This surface chapel was located in Saqqara from where it was dismantled and shipped to Europe. Its original location, covered up with sand again, has not been found until now. The monument was acquired by the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden in 1828 with the rest of the Anastasi collection. The reconstruction done in the museum shows that many blocks of the upper courses have disappeared. The chapel is reminiscent of others at Saqqara during the Amarna and post-Amarna period.

Like the Harris 500 papyrus, the chapel displays, carved on a wall, a blind harpist chanting the song of Antef, which we discussed in .

The Owner

The owner is named "Pa-Aton-em-heb or Pa-Aten-em-heb): The Aton (the solar disk) is in feast", a typical name of the Amarna period. His main title is that of Royal Singer; his wife Tipuy who accompanies him is designated as "mistress of house" and "singer of Amun". As far as I (Thierry Benderitter) can tell, no children are named, but two anonymous female persons are probably the couple's daughters.
There are many references in the chapel to Osiris, the great god of the dead, as well as to many other gods and goddesses. However, during the reign of Akhenaton, all reference to a post mortem future guided by Osiris and the traditional gods was banned. The monument can therefore be dated to the very end of the Amarna period, after the death of Akhenaton, under the reign of Ankhet-kheperu-re, Smenkare, Tutankhamun, Ay, or of Horemheb. Moreover, the deceased has no relationship with his namesake, General Paatonemheb who owns the tomb TA24 in the south group of Akhetaton (Tell-el-Amarna).

The entrance

The two papyriform columns ( and for details of an inscription ) were originally in the chapel, contributing support with the walls to the roof which was capped with a small pyramid in mud bricks surmounted by a stone pyramidion" (translation of the Dutch text from a small explanatory label).

I (Thierry Benderitter) think rather that they were part of a peristyle court that existed in front of the entrance to the chapel, as is the case, for example, with the Memphite tomb of Generalissimo Horemheb before he became a pharaoh ().
Two fragments of the stone entrance pillars have been repositioned (). The fragment on the left is the best preserved. It contains at least two different tables, the bottom one of which remains (enlarged on the image on the right).
Paatonemheb sits on a seat with a back, holding a sekhem-scepter with one hand while the other is stretched out towards the small offering table in front of him. Kneeling beside him is his wife Tipuy who carries a lotus flower before her nose. The text before him is a traditional prayer spoken out for him to benefit from the offerings.

The entrance hall


Its dimensions are not specified, but are very modest. It is delimited by the walls n°8 (on the left) and n°7 (on the right).

Wall n°8


Upper register

To the right, facing the exit, stands a man whose over skirt is puffed out in front over a long pleated tunic that goes down to the ankles. His feet, whose colour is partially preserved, are wearing sandals. In front of him stand a man and a woman, upright, turned towards the previous person.

Lower register

Bearers of offerings walk inwards to a room where the offerings are piled on several levels: breads, fruits and vegetables, pieces of meat, waterfowl…
On the left side, women fetch long stalks of papyrus, and a duck.
The first woman holds a small tray with two tassels twisted around a cone of fat (), of which another example is found in the Inerkhau vault, TT359 (). In front of them, men bring various products, including amphorae and a calf. In front of the pile of food, a sem-priest, recognizable by his panther skin, purifies the offerings with the help of a ewer.
It may be noted that men wear the long, ceremonially pleated loincloth, which reaches up high at the back; the women are also sumptuously dressed and are wearing very long wigs. This is an opportunity to remember that we are wrong to believe that the bearers of offerings are always servants: family members, colleagues, and friends can also play this role.

Wall n°7

Upper register

A beautiful scene shows the couple Paatonemheb-Tipuy, of which alas there is not much remaining, with one of their daughters (?). She is crouching cross-legged, turned towards to her mother, whose knees she wraps her hand around on one side and who puts her other hand on the leg of Paatonemheb (his father?). Particularly noteworthy is the work on the wig and the small, frizzy natural hair that comes below it. Folded arms and knees indicate the presence of other people at the feet of the woman. Before the man is a table of offerings with loaves and, above, a smaller figure turned in the opposite direction.

Lower register

The couple sitting on the left is poorly preserved. The man extends his open hand to the tray of food that a very well dressed personage brings to him, and who holds in the other hand a bouquet of Amun. Behind him, three women bring papyrus stalks, a duck, a bag and some fruit, probably bunches of grapes and pomegranates (?) which are mounted and gathered on a handle held by the woman on the far right.

The transverse room

The small corridor leads to a transverse room which has in the back wall a stele that we have seen this is not its original place. On the right and left, there are two small inverted "U" wings.

The stele

Against the back wall stands today a stele, which was not its original position, as specified by Carolus Leemans: "In the wall opposite the entrance to the room, there is an opening, through which we passed into another room, the stela is now placed before this opening, although it has occupied another place in the tomb."
It is a limestone stele, 159 x 125 cm, with a cornice.

a)- Architrave and door jambs

The architrave has four texts, finely engraved in the hollow area, arranged in two symmetrical superimposed registers around the middle. All these texts start from the sign "hetep" and run to the left where the right, and continue vertically on the uprights. These are four prayers for the gods invoked to pass to Paatonemheb and Tipuy the offerings that will have been placed on their altars.

b)- Central part of the stele

It has two overlapping registers, of the same dimensions, containing one scene each.

Upper register

Paatonemheb and Tipuy pay homage to Osiris. The great god of the dead, "Osiris, who is at the head of the West" sits on the archaic low cubic seat, under a cover of light material. He wears his usual sacred attributes. He is protected by his sister and wife Isis and by his other sister and mistress Nephtys. At his feet, on an open papyrus umbel, stand the ().
In front of the god, the deceased - whose elongated skull is still shown in the Amarna style - is advancing in adoration. Around his neck, he wears two gold shebyu necklaces. Unlike his wife, he does not have a festive cone on his head.
Tipuy carries a bouquet of papyrus; she is sumptuously dressed and wearing an excessively long wig. Between the god and the couple stands a small table of offerings. The text is a prayer to "Osiris, master of Ro-Setau" so that he gives to the couple the sweet breath of the north wind.

Lower register

On the right, the sitting couple formed by Paatonemheb and Tipuy were to be represented as on wall n ° 3 in the scene of the harpist. Tipuy is much smaller than her husband's. Under his seat is a monkey leashed to one of his feet, probably his pet ().The deceased extends his right hand over a small pedestal table on which food is piled up; at the foot of it are wine jugs surrounded by lotus flowers or buds. The text identifies the two characters: "(The) Osiris, the royal butler, Paatonemheb, just of voice" and "his wife, the hostess, the singer of Amun, Tipuy".
Before the couple are a woman and a man. The woman, once again wearing a beautiful dress, holds a large armful of papyrus stems with one hand and a mounted bouquet that appears to be made of pomegranates. Her companion has donned the sem-priest's panther skin and made a libation as well as a censing. The text is an offering formula of the "hetep di nesw" type.