Tomb of Mereruka, Saqqara
Before whom is his small son Meriteti, holding a lotus stem and a bird; behind him his wife and rows of servants. First room, north wall: Mereruka, in a papyrus boat with his wife, spearing fish; men in two small boats harpooning three hippopotamuses; in the reeds are birds, in the river fish. south wall: the dead man, in a boat with his wife, hunting in the marshes. The scene is full of fascinating detail birds, fish, etc., a hippopotamus biting a crocodile; below, left, cattle being driven through a river; above, cattle thrown to the ground for slaughter (note the accurately observed attitudes of the cattle); gardens being watered. To the right of the first room is a small side chamber with a mummyshaft.Adjoining the first room on the north is an almost exactly square room. East wall: Mereruka and his wife (to left) inspecting various operations, depicted in six rows. Two lowest rows: goldsmiths making necklaces and various vessels. Third row: three statues being drawn to the tomb, while a priest burns incense. Fourth row: carpenters making beds. Fifth and sixth rows: manufacture of stone vessels. West wall: Mereruka and his wife, accompanied by servants, watch hunters in the desert; desert animals; a hound seizes an antelope; a lion devouring a bull; hedgehogs and hares. Beyond this is a long room. East wall: on the right Mereruka and his wife, followed by servants, watching fishermen; Mereruka's stout brother, in a boat, drinking from a cup; on the left Mereruka and his wife, preceded by servants, one of whom leads a monkey and two hounds on a leash. West wall: on the left the estate office, a hall with columns in which the clerks sit, while the village elders are dragged in to pay their taxes, some being cudgeled, while one is stripped, tied to a post and beaten; on the right Mereruka and his wife watching offerings being made to his statue. Immediately left of the entrance to this room is a door into another long room, without decoration.At the northeast corner of the long room a door leads into a hall with four pillars supporting the roof, on which are sunk reliefs of the dead man. West wall (from the left): bedroom scenes; Mereruka and his wife watching as the canopied bed is prepared; the dead man and his wife, who is playing a harp, sit on a large couch with lions' feet, under which are two rows of vases; Mereruka, seated in an armchair, receiving gifts (vases, wooden chests, etc.) brought by servants. North wall: priests of the mortuary cult bring in food and drink for the dead man. East wall: Mereruka and his wife, with servants; servants bringing in votive offerings; male and female dancers (bottom two rows). South wall: the dead man receiving votive offerings.Beyond the long room is a transverse room in which only a few reliefs are preserved, together with a false door at the west end, with the serdab. In the floor is a shaft leading to the tomb chamber, which was closed by a stone slab running in vertical grooves. The walls of the chamber are covered with reliefs depicting votive offerings and lists of offerings, and have magnificent false doors. Against the rear wall is the huge stone sarcophagus. Adjoining the east end of the transverse room is a smaller room with reliefs depicting the bringing of offerings and scenes from everyday life. North wall: the dead man receiving offerings; second bottom row, ten store rooms; bottom row, treading grapes and pressing the trodden grapes in a sack. On the other walls the dead man is shown having food and drink brought to him.Immediately north of the transverse room is the large sacrificial chamber, the roof of which is borne on six square pillars, on which Mereruka is represented standing erect. In the middle of the room is a stone ring for tethering the sacrificial ox. In the north wall is a niche containing a statue of Mereruka, with an offering table in front of it. Reliefs on the north wall (left to right): Mereruka inspecting domestic animals, etc.; top row, boatbuilding; four lower rows, gazelles, antelopes, cattle; bottom row, feeding tame hyenas; the aged Mereruka conducted by his two grown-up sons; Mereruka carried in a litter, with a large retinue, including two dwarfs leading dogs. West wall (badly damaged): boats. South wall (only bottom row preserved): the funeral; entrance to the tomb, in front of which stand priests and dancing girls; farther left, men carrying a large chest; votive offerings; four boats, with several men in the water; funeral procession, with women mourners; to the left of the door, the dead man, accompanied by two women, sailing through the marshes, with crocodiles and fish in the water. East wall: on the right Mereruka with his wife and mother watching harvesting operations; on the left Mereruka and his wife playing a board game. Above and beside the door at the northeast corner which leads into Meriteti's part of the tomb: Mereruka with his wife and mother watching dancers and female musicians; various games.
From the vestibule of Mereruka's tomb a door on the left leads into Her-watet-khet's tomb. The first room is a pillared hall. North and south walls: Princess Herwatet-khet, Mereruka's wife, receiving votive gifts from servants. West wall: to the right, the dead woman with her son and daughter; four maids bearing a litter adorned with lions; to the left fishermen; above, capture of wild bulls. Beyond the hall are two smaller rooms. First room, north wall: dancing girls. Other walls: servants bringing in food and driving in cattle. Second room, west wall: in the center an elaborate false door, in front of which is a square block, the base of an offering-table; to the right and left, the dead woman at table, with servants bringing food, flowers, etc. North wall: the dead woman and her son Meriteti being carried in the litter decorated with a lion, accompanied by three dogs and a pet monkey. Other walls: servants bringing gifts to the dead woman; cattle being slaughtered.
The doorway into Meriteti's tomb is of later construction. Vestibule, east wall: on the right a poultry yard in which geese are being fattened, on the left cattle and antelopes. North wall: Meriteti receiving votive offerings from servants. West wall: Meriteti watching a hunt in the desert; the bag of gazelles and antelopes is presented to him. south wall: servants with votive gifts (poultry, fish). There are no reliefs in the small room to the left. Beyond the vestibule is a transverse room. East wall: two lowest rows, cattle being slaughtered; upper rows, servants bringing in cattle, gazelles, etc. North and south walls: Meriteti at table, with servants bringing votive gifts. On the west wall is a false door, on which the dead man's name has been substituted for an earlier one; in front of it an offering table. To the north is a second transverse room. East wall: men bringing Meriteti (on the left) large chests containing garments and vases. North wall: in the middle Meriteti, with servants to the left and right bringing him jars and chests; to the right, large jars being brought in on sledges. West wall: servants with votive gifts (crude and unfinished); square opening into serdab. South wall: similar to north wall (unfinished).From the northwest corner of Mereruka's sacrificial chamber a passage leads to a number of undecorated storerooms. Passing through the one immediately on the left, we come into a long room on the west side of the sacrificial chamber. West wall: Mereruka and his wife, to the left and right servants bringing lengths of cloth, jars of sacred oil, boxes of clothing and jewelry; a sledge with three large jars. East wall: similar scenes.Immediately south of this room is a transverse room with a false door, in front of which stood the offering table. Beyond this is a second transverse room. West wall: poultry (pigeons, geese, cranes) being fed; a narrow cleft in this wall leads into the serdab, in which a painted statue of Mereruka was found. South wall: to the left, cattle, antelopes, etc., being brought to the dead man, with scribes recording the numbers; to the right, peasant women bringing votive gifts, with the names of the villages from which they come. North wall: to the left, cattle being slaughtered, to the right Mereruka watching fishermen.