of the east wall, the narrow area to the left on entry. On 2/3 of its length, it appears as an extension to the lower register of the west wall, which has just been described. In the imagery of the remainder, on the left 1/3, the characters face in the opposite direction and head towards the entry.
In the right-hand scene, this time, there are four mummies in their anthropoid cartonnage. They stand at the foot of the Theban mountain, once again they are all women. Standing in front of the first three mummies are boys, the one on the left being taller than the others. Also in front of the first mummy is a girl, on her knees. The two smaller boys and the girl have a hand raised above their head in a sign of lament. In front of the mummies parade fifteen people: six men, eight women and a naked child, carrying small bottles, bags, and stems of papyrus. The first man, designated as "her father, Akhenset", makes a fumigation with the help of a vase. He is followed by "her mother, Tapyia". The child's name is "her son, Para'emheb".
The procession which heads in the opposite direct, towards the entry, includes seven people, the leading five being on the south section of the east wall, with the other two on the south wall (no colour image are available, but view the Bruyère line drawing above).
The shaft of tomb TT250 is in the courtyard (see Bruyère pl.5-vault plan). It measures 4.50m in depth and opens up to the west on to three chambers in succession, each separated by a door built from bricks. There is no decoration.
| • ANDREU Guillemette (under the direction of) : "Les artistes de Pharaon", RMN, 2002
• BIERBRIER Morris :"Terms of Relationship at Deir el-Medina", JEA 66, p.100-107, 1980
• BRUYÈRE Bernard : Rapport sur les fouilles de Deir el-Medineh (1924-1925), FIFAO III, 1926
• BRUYÈRE Bernard : Rapport sur les fouilles de Deir el-Medineh (1926), FIFAO III, p.59-74, 1927
• BRUYÈRE Bernard : Rapport sur les fouilles de Deir el-Medineh (1935-1940), FIFAO XX, 3 fascicules, 1952
• BRUYÈRE Bernard : "Essai biographique sur le scribe royal Ramose", in : "Rapport sur les fouilles de Deir el-Medineh" (1935-1940), FIFAO XX, fascicule 3, p.14-20, 1952
• CERNY Jaroslav : "Le culte d'Amenophis I chez les ouvriers de la Nécropole thébaine", BIFAO 27, p.159-203, 1927
• CERNY Jaroslav : "Egyptian Stelae in the Bankes Collection, Oxford 1958.
• CERNY Jaroslav : A community of workmen at Thebes in the Ramesside period, BIFAO 50, p.317-337, 2004
• DAVIES Benedict G. : Who's who at Deir el-Medina, Nederlands Instituut voor het nabije oosten, p.79-83, Leiden, 1999
• DAVIES Nina M. : "Some Representations of Tombs from the Theban Necropolis", JEA 24, N°1, p.25-40, 1938
• DONOHUE V. A. : "The vizier Paser", JEA 74, p.103-123, 1988
• EYRE C. J. : "The adoption papyrus in social context", JEA 78, p.207-221, 1992
• EXELL Karen : "The senior scribe Ramose (I) and the cult of the king: A social and historical reading of some private votive stelae from Deir el Medina in the reign of Ramesses II”, Current Research in Egyptology 5, p.51-67, 2006
• HEFFERNAN Gabrielle : Royal images in private tombs at Thebes in the early Ramesside period, Thesis, University of Birmingham, 2010 (downloadable HERE)
• HOFMANN Eva : "Bilder im Wandel - Die Kunst der ramessidischen Privatgräber", THEBEN XVII, p.78-82, Philipp von Zabern, Mainz, 2004
• LESKO Leonard H. (ed) : "Pharaoh's Workers. The villagers of Deir el-Medina", Cornell University Press, 1994
• McDOWELL Andrea : "Agricultural Activity by the Workmen of Deir el-Medina", JEA 78, p.195-206, 1992
• MAYSTRE Charles : "La tombe de Nebenmât (N°219)", MIFAO LXXI, 1936
• PEACOCK Lenka : "Kingston Lacy, Dorset, England"
• PORTER Bertha, MOSS Rosalind : Topographical bibliography of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, reliefs and paintings, Second Edition, Tome I, Griffith Institute, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1994
• Projet Rosette : le pyramidion de Ramose
• RADWAN Ali : Zum Erscheinen des Wesirs Paser in der Begleitung Ramses’ II, in : M.R.M. Hasitzka, J. Diethart , G. Dembski ed, Das Alte Ägypten und seine Nachbarn. Festschrift zum 65. Geburtstag von Helmut Satzinger (Kremser Wissenschaftliche Reihe 3), Krems, 2003, p.120-122
• VALBELLE Dominique : "Les ouvriers de la tombe. Deir el-Medineh à l'époque ramesside", IFAO, 1985
• VALBELLE Dominique : "Les artistes de la Vallée des Rois", p.58-69, Hazan, 2002
| Pages by Thierry Benderitter
Text by Thierry Benderitter
English version by Jon Hirst
Photographs by Suzanne Maeder (sm), Eva Hofmann (eh)
Christian Mariais (cm), I.S. (is)
Philippe Martinez (pm), Hans Ollermann, Lenka Peacock (lp)
Su Bayfield (sb), Unidia-Bruno Sandkühler (bs), Thierry Benderitter (tb)
Plans and drawings are adapted from the "Bernard Bruyère Reports"
Bibliographic help and for the translations from the German : Georges Engel
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