So, Queen Qalhata is the mother of Tanutamon, the last of the "Black Pharaohs" of the XXVth Dynasty (Kushite).
Her tomb, numbered KU 5 is, together with that of her son, the best preserved of the necropolis of el-Kurru. It is also very similar in decoration.
The surface pyramid must have covered a surface of about 7 square metres (Lepsius 21 - P&M 5), of which only the base remains.
In the same way, nothing remains of the surrounding wall and chapel, which was not preceded by a pylon ().
This tomb conforms to the traditional plan of the tombs of el-Kurru, including having two chambers, with the respective measurements 2.75 x 2.75m and 5.20 x 3.40m (KMT 2003). The descents lead to a small level area preceding an arched entry (there is a 3D reconstitution by Sarah Duffy on ).
The first room has an almost flat ceiling and walls which were firstly stuccoed then painted. The second room, separated from the first by two steps, has a flattened vaulted ceiling. Off-centred southwards, is a pedestal which must have received a sarcophagus (not found).
The tomb is covered today by a double modern roof designed to protect the buried structures.
In the centre of the wall Queen Qalhata is shown entering the tomb, holding the hands of the children of Horus, who guide and watch over her (as with Tanutamon).
Qalhata wears the golden headdress typical of the royal Kushite mothers of the 25th Dynasty. It represents a vulture which envelops her head entirely. It is still possible to see that the painter changed his mind about the positional level of the head of the bird. Her neck and wrists are decorated by a necklace and bracelets of gold. The queen is dressed of an ample dress of white linen, the sleeves extending fairly low on the forearms.
To her right (), Duamutef gives his hand to the deceased; he fills his role of psychopomp (i.e., the guide of souls to the afterlife). He is represented with a head of canine wearing a wig, a shendjit kilt (a short royal kilt) and holding a was-sceptre. He is preceded by his emblem on a symbolic stand, on which he is represented as a whole canine.
To her left (), is Hapy with the head of a baboon. To the left of Hapy, can be seen his emblem.
On the right of Queen Qalhata and holding her hand, is Qebehsenuef, with a head of falcon (). On the left, is Amseti with a human head holding the queen's other hand (). The emblem of Amseti is on his left, but it is difficult to identify.
Between 2006 and 2009, Imset's face and that of the queen were vandalized, as these images show
(thanks to Christine Groll for the information)
As mentioned earlier, the chamber measures 5.20m long by 3.40m wide. It has a vaulted ceiling, preserving a good part of its blue colouration and spangled with gold five pointed stars ().
As with Tanutamen, the south wall is centred by a large image of the deceased spread on his stomach on a funerary bier, his head elevated.
These images are very interesting, because they can also be found in Abydos, in the Osirian rooms of the temple of Sethy I (19th Dynasty)
Here, and on the opposite wall, the images describe the different stages of the Osirian rebirth. Osiris is lying down but is also already standing up. The deceased is of course assimilated with the Great God.
Beneath his reclining body, can be seen the funerary furniture, the white crown of the royalty of Upper Egypt, the Atef crown more specific to Osiris, bows, clubs, a kilt, etc.
The bier or bed is even in the form of feline, of which the head, paws and tail can be seen. The whole thing stands on a dais, and the yellow paint used for the decoration assimilates well the place of the "golden room" which, in a tomb, represents the chamber where the sarcophagus is located.
This type of representation can be found later in the Osirian chapels on the roof of the temple at Dendera. This catafalque is in fact closer to the "divine pavilion" of the Osirian chapel n°3 at Dendera, which was the ancient "tent of purification" which proceeded the mummification.
Above of the catafalque are 16 small unobtrusive columns of text, the hieroglyphs only surviving in the form of their white "negatives".
Immediately to the left of the catafalque, a god holds a was-sceptre towards the Osiris - queen. It is surmounted with the ankh-sign of life ( and ).
To the left () and to the right () of the catafalque, can be found the divinities already met with Tanutamen, but this time on grey background : a woman with the head of a lioness, a man with the head of a lion and a man with the head of a crocodile.
The two lines of text which run horizontally as an upper banner are not finished or are almost erased : the hieroglyphs can be distinguished even without having black outlines (). They are again in the form of their white "negatives". The sentence mentioning the deceased's connection with Nut and Geb can still be read :
"She spreads herself on you - your mother Nut - in her name of the sky (of Nut) ; she does this so that you turn into god".
The lower line of text mentions the words of Isis :
"… his two legs, which must permit you to go and to come into the beyond".
Again the cohorts of geniuses are present to right and to the left of a central image, making a mirror copy of the opposite wall ( / for the right and / for the left).
Again the deceased as Osiris, is found in a catafalque. This time it is topped by a frieze of erect uraei surmounting a coving. The mummy is covered with bandages and lying on her back, but still on a bed in the form of feline: the process of revival has not yet occurred.
Notice under the reclining deceased the presence of the (male) attributes of royalty: the crown with the two uraei, different types of sceptres, a flagellum, a bag with the sign of life, a shendjit-kilt (with 3 points), the hedj-club, etc., ( and ).
The top arched register contains the worship of the solar barque ( and ). This time the solar disk rests on the hieroglyphic sign of the horizon; two baboons are situated on either side in worship. Two characters are present in the barque, a masculine character and a feminine character. The feminine character could be the deceased (the flesh being lighter), accompanied by Horus.
As with Tanutamen, the main part of the wall is occupied by extensively unobtrusive columns of text, on a greenish blue background, and of which nothing survives (not even a translation, as has already be mentioned).
This can be seen when turning around as if to leave the chamber. On either side of the entry archway can be found the two goddesses charged with leading the queen's mourning, as they lead that of their brother Osiris.
On the left, (who wears her name in hieroglyphic form on her wig) holds her hand to her head; she appears here as the divine mourner, after having taken care of the various funeral rituals; she leads the mourning.
On the right side of the passageway, one obviously finds who also leads the mourning.
It is difficult to say if the two goddesses are squatting or standing.
At the top, above the entry, can be found the usual scene of the worship of the solar barque () by the baboons.