TOMB N°4, North Group
IV - East wall and east part of the north wall
(). These are occupied by a vast fresco divided into two registers, with a detailed representation of the Great Aten Temple (shown in a horizontal west to east perspective, with west on the right). There are also scenes showing the worship of the sun by the royal couple, as well as Meryra being rewarded by the king, a result of good administration by the civil servant who filled the stores of the temple.
Like its counterpart on the west wall, the register continues on the adjacent part of the north wall.
A - East wall - upper register
At the extreme right is represented the royal palace. On the left is seen the Great Temple of Aten (Per-jtn-m-Akhet-jtn = The house of Aten in Akhetaten), which also extends on to the eastern section of the north wall. The enormous mass of the temple occupies the greater part (about 2/3) of the space. The action is confined therefore to the right 1/3, and centred on the offering made by the royal couple, the royal palace is of course here also.
1) - The royal palace
(). This is represented on the right-hand side of the register, in a vertical oblong view, to which the royal couple will return after completing to the Great Aten Temple. (View the of the east and west wall palace images.) It is surmounted by the image of the radiant Aten surrounded by the royal cartouches, all unobtrusive.
What appears to be the second pylon (from the bottom), is actually the "Window of Appearances". Behind this is a room with two chairs (or thrones), which have eleborately form formed feet and stand next a table charged of victuals, seemingly prepared for the royal couple's return.
Unlike the image on the west side of this chamber, this building is totally devoid of servants actively going about their business.
2) - Outside the Great Temple pylon
(). The escort which brought the royal couple to the temple waits for them, for the return. The harnessing of the pairs of royal horses are held by a groom, while the driver, stooping at the rear of the chariot, holds the reigns.
Above of the chariots, a six bearers hold banners, the first four display the double cartouche of the Aten, and the last two shows a structure of the solar barque. They are followed by two Nubians armed with their traditional bows, two Syrians then two Libyans. These could be a token representation of the peoples controlled by Egypt.
Beneath, a third chariot waits, being part of the military escort who, with the fan-bearers, will escort the royal couple.
3) - The Great Aten Temple
This enormous structure is totally surrounded a wall of mud bricks, measuring 730 x 230 metres, thus delimiting an internal space of about 17 hectares. On this wall the temple is represented with north at the bottom (compared with the "face on" view of the representation on the west part of the north wall). The images of both east and west walls show a much compressed version of the Great Temple complex, as seen from the actual ground plan above (based on the present day remains, see the ), in which the actual buildings take up only a fraction of the inner area.
The first of the two main cult buildings is the Gem-pa-jtn (or Gem-pa-Aten = Meeting with the sun-disk) temple, measuring about 210m long by 33m wide
There is now no evidence of a wall and pylon dividing the two main areas, nor of the slaughterhouse associated with the Gem-pa-Aten.
Behind and separated by distance of approximately 350m is found a sanctuary (), the Hut Benben (= the House of the Benben), inside of which is the "Holy of Holies". The sanctuary temple covers an area approximately 100m front-to-back by 70m wide.
On the northern side of the outer perimeter wall, on a level with the sanctuary temple, are two small buildings. These do not appear on either of the images in Meryra's tomb, but can be found on others in two other tombs. The larger has been proposed (by B. Kemp, 1993) as possibly being the northern entrance reserved for the royal family, a place for 'purification and robing', especially if the king's main residence was the North Palace. The purpose of the smaller structure is unknown.
4) - The temple courtyard
The royal couple dedicate the divine offerings on an altar in open air, between the main entry pylon of surrounding wall and the first pylon of the actual temple (). Five small altars overladen with provisions and two with flowers are placed in front of and between the king and the queen, who both hold out a sekhem-sceptre. Their faces have been hammered out, but the headgear of Nefertiti still remains, composed of a double plume surrounding a solar disk. The Aten disk and its rays ending in hands surmount the scene.
Notice the small character who presents a vase with one hand and the material for fumigation with the other. Could this be Meryra ?
Behind the royal couple, displayed on two rows in pseudo perspective, are the four small princesses with as many attendants ( and ). The princesses shake Hathoric sistra. They are standing within the main entry pylon of the outer wall.
The inscription is historically important for the datings of the Amarnian period because it is one of the very rare mentions of the youngest of the daughters of the royal couple: "Nefer-neferu-jtn-ta-sheryt" ("Neferneferuaton - the younger"), so as not to be confused with her mother Nefertiti. Curiously, she is the only one of the princesses named. The artist took care to distinguish between them by their size and by the nudity of the youngest sisters at the top.
5) - The Gem-pa-Aten
, and (already quoted for the vertical west-east axis view).
Thanks to Google Earth, it is possible to compare the plan of the monuments with the traces which are still on the ground. A shows the extent of all the architectural group. Using the top inset, a comparison can be made with the plan and aerial view of the ground traces of the Gem-pa-Aten.
The central avenue of access in the temple was elevated, the altars in the three first courts appearing aligned in pits slightly below. Note : in both the aerial view and the inset, west is on the left, whilst on the east wall plan west is to the right.
Along the length of the outer wall of the Gem-pa-Aten can be seen an accumulation of small altars with provisions : they are an iconographic summary of the hundreds of altars which were associated with this place.
Note also the representation of a small enclosed courtyard (just seen at bottom right of ). This was probably a slaughterhouse, where the sacrifice of oxen took place, and which includes the body of the animal, a separated head and a skin. A similar one was associated with the smaller sanctuary, the Hut Benben. See a comparison of the two in this version of the temple, .
a) - The temple entry pylon complex - The Per-hay
( ; ) This is represented (face on) to the left of the royal couple. It represents not only the entry into the temple itself but also a typically Egyptian abridgement, named Per-hay (= the House of Rejoicing). The entry pylon is followed immediately by a columned room, then another pylon, exiting into the rest of the temple. It is interesting to notice how the artist has shown this : the two entry piers of the pylon are decorated with masts carrying standards, but a series of eight lotus-form columns have been drawn on each in two rows. These are in fact placed behind and within the whole entrance structure. In the same way, between the two piers, notice the two doors, one smaller than the other, they correspond to the entry and the exit of the Per-hay. This is made much clearer when referring to the ground plan in the insert in the , named as the "Pavilion".
b) - After the Per-hay
On exiting the Per-hay through the second pylon one enters the first great courtyard, which has a multitude of small altars on all sides. In its centre stands the great altar, the main one of the temple. A flight of steps lead up to a small platform, which is overladen with provisions.
On exiting pylon 3, one enters a new courtyard with altars, which should be the same size as that of the previous one, more or less, but which the artist shortened from lack of space.
Leaving through pylon 4, gives way to a smaller courtyard, which includes a double colonnade supported by lotus-form pillars.
Leaving pylon 5, a new courtyard filled with altars.
Pylons 6 and 7 are at the back of the temple and provide access to its storehouses, to which are associated various sized altars.
The concluding east wall is located at the extremity of this main building. The continuation of the scene is on the east side of the north wall.
B - East part of the north wall - upper register
(). Thanks to the satellite photo, a of the actual location of the sanctuary can be found.
Comparative views of the sanctuary (Hut-Benben) of the Gem-pa-Aten
1) - The right-hand section of the wall
The beginning of this section of wall starts on the right-hand side of the panel, with an area which includes (on either side of the main central axis) four oblong structures (gardens or pools), with some altars. These belong to the surrounding area of the Gem-pa-Aten and are at its rear. Then comes the entry pylon for the sanctuary, the Hut-Benben (= the House of the Benben). (Remember, there is now no evidence of this or the separating wall.)
(). At the top of the courtyard before the sanctuary, is found a group of four musicians paying homage to the life-giving star. They sit in front of stands with offerings.
At the bottom is a seated statue of Akhenaten and a stela on a pedestal (). We are now unaware of the actual text of this stela, which was probably extremely interesting. Some (including Norman de Garis Davies) saw here a representation of the benben stone, the primordial stone of the Ra temple at Heliopolis; others (in particular Prof. Marc Gabolde) think that there was no true representation of benben in Amarna, which by no means prevented the presence of the Hut-Benben (House of the Benben).
A slaughterhouse appears in the lower corner, or at least an enclosed area containing two partially dismembered oxen. The slaughterhouse associated with the Gem-pa-Aten only had one bovine (see the comparison of the ). On the left, some servants prepare drinks or clean the containers which are going to be stored in small annexes.
2) - First pylon of the sanctuary
At the east side of the outer courtyard (opposite its entry) is the entry pylon to the sanctuary proper. It gives way to a further courtyard whose first part is fully open to the sky, while the access to the doorway of the Holy of Holies is flanked by on both sides by four lotus-form columns and statuary of the crowned king. He wears the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, both of his arms are crossed on his chest holding the signs of power : the sceptre and the flail ( ; ).
The outside of this entrance thus resembles a hypostyle hall.
3) - The Holy of Holies
The Holy of Holies was accessed through a far greater pylon than the previous one (see a constructed by Vergnieux and Gondran).
It was doubly protected by two sections of out of line wall, preventing the view by laymen of the inside of this space, the most sacred of the whole of the Great Aten Temple complex.
The courtyard is centred by the main altar surrounded by secondary altars (). It was here that Akhenaten gave worship in the most secret cult, theoretically in the morning and evening.
All around of this courtyard, doors open on to twelve smaller ones, each including a table of offerings.
There are no other doors, and therefore no communication with the large peripheral courtyard or either of the two rooms at the rear of the building.
4) - Additional rooms
A narrow space is represented between the Holy of Holies and the final room, which has entry doorways at top and bottom (). This is in fact a room of roughly the same dimensions as the room at its rear and a doorway exists between the two. Note that the radiant Aten surmounts this part, surrounding and blessing these entries at the same time as his sanctuary.
The final room probably constitutes a storeroom and this opens to the outside at its left extremity, by a doorway. This leads eventually to another in the main outer surrounding wall.
The royal rooms at either side of the entrance (seen more clearly on the east wall view) are no longer as obvious.
So ends this vast representation of the upper register.
C - East wall, lower register
1) - The right-hand side
The scene is located between the warehouses and the Nile, by which all products arrive, including food since the agricultural lands are situated on the other bank of the river. The abundance of boats, shown by a forest of masts, highlights the intensity of the traffic. Each mast is held by ropes and carries at its top an enseign, most of which appear to be a double cartouche. The sails are folded. Every boat is moored to a stake by two ropes and a stepped gangway descends to the quay. At the prow, a man who is probably the captain, bows in front of the king. Behind him, the bridge is congested with goods.
The cattle which the ships have transported have been regrouped in stalls, situated close to the quay. There appears to be two cattle-yards sounded by only a low wall. These have a large entrance in the middle and a smaller side door on the left. Each yard accommodates twenty head of cattle, an individual drover being in charge of a group of five beasts, which he seems to feed by the hand. Each beast is attached to what seems to be a tether point fixed to the ground. The animals are of different species, some having a humped back, possibly related to the zebu.
Between the two parts of the scene, and waiting in front of the outside door of the temple for the king's return, are three chariots harnessed to finely bridled horses and accompanied by their driver and possibly a groom. At the top, also outside and waiting for the royal couple, are the king's body-guard, consisting of five soldiers each armed with a spear, shield, axe and one with a flail.
2) - Meryra rewarded
(). The scene is the centre of activity for this register : the representation of Meryra's reward. As Sovereign and Great High Priest, Akhenaten thus thanks his faithful and zealous servant in the career of which this day has to represent an apotheosis.
The scene takes place in the courtyard in front of the granaries, which seems logical, since it is in their management that Meryra has distinguished himself. Besides, it is very improbable that ceremonies of this type were held in the major cult areas of a temple.
Meryra stands with his arms raised in salutation. By command of the king, the Superintendent of the Treasury of Golden Rings places another heavy gold necklace around the neck of Meryra, which is already adorned with several, as a reward from the king. Other precious rewards have already been given to him and are carried by servants or the priests of the temple. On Meryra's head is what is customarily called a "cone of ointment", the exact nature of which is again currently under debate.
Attending the scene are three other groups of characters. At the top are two fan-bearers and four bearers of sunshades. Below them are probably priests and finally four scribes scrupulously noting all of the events (in front of them is probably another priest).
In front of Meryra and the accompanying characters, stand the royal couple (), in majestic size in relation to the others (Meryra himself is represented at the same size as the other subordinate characters, but not bent). Akhenaten nonchalantly rests his left hand on a long cane, while with his right hand he makes the sign of donation. He makes the following speech, shown before him () in four columns of hieroglyphs :
"Words spoken by the king of the South and the North, he who lives in Ma'at, the Lord of the Two Lands, Nefer-kheperu-ra Wa-en-re (Beautiful are the Manifestations of Re – the Unique of Ra) : May the Superintendent of the House of the Gold Rings take the High Priest of Aten in Akhetaten, Meryra, and place the gold on his neck, to his head and around his feet, because he is obedient to the teachings of Pharaoh (life, prosperity and health to him). Having done everything that was said concerning these beautiful places made by Pharaoh (l-p-h) in the House of the Benben, in the temple of Aten, for the Aten that is in Akhetaten, (he) filled it with all good and pure things, with wheat and barley in abundance, on the The Offering Table of Aten, for the Aten."
We see in this last sentence the real role that Akhenaten assigned to the "High Priest" : the one of a Chief Superintendent, in charge of the material aspects of the cult but no means of its execution. Notice in the passage that Akhenaten behaves with the property of the temple as appropriate. He actually succeeded in uniting two powers, which were until then distinct : the regal power and the great priesthood of the principle God of the Empire.
To this speech, Meryra replies :
"The High Priest of Aten, in the Temple of Aten in Akhetaten, Fan-bearer at the King's right hand, Favourite of the Lord of the Two Lands, Meryra, says : "Health to Wa-en-Ra, the Fair Son of the Aten. Grant that you may accomplish your duration, grant for ever and ever" ."
Behind Akhenaten, stands Nefertiti wearing on her head a cap decorated with the uraeus. The couple is bathed by the rays of the Aten which sits above of the scene.
Behind the royal couple are the small princesses, of which only two are now visible. While above them are several fan and sunshade bearers, also a line of others, all possibly waiting to escort the royal entourage into the granary behind them.
3) - The granary
(). The granary proper is entered by two doorways. It is divided in two communicating spaces in each of which are represented four silos for grain. Four scribes and four standard bearers wait for Akhenaten.
A door surmounted with pleasing uraei provides access to the front of another enclosure surrounded by yet another surrounding wall. The narrow space between the two has trees in brick containers supplied with drainage holes.
4) - The second enclosure
(). This is entered by a central double-leaved doorway, shaded by a porch with a projecting roof supported by ornate columns. The area can also be entered by two smaller side doors on either the side of the main entry. These lead to a small courtyard, in the centre of which is a raised kiosk whose roof is supported by thin lotus-form columns, and which is entered up a small flight of steps. It is surrounded by a low wall. The covings and low wall are decorated with uraei.
This courtyard is exited by any of the three facing doorways (the middle one of which is again double-leaved) and which now give access to an oblong space planted with trees. The area can be exited by many doors, those at the far end (this time only one double-leaved door and one small one) exit the building. On both sides of the central walkway is another set of three doors (the central one, in each case, again double-leaved). In both cases these open up to another tree-line space. No matter which side the visitor chose to enter, he was confronted by six doorways on either side, under a covered colonnade, each being the entry to a store-room. Thus there are twenty-four in total, and judging by the contents, this building must have been a vast storage centre.
The various commodities stored here are : jars with long necks, either open or sealed; breads of various kinds, pot-bellied vases, bags of precious materials, chests with clothes … . The fourth, bottom left, contains dried fish. Imagine the odour … .
The fifth, top left, contains precious objects, with vases of Cretian and Syrian type (). The commodities accumulated in the various containers and bags remain unknown to us.
The top tree-lined avenue includes at its extremity, closed by two small doors, a building similar to a kiosk, whose entry seems to be situated on the other side of the surrounding wall, of which it would then form one of the usual three door groups. The bottom avenue does not appear to have any communication with the outside.
D - East part of the north wall, lower register
1) - Is this the house of Meryra ?
After travelling centrally along the wall, out of the previous building (and actually on to the eastern side of the north wall), a different set of structures enclosed by another wall is encountered, which may or may not be part of the preceding scenes. The sky symbol, at the top of the lower register, does however continue over this scene making a good case for the enclosed buildings being in line with the others.
According to Norman de Garis Davies, when taking account of what remains of a hieroglyphic inscription, this structure is probably the home of Meryra. But due to the complexity of the whole, the apparent lack of personal space and the uncertainty of the usage of the two lower buildings, this may not be the case.
This large structure, which at first appears to be a private dwelling and estate, is entered through a central doorway in the right-hand side of its surrounding wall. However, due the damage to this part of the structure, and judging by the design of an entrance at the centre of the bottom wall (a pyloned entrance with two side doors) of the artists rendering, the main entrance could have been on this other side. But, after entering from the first mentioned doorway, there is a small courtyard with two trees, possibly a continuation of the arboretum at the bottom of the estate. Immediately to the right (upwards) is located a possible two roomed porter's lodge. The wall which forms the upper part of it is common with that of four dwellings situated in a courtyard planted with three trees and accessed through a door in the extension of the common wall. It is possible that this is a six roomed structure, with a private courtyard.
The central part of the composition is badly damaged, probably along a main avenue (right to left), open to the sky, in which remains only part of the hieroglyphic text and a small tree. It probably contained, at its far (left) end, an entry to the garden (which will described below).
The entry to the upper part of the structure (above the avenue) was probably situated off here, in part of the wall lost to this relief. The building appears to divide into two areas either side of a central hallway edged or supported by payriform columns and which ends with three small rooms (either chambers or offices). Two lateral corridors leave toward the right and the left, in front of the end rooms already mentioned. Off these two corridors the rooms (in some cases) appear to be used as storerooms.
Two pleasantly worked doors, on either side of the main hallway, lead to the two main rooms; the doorways are possibly designed to allow adequate ventilation to the additional rooms beyond. Whilst the room on the left (the use of which cannot be ascertained) is supported by plain pillars, the one on the right is supported by more elaborate ones. In the centre of this room appears to be an altar, at the side of which are three vesels on a table. If this was intended as a cult room for worship, then room was probably open to the sky. At far end of the room is another ornate doorway, leading to a corridor supported by two columns; this door being its only means of entry.
These are possibly the private rooms and sleeping quarters, judging by what could be square benches (for beds) in the three small rooms at the top and possible wall supports for bed slats in the room second from the top on the right.
Further to the right is a range of seven store-rooms on one side of a corridor, probably separate from the main building. The entry was probably through a door located in the central avenue.
Yet another set of rooms, also separate from the main building, were possibly offices, thus making this a place of work and not just a residence. Again, the entry was probably located in the central avenue.
2) - The stables
At the end of the damaged tree-lined avenue, and separated from the actual house, is unmistakably a stable, in which can be seen two donkeys (or horses) feeding from a trough.
3) - The arboretum
(). A door leads from the central avenue, on the right-hand side of the stable, towards a large space situated below. The main entrance into this area is located at the bottom of the main surrounding wall and this was probably the main entrance to the whole private complex.
The area is planted with many trees, each surrounded by a sloping mound in order to permit a good watering. The water was probably supplied from one of the two artificial pools located near the bottom wall. The trees surround two large buildings, left and right, below which are located the two artificial pools, which probably supplied the water for the trees. These purpose-built pools appear similar, but the image of the one on the right is damaged. They are both surrounded by a low wall, but one on the left is subtly different and may have had other functions. Indeed, from its surrounding wall protrudes (at the centre of two of its sides) a small raised walkway. In the middle of these is what looks like an open air altar. From this, two stairways either side of a central ramp descend into the water. Could it therefore be a sacred lake used for cleansing, or perhaps a mini lake into which descended the solar barque ?
The major part of the total area, which is actually larger than the main building, is taken up by two buildings of different designs, so perhaps the arboretum supplied the means for a pleasant relaxing walk.
4) - The large building at bottom right
(). The function of this building is rather mysterious.
In order to enter this building, it was necessary to pass through an outer pylon (or, via one of two small side doors at either side of it) on the side closest to the main outer perimeter wall. This gave way to a long oblong courtyard, from which the only onward option was through another pylon or again through one of two more small side doors. These opened up into an inner rectangular courtyard, surrounded by doors to various rooms. Only the first room on either side gave access to a covered corridor, supported by columns, leading towards the back of the building. These two rooms also had access to the inner courtyard. A further columned corridor, separated from the two others, runs behind the rear rooms of the courtyard. The entry to this must have been from one of these rear rooms. Probably the room having damage in its design, which is larger than any of the others and is the only one with a centre column. These corridors all give access to a further set of rooms. Strangely, the corner side room, of the inner set, can only be entered from the adjoining rear room.
All rooms are represented totally empty.
5) - The large building at bottom left
The building and the pool close to its entrance have been by Norman de Garis Davies in a convincing manner (based on one possible idea of its construction), but no satisfactory explanation as to its function has been proposed, because of its strangeness. It does however allow a comparison between the Egyptian conventional representation and our modern vision of the things.
This building is very different in character to the one to its right. Again it is enclosed by an outer wall (one of which is the main outer wall of the whole complex). Access is by a pyloned door, which is flanked by two lateral doors. This opens on to a tree planted walkway which surrounds yet another building, again walled. On the left and on the right outside walls, thus separated from the central building, can be found a series of sixteen store-rooms (eight each side) of which twelve are filled with a variety of goods. Those at top and bottom are empty, but the two at the top extremity include a staircase permitting access to the roof.
The walled central core presents a symmetrical architecture. At both front and back, it was entered through a more complex pyloned doorway, again with smaller side doors. Along the front and back runs a portico supported on columns, four on each side of the entry. The right and left side of this inner space is occupied by three rooms of which only the central one includes an opening to the central area. The entry for the others appears to have been from under the portico, so could these porticoes have been inside (using Egyptian artistic license).
The central structure appears to have been surrounded by a covered corridor, supported by very wide pillars (possibly because its roof was used by people). This structure was entered from the front or the rear, the side exits providing access to the roof of the covered corridor and side rooms, using either of the pairs of stairways. At the very centre of the inner structure is an altar piled with offerings, thus open to the sky and the Aten. Perhaps the whole building had a religious purpose, but this is far from being apparent.
The rear of this complex building leads into a garden, but not directly. A narrow court or corridor runs along the back of the building, which ends in a room on either side and entered from the internal tree-lined walkway; the room on the right also gives access to the arboretum through a small door. The actual exit to the garden is through a pyloned doorway seen through the larger pylon at the back of the internal courtyard. This is yet another occurrence of the Egyptian artist's way of showing one pylon (or doorway) behind another. A further, less significant doorway is displayed immediately behind this one.
6) - The rear garden
(, ). Besides the entry from the building below, the garden was probably entered through a doorway (in the now damaged area of the representation) located at the left of the main avenue of the upper building. The garden is planted with various trees and shrubs, only some of which have a water retaining mound at their base. Recognisable among the variety of trees are doum-palms, date palms, persea trees (associated with the rising sun) and pomegranate trees.
These surround a large walled well, with steeply sloping stepped sides, down which descends a set of steps. The square middle area appears to be flat with the actual well at its centre. Above the actual well is part of a shaduf for raising the water, which would have been available when the river level fell.
At top centre of the garden area, under one of trees, is also seen the remains of a further shaduf. Could this in fact indicate that the top of this garden was actually close to the river?
Between the well and the entrance to the garden is another smaller structure with doors at front and back. At the rear of the larger front section appears to be an altar with offerings, the small room behind may be a storeroom.
Footnote : To date, no large structure of this design (of a residential estate or otherwise) has been discovered within the ground remains in the Amarna area, nor can the actual location be identified for the buildings displayed on the lower register of the east wall. It seems reasonable to assume that all of these buildings were located along the waterfront, by the presence of the boats at one end and the shadufs at the other.
V - The north wall
(). The west (left) and east (right) walls, at either side of the entrance doorway to the second hypostyle hall, have already been described.
Periphery of the doorway
(). The lintel and jambs present the same style as the one facing, around the entry doorway to this chamber; the lintel with a mirror image of the kneeling Meryra facing inwards towards a group of cartouches in the centre. This time there are four columns of text on the jambs, the beginnings of those on the left differing from those on the right. They do not begin with the usual introductory invocatory formula "hetep-dj-nesou", but with "j (3) w-n-k" (= Praise to thee). It doesn't seem necessary to see here any special theological connotation.
Originally, the name written at the bottom of the columns was not Meryra (which has been added on a coating of plaster) but Hatyay. One cannot necessarily deduce that the tomb would have been originally intended for someone else, because there is no other mention of him in the tomb, but the question remains open and Meryra may have been the successor of this latter, fallen into disgrace. It seems more probable that it is the scribe's mistake because the name appears nowhere elsewhere.
The second hypostyle hall
(, ). The entry to this chamber is even thicker than the previous, but it is undecorated.
On entering in the room, there is an immediate feeling of poignant dignity in spite of the near darkness which conceals the very irregular character of the walls and columns and which also conceals the degree of incompleteness of the monument.
Originally, the chamber was no doubt meant to be a second hypostyle hall, which should have been larger than the first, and furnished with four columns supporting architraves parallel with the axis of the tomb. Only the central nave has been excavated to any degree, but none of the walls are upright.
The floor is very irregular with various levels. The pillars are completely irregular and one of them isn't even completely free from the bedrock.
This chamber is approximately 6.0m wide at the front, 8.5m wide at the rear and 6.5m front to back (between entrance and shrine). Its maximum height (down the central axis) is under 5 metres.
(, ). The shrine at the very back of the tomb, it is more roughly finished than the preceding second hypostyle hall.
It is about 3.5m from front to back (including its entrance), a little over 2 metres wide at the front, inside the entrance (its widest point). Its height varies from 2.5m at the front to about 1.0m at the rear.
A rocky protrusion in the back could represent the knees of a seated statue intended for here. It is probable that the walls would have received decoration, if they had been completed.
The intention may have been for it to contain a burial shaft, but none is apparent.
What became of Meryra after the king's death? We know nothing more of him. Could he have been removed along with the other zealots of the "the heretic", or did he feel the winds of change and returned to Thebes to survive under the protection of the traditional divinities? In any case, he was not buried in the tomb N°4.
Even if his bones do not rest in this magnificent shrine which was prepared for them, they rest the more securely elsewhere.
That he remains in peace is assured, since his goal was reached : thirty three centuries after his death, his memory is still evoked and his name still spoken.