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Tombs of The Nobles

Tombs of The Nobles, Luxor

Most of what you can visit today related to Ancient Egypt is dedicated exclusively to the pharaonic royal house. The monumental architecture that the sovereigns of Egypt commissioned throughout the history of this grandiose civilization has stood the test of time better than any other find or evidence, both for its imposing size and for its construction from the rock.

The Tombs of the Nobles constitute an interesting destination among the sites on the western shore, a valid alternative to the monotony of the triumphant image of the conquest of the pharaohs and the representations of eternal life after death in the temples and royal tombs.

Located between the Ramesseum and the Temple of Hatshepsut, these funerary complexes are excavated inside a rocky slope and dedicated to officials, governors, and other figures of the noble class.  Inside, you can admire valuable and realistic depictions on themes such as nature and everyday life, which give us an authentic look at the lifestyle of the population during the age of Ancient Egypt.

The tombs of the Nobles and senior officials of ancient Egypt were carved into the rocks in a local valley called Qurna or (Sheikh Abd El Qurna), located in the west of Luxor. These tombs belong to the aristocrats of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties, from the time of the New Empire.

The beautiful and painted scenes on the walls of the tombs in the valley of the nobles show scenes from the daily lives of these figures and their families. The themes and elements of decorations in these tombs are different from the themes and elements of the tombs of the Valley of the Kings, they are simpler, more humane, and more every day.

More than half of the tombs of the Nobles in Qurna are well preserved when the other part has been the victim of human devastation as well as elements of nature’s erosion such as sand and wind. The tombs are shallower and closer to the surface, compared to the tombs of the kings in the valley of the kings.

In general, the design is simpler than other tombs in Luxor: they have an entrance and a small room or two that leads to an antechamber, and at the end is the funerary chamber.

Tombs of The Nobles, Luxor

Here’s a list of the most important Tombs of The Nobles

Aametju (Ahmosis)

Aametju (or Ahmes or Ahmosis) is the Mayor of Thebes and Vizier under Thutmose III of the 18th Dynasty. The facade of Tomb TT83 features a series of pillars and openings in a style known as a ‘saff-tomb’, after a model dating back to the 11th Dynasty. This particular tomb served as a house for several Egyptologists, which gave rise to its name: “The house of Wilkinson”.

Amenemhat – TT 82

Amenemhat was”steward of the Vizier”, and “scribe who reckons the corn” under Thutmosis III. Nevertheless, this subordinate character had a great knowledge of religious beliefs and even reused the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom. TT82 is an essential source for our knowledge of the funeral practices of the time.

Ameneminet – TT 277

Ameneminet is a priest in the ‘Temple of Millions of Years’ of Amenhotep III. Tomb TT 277 is small and irregular but its decoration, in the Ramesside style, is well preserved. Some of the scenes in it are most unusual, such as one featuring the transportation of the mummy to the burial chamber.

Amenemope – TT 148

The tomb dates from the 20th Dynasty and belongs to a character whose powerful family was in the service of the temple of Amon. This is an example of the so-called temple-tombs, as many are found at that time.

Amenemopet (IPY) – TT41

Amenemopet was “Chief Steward of Amun in the Southern City”, (Thebes) during the 19th Dynasty. His tomb includes the texts of many hymns in addition to the customary prayers and addresses to the gods and is of theological significance. Unfortunately the scenes in this tomb, despite modern restoration, remain hard to see and appreciate. Its unprepossessing appearance suggests it was long abandoned.

Amenemopet – TT 177 / Userthat- TT 176

Tombs TT177 and TT176 are presented together even though their occupants, Amenemopet and Userthat, lived at least two centuries apart. TT177 is the smaller of the two, the decoration of which is in a severely damaged state. An opening in one of its walls gives access to TT176, which is slightly better preserved.

Intefiqer and Senet- TT60

Intefiqer was noble during the 12th Dynasty. Tomb TT60, made for his mother, or wife, Senet, is the only well-preserved tomb of the Middle Kingdom in Thebes. Although Intefiqer was one of the most widely known figures during the reign of Sesostris I, his image has often been erased, for reasons still unknown.

Benia (Paheqamen) – TT343

Benia, an Asiatic, perhaps Hebrew, was a member of the middle class, and supervisor of construction work in the pharaonic administration. As such he also bore an Egyptian name: Pa-heqa-men. As a foreigner in Egypt, Benia sought to stay within the boundaries of “normal” Egyptian tomb painting: his chapel lacks any innovative or fanciful features. He chooses to depict only what others had done before him.

Djehutymes (Paroy) – TT295

Djehutymes, also called Paroy, was known by such titles as “Controller of secrets within the Chest of Anubis”, “Sem-priest in the Place of Embalmment”, “Embalmer” and “scribe”. Where the decoration has survived in his small tomb the colors remain vivid. In particular, the costly color blue, which has been extensively used here, is well preserved. The ceiling is especially remarkable.

Djehuty, Userped by Djehutyemheb- TT45

Tomb TT45 was originally made during the reign of Amenhotep II, for Djehuty, an overseer of weavers of linen in the temple of Amun. The tomb, however, was taken over some two hundred years later by a distant colleague named Djehutyemheb, who nevertheless respected the memory of his predecessor.

Djeserkareseneb – TT38

Djeserkareseneb, as Recorder of Grain of Amun and steward of the second prophet of Amun, was a middle-ranking official. His unfinished tomb, TT38, includes quality scenes such as are found at the transition between the reigns of Thutmose IV and Amenhotep III.

Horemheb – TT 78

Horemheb held important titles in the civil, military, and religious spheres and enjoyed royal favor. His tomb is large and the variety and quality of his decorations make it a jewel of the art of the 18th dynasty. A notable historical fact is that in the chapel of Horemheb (and that of Menna TT69), the oldest known tomb representations of scenes of the judgment of the dead are to be found.

Huy – TT40

The tomb of Amenhotep-Huy, is one of the few datable to the reign of Tutankhamun, and a major source for understanding the functions of a Viceroy: the scenes showing the presentation of the tribute to the sovereign are exceptional. Also interesting is the mixture between ‘classic’ elements and others that recall the Amarna period.

Kheruef – TT192

Kheruef held the title of Steward of the Great Royal Wife Tiy (reigns of Amenhotep III–Amenhotep IV), among others. Despite its state of degradation, tomb TT192 is still one of the most significant burial sites, from both religious and historical perspectives, in the Theban necropolis. It is also the largest private tomb of the 18th Dynasty.

Khonsu – TT 31

Khonsu was high-priest of the cult of Montu at Tod and of the cult of Thutmosis III. In the first chamber of his chapel within tomb TT 31, Khonsu dedicated the essential part of the decoration to these two identities. In a niche at the back, it is Montuhotep who is venerated.

Kyky (Samut) – TT 409

Kyky, who was educated and well versed in religious literature, had important responsibilities in the management of livestock in the domain of Amun at Karnak. His devotion to the goddess Mut led him to compose beautiful hymns in her honor, which can be seen inscribed on the walls of his chapel.

Menna – TT69

Menna was a scribe of the fields of the Lord of the Two Lands. His small tomb, decorated with detailed scenes created by a master draftsman, constitutes an irreplaceable collection of scenes of both profane activities and funerary rituals. These are regularly to be found in books on Egyptian art.

Nakht – TT 52

Nakht held only the modest titles of “scribe” and “time-keeper priest of Amun”. Yet tomb TT 52 contains some of the most beautiful paintings in the Theban necropolis. Only someone particularly favored with luck or skill, or with just the right connections, could have had the authority to make such a monument as this for himself. How Nakht managed to do it is a mystery that will probably never be solved.

Nakhtamon – TT 341

The tomb owner is an overseer of the altar in the Ramesseum. His tomb, TT 341, despite its small size, has scenes that are extremely interesting, even unique. These include: the daily conduct of business

Nebamun – Ipuku – TT 181

Nebamun and Ipuku were sculptors in the 18th Dynasty, in the New Kingdom. Their tomb, TT 181, known as “The tomb of the two sculptors” is of exceptional quality. Yet it also has the sorry reputation of being one of the most ravaged by robbers. The relationship between these two figures has been revisited in light of current data.

Nefermenu – TT 365

Nefermenu held several titles including those of “chief of the manufacturers of wigs of Amun in Karnak” and “scribe of the treasury of Amun”. His tomb, TT 365, which dates from the time of the reign of Thutmose III, features a decorated facade and an unfinished corridor.

Neferrenpet (Kenro) – TT 178

Neferrenpet (also called Kenro) was a high official at the time of Rameses II, who held the title of “Chief scribe of the Treasury of the estate of Amun-Re”. This typically Ramesside tomb, which dates to the reign of Ramesses II, was finished. It includes several high-quality limestone statues, which were covered with stucco before being painted.

Nefersekheru – TT 296

Nefersekheru, a high official during the reign of Ramesses II, held the title of “Royal scribe of the treasury of the Lord of the Two Lands”. His tomb TT 296, despite its small size, features an assembly of well-preserved scenes that have retained their beautiful colors and is typical of the Ramesside period.

Rekhmire – TT 100

Illustrated here by more than 600 images, the tomb is of exceptional quality and is historically important, particularly by its texts, which explain the various functions and responsibilities of the vizier, as well as his duties. It also features magnificent scenes of tributes from foreign peoples and an almost complete version of the mouth-opening ritual.

Roy – TT 255

Roy was a middle-ranking official at the end of the 18th Dynasty.

His small tomb, TT 255, which has been carefully restored, is noted for its lively colors that make it one of the most beautiful in the necropolis. The scenes in it provide a general outline of the style and state of religious thought at this time.

Senemiah and Later Piay and Pairy – TT 127

Senemiah was a scribe at the time of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III, and tomb TT127 was set up by him. Despite its disappointing present aspect, it is one of the most beautiful tombs dating from this time. Its decoration is done entirely in raised relief. Tomb TT127 was to be later reused (but not usurped) during the Ramesside period, by Piay and Pairy.

Sennefer (The Tomb of the Vineyards) – TT 96

Sennefer was Mayor of Thebes at the time of Amenhotep I. His tomb, TT 96, is renowned for its ceiling: craftsmen at the time exploited the irregularity of its surface to decorate it with vines, hence its name. This tomb is also noted for the quality of its art and its fine state of preservation. The present description covers not only the funerary chamber (TT96B) but also the surface chapel (TT96A), still in course of restoration.

Shuroy – TT 13

Shuroy was “brazier carrier of Amun” during the Ramesside period. His T-shaped tomb, TT 13, is of average size and was left unfinished. Much of its plasterwork has disappeared, and what is left of it is of uneven quality. Nevertheless, this tomb has been the subject of a well-executed restoration, and the freshness of its colors is astonishing.

Userhat (Neferhabef) – TT 51

The Userhat of tomb TT 51 (there were others), is also called Neferhabef. He was “high priest of the royal Ka of Thutmose I in his temple”, on the west bank at the time of the reigns of Horemheb and Ramesses I

Userhat- TT 56

Userhat, of tomb TT 56, was a soldier close to king Amenhotep II. The exceptional paintings in this tomb give a detailed insight into the life of soldiers whom Userhat commanded. The tomb also includes the world’s oldest representation of the after-effects of poliomyelitis.


About the author

Magdy Fattouh (Migo) is a creative content marketer and expert in search engines for over 5 years. He manifests his passion in his role as a Creative Content Writer especially in travel where he strives to evoke a strong sense of place in his write-ups.
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