The entry from the second corridor leads to the north-east corner of the chapel. The room measures 7.27m (east-west) by 4.93m (north-south), with a height of just over 4.6m. The tops of the walls are decorated with narrow frieze, using a simple geometric pattern (see top of the by Steindorf). The bottom part of the walls, the dado area, is approximately 1.5m high and although uninscribed, it was painted red. This base colour has faded in many places. This was separated from the decorated area above by a broad red band, edged in black, and possibly a broad yellow band below that (see ). The rest of the walls are covered with engraved and painted registers, some of which are masterpieces. The chamber includes two square pillars in its centre, on the east-west axis and two great stelae false-doors on the west wall (see ). Extending from the east wall to the west one is a beam. This is part of the stone structure of the two pillars, which they appear to support. It is in this room (on the south wall) that there are the openings to the second serdab of the mastaba. To see the general layout and connections with the second corridor and the serdab, reference can be made to the .
Unfortunately, the height of the walls and their registers again results in an acute problem, and numerous areas could not be photographed properly.
(See ) The wall includes three horizontal parts: the uninscribed dado at the bottom, then two registers occupying the whole length of the wall, and finally an upper zone which is divided into three vertical parts by the ceiling beam. The central division is decorated to the width of the beam, leaving wider areas on either side. Because of the continuity of the scenes from the upper part into the two horizontal registers, it is more sensible to conduct the analysis as if they form a complete column of decoration:
- on the left (north) is a summary of the agricultural season of harvest (see )
- on the right (south), at the top, is a window which allows in light from outside the structure, whilst the underlying upper part of the wall is extensively destroyed. However, it is still possible to recognise the remains of a parade of livestock on register four, and work in a boatyard on the lower registers (see )
- in the central area, under the beam, is Ty, with officials and inscriptions (see ).
Note: the photos taken of this wall are, in general, very mediocre in quality because of the problems of lighting. If you have better ones, we would be thankful of your help.
The beam is directly above the columns of text, containing Ty's titles, under which is the image of Ty and his wife. On the two low registers are his officials (see and ).
Ty, turned towards the north entry, is seated in a booth, on a chair, the legs of which end in the feet of a bull. He wears a long wig, a large necklace around his neck over which hangs a pendant. In his right hand he grasps his staff of office, whilst in his left he holds a folded piece of cloth. At his feet kneels his wife, who has her arm wrapped around his right leg. The couple observe the works of the fields achieved in the properties of his funerary domain. This is indicated in the long vertical inscription which they face and which serves as a border to the actual agricultural scenes. As already stated, above him are the columns of text containing some of titles, at the bottom of which is a single horizontal line which his most favoured title and his name:
"the unique friend and beloved of his lord, Ty".
Beneath him, on the two lower registers, are two rows of officials, a total of thirteen people, designated as, (6)
" (members of) the council of the funerary domain". It is necessary to understand that they represents controllers and administrators who come with Ty in his inspection of the domains. None of them are named, and only two of the characters are accompanied by a small text specifying their function, (7)
"porter of dispatches" and (8)
"foreman, powerful of voice". It can be seen that the scribes and porters carry a variety of objects, whose nature is not always obvious: boxes, chests, sandals, bags, and a parasol.
Including the left part of the two bottom registers, this section contains a total of ten registers which are devoted to various agricultural activities of the harvest season (see ). All the registers measure about 27.5 cm in height and are very well preserved, apart from the two top ones. The quality of the engraving is excellent and the colours are often present. Alas, it is also a dark area topped by a bright neon light.
The sequence of harvest-time operations starts with the top register. So, although the numbering of the registers is as usual with the first one at the bottom and number 10 at the top, the registers will be dealt with in reverse order. Thus, the top registers display the the scenes of the harvesting of various products (flax, barley and then corn), five registers in total. Next comes the transportation of the harvest by donkey (two registers) and its placement in stacks (one register) (see ). This is followed by the threshing, which in ancient egypt was carried out by donkeys and cattle, on the next-to-bottom register. Finally, at the bottom, the winnowing (the separation of the grain from the chaff) takes place.
Flax is used for the manufacture of linen, hence it is not a cereal crop like those of the registers below. The collection of this always indicated the start of the harvest period, and thus it always preceded the harvesting of cereal crops. The peasants who participate are all clothed in a loincloth, which always revealed their sexuality, a sign which reflected their belonging to the lower social classes.
The two registers haven't preserved any inscription.
On register nine, some men pull the flax and put it in small bundles, the third and eighth men use one of the stems to tie the top of the bundle. The stems harvested at this time produced the best fabric, whilst if the seed from the plants was required, these were harvested when the plants were completely mature, but by this time the stems were of a much poorer quality. It can be seen that some of the peasants hold the sheaves with both hands and strike them on the ground, thus permitting all the stems to the be evenly stacked.
At the centre, a man with outstretched arms, has been interpreted as a chanter. He encourages his companions by his rhythm of his song (see ).
Register ten is destroyed at its centre. Here bundle-makers sit and firmly tie the stems and possibly cut then to a standard size. At either end of the register a standing worker stacks the bundles in larger groups (eight on each side). These finished bunches are used in the hieroglyphic sign (Gardiner M38 ).
Here eight men are at work. The crop is cut at about knee-height, leaving a large amount of straw in the land, but saving the backs of farmers. The tool being used is a hand sickle, but its shape is closer to that of a scythe. The cutting edge is usually made with embedded pieces of flint, and only rarely with solid metal blades. The peasant grasps the tool by his right hand, which is not held vertically as seen in the drawing, but horizontally in the same plain as his cutting stroke. At the same time, with his left hand, he grasps several stems which he is about to cut. Another worker places the cut stems on the ground to stack them at his feet.
The man situated at the extreme right is turned toward his friends and seizes his left wrist with his right hand. This could be a supervisor, but the accompanying text indicates that he is the best of the workers, that he is the first to have finished his line (since, evidently, the harvesters are not located one behind the other, but side by side). The texts (1 and 2) state:
"Who is the lad who only talks at the right time? (i.e. the one who works instead of talking)
It is me! I tell you this, you who are work-mates, (but) who are like women!".
Some explanations may be useful. The word written "Tat" , with the sign of the chick with open wings associated with the phallus can, according to Montet, mean "lad". He certainly doesn't hold back in self-congratulation, he even abuses his work-mates, referring to them as "Hm" , meaning "woman", but also possibly accepted as "idiot".
On this register the barley is better preserved. In the middle of the register, can be found a man who plays a long flute. In front of him, one of the harvesters has put his sickle under his arm and begins a chant, accompanied by the sound of the flutist and, by beating time with his hands, he gives a rhythm to the work of the reapers. The text, (3)
"lead" indicating that he sets the pace of work. Today, still, in Egypt as in all the Orient, people work accompanied by such rhythmic songs (see ).
As on the register above, a man is turned to face those still working, this time raising his right arm, and says to them: (4)
"Who is it who speaks and works at the right time, comrades?", and the continues: (2)
"Who is this lad who is fervent of heart?" and answers himself with, (1)
The harvested cereal is clearly identified by its hieroglyph , which corresponds to the emmer wheat. It is much taller than barley and seems to almost exceed the height of the men, but it is impossible to know whether this represents just an image or actual reality at the time.
The register consists of nine peasants, of which a flutist and a chanter are positioned nearer to the left-hand side. The text (1) above the chanter indicates that he may be singing about
"oxen". The cut sheaves of wheat can only be seen laying on the ground at the middle of the register and lay alternately across each other.
There is no winning worker this time, and the long text (2) says:
"What's up, comrades? Hurry though, because the wheat is ripe today".
Curiously, in none of the mastabas known to date, the Egyptians have never shown the men who collect the sheaves from the ground. Only some men carrying sheaves are known, again even these are very rare (Ty has none).
The sheaves have been stacked, which can be seen at the left extremity of the register. They are then collected into bags, named in Egyptian
"iAdet", a word that also designates the net for fishing or hunting, thus indicating its nature.
In front of the pile of sheaves, two men tightly close a net full of them, by pulling with all of their strength on the ends of a rope, with one foot pushing on on the bag (see and ). Bagging them makes for easier transport on the animals.
On the right-hand side of the register, the beasts, which are going to transport all the bags, have arrived (see ). As today, it is donkeys who carry out this work. It seems that these poor wretched animals, here being six in number, were as badly treated at the time as now. Running in the front are two men each waving a long rod in his hands, with which to strike the animals. At the rear, another man has the same attitude to the donkeys. Following him is a group of six more who seem to be slightly more restrained, five of whom hold the stick on their shoulder (see ) but perhaps this is because they are not close to the animals. These are lead by a man who faces them, probably in charge of them, and provided with two sticks, a short one (possibly indicating his authority) and a long one. The first of the group of six could be a chanter, because he holds his hand to his ear.
Above the six donkeys, a line of text states:
"I hope to go far, I shall beat the lazy person, come to me". These are probably the words of the man in charge.
Even though the donkeys have lost their colour, the relief remains admirable, and the representation of the men in full action is very convincing: it is possible to imagine the dust, the noise and the commotion which comes with the arrival of the beasts.
The imagery continues to be exceptionally alive, and represents one of the areas and is one of the most artistically successful of the mastaba, reflecting the work of a master.
In front of the pile of sheaves awaiting transportation, a peasant holds what appears to be a full net-bag, which looks like an upright shield. This would be toppled on to the back of the animal (see and ). He obviously expects his comrade in front of him to succeed in controlling the donkey which will carry the load. Indeed, the pack-saddle didn't exist in ancient Egypt, and the bags are loaded directly on to the back of the beast, on top of only a blanket. It appears that the man trying to control the animal is both angry and in a hurry. Standing firmly, he grasps the outstretched front right leg of the donkey with his left hand, whilst with his right hand he twists its ear, saying (1)
"Accept it!". The man behind is even more angry and is ready to strike hard with his stick, uttering the words (2) :
"Wear it (the sack) you arshole!"; yes this is an ancient Egyptian profanity.
Three loaded donkeys head toward the threshing areas, which were close to the villages. Note the blanket placed between the bag and the back of the animal to protect it, not visible on the one not wanting to be loaded. The bag was balanced on the back and extra sheaves were tied, as always, on top (see ). It is possible to get an idea of the enormous responsibility that these animals had to bear, as they can still be seen nowadays in the Egyptian countryside, where similar scenes are perpetuated. This explains why it is necessary for one or several men walk next to the donkey, in order to maintain the net in balance.
But what could happen seems to have taken place, and even recorded in the imagery, the load of one of the animals has fallen to the ground.
The middle of the scene, particularly successfully, is shown the efforts of the men to put it back in place (the same scene can be found in the chapel of Akhethotep, in the Louvre). Clinging to the net, the two peasants at the middle endeavour to lift the bag, whilst another (at the front) immobilises the beast by surrounding its muzzle with his left arm (it is impossible to see what he does with his right). He orders his work-mate, (4) :
"Give it (a push), hurry up!". It is uncertain what the man at the rear of the animal is supposed to be doing, but he holds the tail of the donkey with his right hand. Perhaps with his left he is supposed to be pushing the top of the load over the back of the donkey, as asked by his mate at the front, because he replies, (3) :
"I'm doing what you ask".
Finally, at the head of the column advances a donkey whose load is supported by a worker, whilst behind it follows another man with a stick. In a show of great tenderness, as the Egyptians loved to show them, a small young donkey precedes its mother (see ).
The donkeys, having arrived at their destination, are unloaded, and the bags are emptied; the text (1) describing the scene has:
"throwing the barley on the ground". The representation of this scene is very exceptional (only one other example of it is known). The men have undone the rope which fastened the large bag, which now hangs on the ground. They grasp the net and turn it upside down to empty it. Notice that the sheaves which should have fallen from it are not represented. This doesn't stop the men on right from seizing some of them in order to build a conical haystack. Two duplicate texts (2 and 3) frame the haystack on the right-hand side of the wall
"taking he barley for the threshing floor".
At the far right, a man grasps a sheaf of corn, of whom the text simply states (4) : :
"taking hold of the barley".
To separate the actual grain from the ears, the Egyptians used animals. The areas for threshing were close to the villages. These round, slightly raised areas and surrounded by a low wall, are very visible here. The ground was hardened, probably with clay, so that the hooves of the animals were more efficient.
As here, it is nearly always oxen and donkeys which do this work. Perhaps they passed the corn from one area to the other to take advantage of their difference of weight and stride. Or perhaps it was merely a case of using whatever animals were available. Naturally, to be efficient, it was necessary that the animals turn in concentric circles, the animal at the centre remaining almost on the spot and one at the outer edge having the fastest step. It required a lot of work on behalf of the men to maintain them in line.
Eleven cattle are in line, controlled by a man at the front and one at the rear. The first animal couldn't resist the temptation and bends down to eat some of the ears of corn, whilst the second animal is different from the others, having no horns. On the left, outside the threshing floor, is the supervisor, leaning on his staff, who instructs one the two men to (1) :
"Drive them". The man at the front holds up his long stick in both hands as if to strike one of the beasts and shouts (2)
"Go, 'hey-ho', go", but perhaps these are just shouts of encouragement. The driver, at the rear addresses his colleague and tells him (3) to:
"Block them, you, for your life!", perhaps to make sure that he keeps them turning in circles.
Here is an almost identical scene, but this time with donkeys.
The men here are naked, and their leader is bald and bearded, wearing a strange looking loincloth, possibly made of papyrus.
The animals are once again eleven in number, and again one of them has his head down as if to eat some of the corn which has fallen outside the threshing floor. Apparently, the man on the left, in front of the animals, constanstly keeps turning his head towards the overseer, instead of checking the animals and their alignment. The man on the right shouts to him, (5) :
"Look behind you, watch out for them!". The sense would be something like "you must turn your neck, you should get out of the way of the animals otherwise you are going to be crushed". This further confirmed by the overseer, who says (4) :
"Oh yes!, you watch out!", meaning, "I don't need to turn my head towards me".
Junker proposes for the first sentence (5) :
"Make them (the animals) go behind you (toward the edge of the area) ".
This the final action of the harvest scenes, carried out by seven women and eight men. The results of the treading by the animals in the scene above are now to be further refined. The one action which is missing, is the removal of the actual straw content from the area. The resultant mix now contains the corn and husks, plus probably a fair amount of bits of straw. The winnowing (tossing the mix into the air) will separate the lighter chaff (husks and straw). This is usually blown to one side by light winds, not shown here. The separated corn, which could then be ground into flour elsewhere, is put into large silos or large sacks, one of which can be seen in the middle of the scene, being held up by its fastening loops by two men. Another sack can be seen at the right-hand side, the top fastenings also being visible. To the right of the this last silo is another man with a pitchfork, not seen in the line drawing, but just visible in .
All the women, with the exception of one (fourth person from the left), wear a long semi-transparent dress held up be shoulder straps, probably made of very light fabric. All have their hair tied with a scarf to keep out the dust. They also wear a loincloth which is fastened at the back, the fastenings of which falls on their buttocks. The woman with no dress just wears a loincloth. fastened at the back. It is the women who are doing the actual winnowing and sifting of the barley.
Nearly all the men wear kilts, some of which have been turned to leave them open at the front, revealing their manhood; one man just wears a loincloth. For some strange reason, several wear a band around their chest supported by straps. Some of the men can clearly be seen to have beards. The men are either working with pitchforks or holding the silo sacks. It is difficult to imagine how such loose material could possibly be moved with such wide pronged forks, unless of course they had something between the prongs.
(See left of and ) At the far left stands a woman with a sieve, who asks of the one in front of her to (1)
"Lift the barley, to clean it". Meanwhile, the two women in front of her are working on an already winnowed pile, the first bending to lift the grain with her two scoops and the other brushing some towards her, whilst and holding her scoops in her other hand. Their conversion is simple: (2)
"Scoop the barley" says the one on the left, the one with the broom says (3) :
"I'm doing you a favour" indicating that she's brushing the grain together. The woman to the right of them (without a dress) is actually winnowing the mix, as indicated by the text (4) above her:
"winnowing the barley". The man who stands behind her, who is supposedly working with her, seems to be more interested in what the other men are doing.
The next group of seven men, two of whom hold upon the silo sack, are scooping together the winnowed corn and putting in into the sack (see and ). This is indicated by the two texts, either side of the sack: (5)
"raking together a heap of barley" and (6), which just states:
Next, two women and a man are employed in sifting the corn, the man is actually brushing the pile together, whilst holding his scoops in one hand and the broom in the other (see ). The text above the women simply has three words: (7a)
"sieving" and (c) the
"barley". The man in front of them has the same text (9)
"I'm doing you a favour" above him as the woman who sweeps the corn at the left end of the register, except he hasn't been asked to scoop the barley.
Finally, at the right-hand end of the register, two men are on either side of a silo sack, but there is no accompanying text .
So ends the harvesting of the cereal crops, which will be stored in silos until they are required, as seen for the preparation of bread and beer on the west wall of the storeroom.
(See , and )
Only the lower two registers of this part of the wall have survived in full, plus most of a third (the upper centre being lost). There are two small sections of a fourth, from each end. The three lower registers show work in a boatyard. Once again, they represent exceptional scenes, both in quality, in the realism of life and in the intense labour which can be seen in them.
Pierre Montet, regarding the construction of these boats without a rib framework:
"They built their boats literally as masons build a wall, laying the planks (boards) one above the other and assembling them using an internal system of mortises and tenons".
The trunks have just been pruned. It is therefore necessary to straighten them, either with an axe, of which the blade made of copper serves to square and to split them, or an adze, which reduces the knots. This is confirmed by the legends: (1)
"working with the axe", where the determinative of can be seen to be in the shape of an axe, used in woodworking, which is also found in the word for carpenter, and (2)
"working with the adze".
Two carpenters are seated on a large piece of timber, which rests at its two extremities on large forked stakes driven into the ground. With their right hand, they strike a chisel to cut the wood, making mortises. To show these, which should be invisible, the artist has represented them side on. The legend (9) states:
"piercing a hole (in) a plank".
Behind this scene, a man is in the process of (8)
"sawing". The technique is well known and can be found again in the New Kingdom, for example in the tomb of the craftsmen Nebamon and Ipuky at Deir el Medineh (TT191). The plank to be sawn is placed vertically in the ground. The worker uses a large saw with a copper blade to start the cutting. As he progresses, to hold the pieces rigid, he surrounds them with a rope which must be held very tight. For this, he uses a heavy counterweight stone to twist the knot. Work was difficult with these saws because the blade very quickly became blunt, as can be seen by the fact that man has to use his full weight and pull with both hands.
Here, work is already well advanced and chronologically follows that of the boat above, on the right, which will be discussed next for a better understanding.
Pierre Montet has analised the construction process:
"Each side of the boat is a collection of seven pieces supported by a flat bottom. Parts of the front and rear (A and B) are similar. At the centre, below, is a piece in the shape of inverted trapezoid (E), between two similar pieces (D and F), which have the shape of parallelograms. […] the workers put a sixth piece (C) in place, whose small sides rest against the side boards (plates) before and to the rear and whose base rests on the upper face of pieces D, E and F. This is the construction of the hull"
It was thus a question of creating holes, as indicated by texts 8 and 11:
"chiselling", sometimes rectangular, sometimes round, which required huge blows with the mallet by the carpenters (see and ). In this last view, it is possible to get an idea of the quality of the relief, and to notice a strange detail: in the ideogram of the wood chisel of the text, a small circle has been added to the point, which actually indicates the shape of the hole being created). In some of these holes, it will be necessary to put round pegs which will locate with the holes in the piece of wood to be attached. The pegs are being created by the man at the far right-hand end of the boat, using an an adze; the legend (12) states:
"shaping the wooden pegs". Because they stand proud of the board, they are referred to as the "teeth of Osiris" (Montet).
To join the pieces together requires a great deal of energy. This is why two strong men can be seen brandishing large blocks of wood, whilst holding tightly on to the handles to bring them down with all of their might (see ) ; the legend (9) describes the manoeuvre:
"adjusting the central part" (literally, 'the one that is at the heart'). A man leans forwards and slips a chisel into the gap to either reduce the vibrations or to ensure that the two pieces fasten evenly. A description of his manoeuvre is commented on by one of the men in the text (10) between the two men:
"It's good that you manipulate the chisel without complaint".
Under the bow and the stern, two men are in an uncomfortable position, both wielding a large adze, they make corrections to the hull. This is because there are necessarily prominents and/or indentations and it is necessary to correct for these, to smooth the hull.
It should be noted that the indispensable operations such as caulking and plugging with pieces of cloth and/or resin at the seams are not shown. However, this operation was frequently carried out after the boats had been placed in the water, firstly to swell the wood and then to see where any leaks may exist.
Returning to the operation carried out on the boat of the register below: the setting up of the boat's bulwark (the edge of the boat which is above the level of the deck) providing both protection from the sea and also serve as a support for the oars. This operation is described in the text (4) as:
"adjusting the bulwark". This is represented by a long piece of wood or plank, the organisation of which appears to require much effort. It requires five men under a foreman's direction, who gives the instruction (5) :
"Go deep". A man outside the boat, maintains the alignment of the plugs with their respective holes, whilst two characters strike the plank with smaller blocks of wood than those used on the planks of the boat above. One of the men, mallet in hand, has the legend (3)
"chiselling by the carpenter". He is possibly enlarging the holes to permit a better fit. At the other other end, a character holds a rope which is passed under the plank. It is possibly this one who makes the following statement (6) :
"Move away, your hand is under us".
Behind the man with the rope is another who is (6)
"woodworking", as are two more at the other end of the boat: (1)
"woodworking with an adze". Beneath the boat remains just one man, still evening out the outer hull (see ).
(See ) This larger boat is at an even more advanced stage, but the men still carry out similar duties: (1)
"shaping by the carpenter"; (6)
"working with an adze"; (5)
"working with an adze by the carpenter". Three others, provided mallets, cut the upper edge of the bulwark where the oars will rest: (4)
"piercing some holes by the carpenter". Three men work under the hull. Note should be made of the skill of the artist, when compared with the boat on the right; he has practically hidden (though not quite) the right arm of the worker under the right end of the boat (see ).
As identified by text (2),
"the unique friend, Ty" has placed himself on the boat. This explains the presence at the right-hand side of the boat, standing on the ground, of (7)
"the chief of dockyard". He stands in a respectful attitude, right hand on his shoulder, holding a long staff (possibly a measuring cane) and a plumbline in his left hand (see ).
The scenes of boat building continues, although the central area is badly damaged. The two boats are at an even more advanced stage. On the left, one of the men is occupied (1)
"chiselling". The determinative used, a simple chisel, without circle, indicates that he is either making a mortise or just a cut. This second solution is probably the best, because a end of the vessel has been fastened tightly with three ropes; he could be cutting grooves in the flat upper side of the wood. The two men in the middle of the boat are, which is very rare, working to produce the upright supports of possibly the canopy of the cabin (see ).
The descriptive text of the scene has, alas, lost its beginning and all that now survives is: (2)
" […] hulls by the boat builders". It is possible that the text (3), on the right, constituted the beginning of a long inscription:
"Constructing a boat […]. At the extreme right, under the stern (or the bow) which has been given the shape of an open papyrus corolla, is the figure of a small man, standing with a cane in his hand, accompanied by a dog.
All that remains here are small sections at either end.
On the left is an antelope (almost complete) led by two men (of whom only the legs have survived), then the hind legs of another animal.
On the right are the legs of a man in front of yet another animal.
Only fragments of three hieroglyphs have survived above the animal on the left, so that there are no real descriptive texts.
The presence of these animals would indicate that the boat building operations were confined to just the three lower registers. Thus, there would appear to be no coverage of the addition of masts or rigging. However, this again may have taken place once the boat had been check for leaks and any caulking applied.