On the upper section of the Qubbet el-Hawa cliff’s curve, the rocky face was cut and dressed. The expansiveness of the façade was matched initially by a large forecourt, which is now mostly covered by the remains of Coptic buildings and the debris from their decay. Four tombs are cut into this area; the southern one, numbered QH34e belongs to Khui, nomarch of Elephantine (Aswan) at the very end of the VIth dynasty, under Pepi II (± 2278-2184 B.C.).

Upon entering the tomb chapel of Khui, it appears both more open and more orderly than many of the other Qubbet el-Hawa tombs. The plan is nearly square, and the axis from entrance to false door divides the space almost equally. Four large pillars arranged in two rows align the central axis and enhance the sense of careful organization in the chapel plan.

Especially distinctive to this tomb is the visual and physical accessibility of the primary false door. It is situated on the west wall directly opposite the entrance, as is traditional in the cemetery, but in this case it is not set into a recessed niche.

False doors

The primary false door extends 2 meters up on the west wall and is nearly 1.5 meters wide, visually filling the space between the rows of pillars. Whitewash covers the surface of the false door that is now quite damaged, though faint remains of sunken relief texts and images survive.

Two smaller false doors are carved into the walls forming the southwest corner. No images or texts survive on the southern false door, but enough survived on the west wall door at the time of excavation for Edel to identify its owner as one Khnumhetep.


This Khnumhetep also appears in one of only two scenes in the tomb’s image program, in an unusual composition with an even more unusual text, providing support for the idea that Khui would grant him the favor of sharing his tomb, despite his apparently not meeting sufficient elite status to earn his own.

The decoration

Despite numerous smooth areas for images and texts, only the east face of pillar E2 was carved with relief images.
There are two scenes
At the top, a relatively small figure of Khui is depicted seated facing south, holding a staff and a scepter angled up from his lap. In front of him are two columns of hieroglyphs, and south of the inscription, two small male offering figures.
Below this image of the tomb owner, a larger scene consisting of 18 offering figures in three registers, of which 12 are identified. All four figures on the top register bear the name Khnumhetep, and may represent the same individual; with him are his wife and his children, and additional cult officials appear in the third.

A lengthy inscription written in very small, uneven hieroglyphs describes Khnumhetep's work on expeditions under the leadership of both Khui and Tjetji, the owner of tomb 103.