Mummification Museum Lecture - Nefermenu TT184 Dr Zoltan Fabian
Nefermenu TT 184 and the southern slope of El Khokha – Dr Zoltan Fabian Hungarian Mission
Dr Zoltan concentrated on TT184 but mentioned in passing a number of other tombs to save typing I will just refer to them by their TT number in the text. They were
• TT23 Tjay
• TT264 Ipiy
• TT412 Unisankh
• TT32 Djeutimes
• TT263 Piay
TT184 is a 19th dynasty tomb in the Khokha area which is between Deir el Bahri and the Ramasseum, the other side of the Assasif. It is 46m wide site and there is a modern building built on the courtyard. TT412 was known in the 60’s and the whole hillside is very crowded to 6 levels or stories. There are 19th, 18th, Middle Kingdom and Old kingdom remains.
In Dr Zoltan’s opinion TT32 is at the end of a canonising process which has impact of the architectural and decorative styles. There are 6 tombs that are very similar where everyday topics disappear from the rock cut parts of the tomb to the open courtyard. Three of the sanctuaries have religious scenes only. It used to be that the first transverse room was where the ceremony of the opening of the mouth took place but this has now moved to the open courtyard. Chapter 145 of the Book of the dead appears, known as proceeding to the underworld where small genies ask the deceased if he is purified and has his equipment. Usually the lower register shows offering scenes. The pleats of the garment are in light grey and over the body in pink. Dr Zoltan has identified one of the artists Zerkespie( can anyone help with spelling) and similarly although he does not know this artists name he thinks he is also responsible for some scenes in Merenptah when he was younger but by this time he had more experience and was responsible for the entire tomb. The dado line had 3 black, 1 red and 1 yellow line and these are all the same width, usually the black line is thinner. Sitaph and Tawert also have thick lines and these are characteristic of late 19th dynasty. The background is light grey at the bottom and white at the top. Other important features are the short wall of the transverse wall has a double false door with a figure of the deceased holding a djed pillar. Another feature is that at the entrance of the second sanctuary flanked by statues of the deceased. Harpers songs usually by the doorways.
Dr Zoltan then went on to explain the methodology he uses to record the scenes.
• Traces everything
• Identify individual elements
• Make photocopies and colour these
• Redraw on computer (he has a computer program that allows him to have up to 63 layers so he can separate hieroglyphics, sculptured elements, borders, damage, painted only
The side walls of the 2nd chapel have corvette cornices turned inside out. First appearance of the litany of Sokaris which is shorter than the one at Deir el Medina. There are 3 subsequent chambers. Above this monument was another from the time of Hatshepsut/ Thothmosis III. At the end there was a doorway that had been blocked around the time of World War I. In the time of Nefermenu this tomb was under debris which is why they had to construct an artificial ceiling on the third room. The burial chamber had an unfinished granite sarcophagus and masses of debris with loads of object in it e.g., shabties from 19 dynasty and cartonage from the 22nd dynasty. Behind the blocked entrance they found a naos in the post Amarna period these cease to be those of the deceased and his family and become various gods. So the tomb stops being a mortuary temple for the deceased but rather a divine temple for the gods. In TT32 they found an Osirus triad. TT263 has a Hathor and TT38 meryptah.
Dr Zoltan speculated that often tombs show a special connection with Amenhotep I and in Nefermenu’s case this is true. In another side chamber there is evidence of a change of statue, maybe they started to do a family member but that was dismissed (old fashioned) and replaced with a divine statue.
TT32 had a mud brick superstructure and he looked for one above Nefermenu. There is evidence of pyramids of the Luxor hills from the 17th dynasty discovered by Daniel Poults and the high priest pyramids. Deir el Medina had little pyramids. There was no epigraphic evidence so he had to find the context of the remains.
They found a saif tomb from the Middle kingdom and another Middle kingdom monument standing on a 15 cm high podium. There was evidence of 18th dynasty objects reused and a Middle Kingdom side wall. There was a ramp. There more finds in their debris
• Letter to Harry Burton
• Shabty box
• Ear plugs
Some walls indicate a shaft tomb from the III Intermediate period and in another 3rd Intermediate period shaft tomb they found 2 out of the 4 canopic jars. Shabty boxes.
He has also discovered that the current TT206 is not correctly identified and will attempt to find the correct tomb
He is looking forward to the removal of the house above the tomb as there are cracks inside that might be relived once it was gone.
I am sorry about the quality of these notes Dr Zoltan was a little challenging to take notes from and as ever I would appreciate any corrections.