Cemetery of Deir el-Medina, Thebes
To the south of the temple, in the valley between the western hills and the Hill of Ournet Murai, are the remains of a settlement occupied during the New Kingdom by artists and workmen engaged in the construction of the royal and private tombs. On the west side of the valley is the Cemetery of Deir el-Medina, with many rock tombs, mostly belonging to officials of the necropolis during the 19th and 20th Dynasties, together with a few dating from the 18th. In the tombs of the Ramessid period the scenes of everyday life which are the great attraction of the 18th Dynasty tombs are almost wholly absent, giving place to conventional representations of offerings and funeral rites and scenes from the "Book of the Dead".
Useful tips: Tombs open to the public may vary. Admission cost for individual tombs.
Tomb of Sennutem
Going up the hill from the valley bottom, we come to No. 1, the Tomb of Sennutem, of the Ramessid period, with a vaulted tomb chamber. It has reliefs and paintings on religious themes, including a fine representation of a funeral banquet. The rich contents of the tomb, which was discovered in 1886, are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Tombs of Amennakht
Close to No. 1 are Nos. 218-220, the Tombs of Amennakht, Nebonmaat and Khaemtore (a father and his two sons), of the Ramessid period.A flight of steps leads into a vaulted chamber decorated with religious scenes; above the entrance is the Hathor cow. Beyond this is an antechamber (undecorated), from which steps on the left lead to the Tomb of Nebenmaat. Right hand wall: Anubis by the bier. Rear wall: funeral rites at the tomb; from behind a pyramid a goddess presents the sun, which has emerged from the hill. Left hand wall: the dead man and his sister pray to Osiris, the deified Amenophis I and Queen Nefertari. To the right of the antechamber is the Tomb of Khaemtore, the reliefs in which have been destroyed. A second flight of steps leads into the Tomb of Amennakht, with scenes and texts from the "Book of the Dead" (the dead man and his sister in the fields of the blessed; left hand end wall, Anubis by the bier).
Tombs of Khonsu and Khabekhnet
Higher up are Nos. 2 and 2B, the Tombs of Khonsu and Khabekhnet, sons of Sennutem (No. 1). In No. 2B a steep flight of steps leads down to the chamber, on the left hand wall of which is a curious scene showing Anubis at the bier of Osiris, who is represented as a fish. No. 2 is of no interest. To the north is No. 250, the Tomb of Neforhotep and his wife Mutemuia (Ramessid period), with well preserved paintings. Right hand wall: the dead man with his wife and family praying before the Hathor cow, which is emerging from the rocks. Rear wall: above, right, the dead man praying to Osiris; left, his wife praying to Amenophis I; below, funeral procession and offerings to the mummies at the tomb.
Tomb of Erenufer
No. 290 is the Tomb of Erenufor (Ramessid period). A flight of steps runs down to an antechamber, in which is a tomb shaft. Beyond this is a vaulted chamber with excellently preserved texts and scenes from the "Book of the Dead". On the left hand entrance wall are Erenufer and his parents (with gray hair) praying to Ptah. Adjoining is No. 291, the Tomb of Nu and Nakht-Min. The vaulted chamber, entered from a small forecourt, has fine ceiling decoration. On the left hand wall are the funeral procession and burial rites, painted in white on a gray ground. The other walls show offerings to various members of the family and to Osiris and Hathor.
Tomb of Nefrabet
To the north of No. 291, close behind the Temple of Deir el-Medina, is No. 5, the Tomb of Nefrabet, which is also of the Ramessid period.A flight of steps leads into a vaulted chamber, on the walls of which the dead man and his relatives are depicted worshiping the Hathor cow emerging from the hill (right) and the Horus falcon (left). Another flight of steps descends to a second chamber decorated with religious scenes: Horus and Thoth pouring the purifying water over the dead man; Amenoph is I praying to the snake- headed goddess of the dead Meresger and to Hathor; the sun, borne by two lions. On the rear wall, above the mouth of the shaft, are depicted the mummies of the dead man and his wife.
Tomb of Kha
To the south of the Tomb of Nefrabet, up the hill, is No. 8, the Tomb of Kha (reign of Amenophis II). The vaulted chamber has an attractively decorated ceiling. The rich grave goods found in this tomb are now in the Museo Egizio in Turin.
Tomb of Peshedu
Farther south from the Tomb of Kha is No. 3, the Tomb of Peshedu (Ramessid period).A steep flight of steps leads down to a number of outer chambers, from which a low vaulted passage (on the right and left, representations of a chapel with the Anubis jackal lying beside it) leads into the tomb chamber. Right hand entrance wall: the dead man lying in prayer under a palm. Right hand wall: above, a small figure of the dead man praying to Osiris and other gods of the dead; below, the dead man and his small daughter before Re-Harakhty, Atum, Khepri, Ptah and the sacred Osiris pillar. Against the rear wall stood the sarcophagus, constructed of limestone masonry; above, Osiris and the Hill of the Dead. Left hand wall, continuing on the left hand entrance wall: above, Osiris and his associated deities; below, texts from the "Book of the Dead"; the dead man and his family, headed by his white haired father, worshiping the Horus falcon.
Tomb of Amenemhet
Close to No. 3 is No. 340, the Tomb of Amenemhet, an official of the necropolis at the end of the 18th Dynasty.Steps lead down to the vaulted entrance into the small chamber, with excellently preserved paintings on a yellow ground. Left hand end wall: above, the dead man praying to Anubis (left) and Osiris (right); below, the dead man and his wife at the offering table with their sons and daughters on the left, attended by servants. Rear wall, to the right and left of the small niche: the dead man and his wife at table. Right hand end wall (unfinished): above, the same scene as on the left hand wall; below, in two rows, the funeral ceremony. The ceiling is decorated with square panels containing grapes and vine leaves.
Tomb of Nekht-Amun
A short distance farther on from the Tomb of Amenemhet is No. 335, the Tomb of Nekht-Amun, a sculptor. A steep staircase descends to an upper chamber, off which is a small side chamber with fine paintings (the dead man worshiping his protective god Thoth, etc.). From here another flight of steps runs down to a lower chamber with vigorously painted family scenes; on the right-hand end wall, Anubis at the bier. At the same level on the hillside, farther south, are Nos 4 and 9, the tombs of a sculptor named Ken and an official of the necropolis named Amenmose (both of the Ramessid period), with reliefs in a fair state of preservation.
Tomb of lpuy
To the north of the Tomb of Nekht-Amun, in the highest row of tombs, is No. 217, the Tomb of lpuy, a sculptor (19th Dynasty). On the right hand end wall are interesting scenes depicting the preparation of a tomb (carpenters at work on two chapels). On the right hand entrance wall are scenes from everyday life (craftsmen at work, fishing).