Upper Precinct of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna
The Upper Precinct is reached by going north from the Ramesseum along the east side of the hill. The precinct is entered by the south gate, from which there are paths to the various tombs.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Rekhmere
Opposite the entrance to the Upper Precinct is the Tomb of Rekhmere (No. 100), a Vizier under Tuthmosis III and Amenophis II. It consists of a forecourt and a wide chamber, from which a long corridor of some height, gradually becoming higher towards the far end, runs into the rock, ending (18ft/5.50m above ground level) in a small recess, originally closed by a false door and intended to contain a statue of the dead man (the serdab).In the main chamber, on the left hand entrance wall, Rekhmere (on right) is depicted sitting in his audience hall receiving petitioners; to the left, people bringing tribute. On the rear wall he is seen receiving gifts from foreign people, depicted in five rows (from top to bottom): the people of Punt; the Princes of Keftiu (Crete) and the Aegean islands, bringing costly vases; Nubians, with a panther, a giraffe, gold and skins; Syrians, with chariots, horses, an elephant, a bear and costly vases; the people of the south (men, women and children). Corridor, left hand wall (left to right): Rekhmere supervising the delivery of tribute (corn, fabrics) to the royal store rooms; watching craftsmen at work (carpenters, leather workers, gold smiths, potters); below, the building of a pylon and sculptors polishing statues; funeral rites. Right hand wall (left to right): the dead man at table; below, a statue of Rekhmere being towed in a boat; a banquet, with musicians and singers; ships.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Subterranean Chambers of Sennofer
In the hill above Rekhmere's Tomb are the Subterranean Chambers of Sennofer (No. 96B), a Prince of Thebes and Overseer of the Gardens of the Temple of Amun in the reign of Amenophis II. The paintings in this tomb are notable for their freshness and beauty. The upper chambers are of no interest. A steep flight of steps descends to an antechamber and the main chamber, which has four pillars. The mural decorations are all on religious themes.The ceiling of the antechamber is painted to resemble an arbor, with vines and dark colored grapes. Left hand wall: Sennofer, seated, with his daughter (partly destroyed) and ten priests presenting offerings. Right hand wall: Sennofer with his daughter behind him and servants bringing the tomb furnishings; to the right, Sennofer entering and leaving the tomb. Rear wall, to the right and left of door: the dead man and his sister worshiping Osiris, who is depicted on the lintel. The ceiling of the pillared chamber is decorated with vines and interlace patterns; there are also vines in the frieze on the walls. Above the door are two crouching dogs (Anubis); below and on the door jambs the usual prayers for the dead. Left hand entrance wall: the dead man and his sister Merit coming out of the tomb; beyond this, the same couple seated on a bench. Left hand wall: the funeral ceremonies, watched by Sennofer himself (on the left). Rear wall: the dead man and his sister (destroyed) at a meal, with priests performing the funeral sacrifice; farther right, the ships taking the body to Abydos and bringing it back for burial. Right hand wall: the dead man and his sister, in a vine arbor, praying to Osiris and Anubis; religious scenes and texts (in the middle Anubis at the bier of Osiris); a priest pouring the purifying waterover the dead man and his sister. Right hand entrance wall: the dead man and his sister at a meal; a priest making offerings to them. The dead man and his sister are also frequently depicted on the pillars.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Kenamun
From Sennofer's tomb steps lead farther up the hill to the Tomb of Kenamun (No. 93), Chief Steward of Amenophis II. This is one of the largest and finest tombs in the cemetery, but it is badly dilapidated, and little is left of the superb decoration, painted on stucco on a yellow ground.From the spacious forecourt we enter the wide main chamber, with ten pillars. Right hand entrance wall: the dead man (his name and figure everywhere obliterated) receiving tribute of cattle. Left hand entrance wall: the funeral rites (men drawing statues of the dead man to the tomb, women, ships, slaughtering of sacrificial animals). Rear wall: the King on his nurse's lap, in front of him girl musicians, etc. (on the right); on the left, Amenophis II, enthroned under a canopy, receiving from the dead man New Year gifts (statues of the King and the Queen Mother Hatshepsut, ornaments, furniture, weapons, etc.). In the barrel vaulted corridor, right hand wall (right to left): the bag of a desert hunt (ostriches, an ibex with a dog, jackals, etc.); a hunt in the marshes; the funeral meal. In the niche, to the right and left, the dead man and his wife at table; on the rear wall, the dead man praying to Osiris (left) and Anubis (right).
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Emunedjeh
Up the hill from Sennofer's tomb, to the right, is No. 84, the Tomb of Emunedjeh, an official under Tuthmosis III. In the first chamber are representatives of the lands of the South and the North bringing tribute to the King; in the second chamber (on the right) the dead man hunting.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Amenemheb
Farther to the right of the Subterranean Chambers of Sennofer is No. 85, the Tomb of Amenemheb, an officer in the service of Tuthmosis III.Pillared chamber, to the left of the entrance: the dead man superintending the distribution of food (bread and meat) to his troops. On the pillars: Amenemheb and his wife Bek. Above the two central pillars (rear side): hyena hunt. Fine ceiling decoration. Rear wall, to the right: the King sitting under a canopy, in front of him Amenemheb giving an account (in a long inscription written in blue characters on a white ground) of his part in the King's campaigns in Asia; below the inscription, Syrians bringing tribute, wearing white garments with colored borders. Corridor, left hand wall: Amenemheb receiving from the King furnishings for his tomb (vases, caskets, sandals, shields, etc.). Side chamber on the left: funeral rites, etc. Side chamber on the right: to the left, the dead man and his wife (destroyed) at table; to the right, a banquet, with servants bringing in flowers; two guests in easy chairs and three on ordinary chairs are served with drink; below, women, with blossoms in their hair, while a servant carries staffs wreathed with flowers; at the foot, a male harpist (seated), a female harpist (standing), a female flute player (standing) and a female lute player (standing). Rear wall: catching wildfowl. Far end of corridor, on the left, funeral rites, presentation of offerings; on the right, Amenemheb's garden, with a fish pool in the middle and (to the left) flowers being brought to Amenemheb, who is sitting on a chair with his wife.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Menkheperre-senob
Farther up the hill is No. 86, the Tomb of Monkheperre-senob, High Priest of Amun in the reign of Tuthmosis III. The only paintings are in the first transverse chamber. Right hand entrance wall: carriage builders, herds of cattle being brought in. Left hand entrance wall: harvest scenes. On the wall to the right of the door into the corridor: Asiatics bringing tribute, including a Keftiu (Cretan) with a curious goblet.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Amenemhot
Uphill again to No. 82, the Tomb of Amenemhot, Granary Superintendent, Scribe and Steward to User, Vizier under Tuthmosis Ill. On the rear wall, to the left, is a fine painting of a banquet, with musicians; below, a bull fight. Corridor: left hand wall, funeral rites, the mummy's journey to Abydos; right hand wall, funeral banquet, with musicians and offering bearers.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Enene
Beyond this is No. 81, the Tomb of Enene, Prince and Overseer of the Granaries of Amun, who flourished in the Early New Kingdom and had charge of the building of Tuthmosis I's tomb. The tomb has an unusual layout, with a main chamber which is open in front, with a pillared facade. The paintings depict the dead man's life.On the pillars (left to right): fishing; harvest scenes (a woman gleaning, three men reaping); work in the fields; Enene at table; Enene's garden, with (below) his house and granary, surrounded by a wall; hunting scene (a hyena, hit by an arrow in the mouth, rears up, while a dog leaps at it); a hare, ibexes and gazelles. Main chamber, rear wall, on either side of the door: on the right, peasants bringing tribute; Enene hunting in the marshes and spearing fish; on the left, Enene receiving tribute (top row, dark brown Nubians, including two women carrying children in baskets on their backs); Enene receiving tribute from peasants (note the lines drawn to help the artist); Enene receiving tribute (only the two bottom rows remain, in one of which are necklaces, in the other incense being weighed). Corridor, left hand wall: the funeral, with women mourners; the dead man in the Temple at Abydos (left); farther right, Enene and his wife, seated. In the niche are four statues (the dead man, two women and another man). The shaft in front of the niche has been filled in.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Horomheb
In the highest row is the Tomb of Horomheb (No. 78), a General in the service of Tuthmosis IV.First transverse chamber, on the walls to the right and left of the entrance, is a banqueting scene, with female lute players. Rear wall, to the left: Horemheb presenting to the King contributions from peasants; above, enlistment of soldiers. Rear wall, to the right: tribute being brought to the King by Syrians and Kushites (depicted as Negroes, among them Negresses with pendulous breasts). Corridor, left hand wall: funeral procession, with costly grave goods reminiscent of those found in the Tomb of Tutankhamun; the mummy's journey to Abydos; judgment of the dead (damaged). Right hand wall: right, funeral rites; left, hunting in the marshes (various birds, with curious and interesting details); below, bird snaring (note the pelicans). Both the transverse chamber and the corridor have finely decorated ceilings. The corridor leads to a broad pillared chamber (unfinished).
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Amenhotep
A breach in the wall leads from the Tomb of Tjenen into the Tomb of Amenhotep (No. 75), Second Prophet of Amun in the reign of Tuthmosis IV. On the wall to the left of the entrance are craftsmen working for the temple and surveyors; on the opposite wall gifts made to the Temple of Amun (statues, a harp, a pillared hall, vases); to the right of the entrance the funeral banquet; on the opposite wall the dead man escorted to the Temple of Amun at Karnak (the facade of which, with flagstaffs and statues, is shown on the right) and greeted by the priestesses of Amun, his relatives.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Tjenen
Close by, to the north, is the much mutilated Tomb of Tjenen (No.76), "Fan bearer on the right hand of the King" (Tuthmosis IV). On the rear wall, to the right, the dead man is depicted conducting into the presence of the King representatives of Asiatic nations bringing tribute.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Tjenen
From the crest of the hill we descend towards the north to No. 74, the Tomb of Tjenen, "Chief Scribe of the soldiers" in the reign of Tuthmosis IV. On the rear wall of the first chamber, to the right, the dead man is seen inspecting various tributes brought to him; in the lower row, horses; to the left, the dead man reviewing his troops (including drummers with their drums on their backs).
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Senmut
A little way north of the Tomb of Tjenen is No. 71, the Tomb of Senmut, Chief Architect and favorite of Queen Hatshepsut, who was responsible for building the great Temple at Deir el-Bahri. This tomb, of great historical interest, is unfortunately in an advanced state of ruin. At the right hand end of the rear wall, under a protective roof, are three Keftiu (Cretans) carrying curiously shaped vases; above, a frieze of Hathor heads.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Entefoker
Farther north of the Tomb of Senmut, downhill, is No. 60, the Tomb of Entefoker, Vizier in the reign of Sesostris I (12th Dynasty). This is the oldest tomb in the cemetery. A long corridor leads into a chamber containing a niche, in front of which is a badly damaged life size statue of Senet, the dead man's wife. The paintings on the walls of the corridors show the old fashioned style of the Middle Kingdom to which they belong. Right hand wall: catching birds in a net; hunting in the desert; cooks and bakers at work; the dead man and his wife inspecting New Year gifts brought to them. Left hand wall: the mummy's journey to Abydos; funeral rites; dancing girls and musicians.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of lmesib
Lower down is No. 65, the Tomb of lmesib, an official of the Temple of Amu n at the end of the 20th Dynasty. The tomb was originally constructed during the 18th Dynasty, but lmesib had the old reliefs covered over with stucco on which new scenes were painted.From the forecourt we enter a transverse chamber with six 16 sided pillars, from which a long vaulted corridor leads to the niche for the dead man's statue. The paintings in the main chamber, which are much faded, depict festal barques bearing the name of Ramesses IX, gold utensilsand (on the left hand wall) the King making offerings to the sacred barque of Amun and the statues of his ancestors. Fine decorated ceiling.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - Tomb of Menne
Still lower down, near the north gate of the precinct, is No. 69, the Tomb of Menne, Land Steward and Estate Inspector under the 18th Dynasty.First chamber, right hand entrance wall: the dead man and his wife receiving votive offerings; relatives bringing flowers and food. Left hand entrance wall: the dead man, in his official capacity, superintending work in the fields; above, the field being measured with a cord (very fine details). Right hand rear wall: the dead man and his relatives at table. Left hand end wall: the dead man and his wife praying to Osiris. Second chamber, left hand wall: funeral scenes; Osiris judging the dead. Right hand wall: the dead man hunting in the marshes; the mummy's journey to Abydos; ceremonies over the mummy. Fine ceiling decoration.
Sheikh Abd el-Qurna - View from the Tombs
Above the hill from Enene's Tomb is the highest row of tombs. There is a fine view from the top of the Ramesseum and the Colossi of Memnon, extending across the Nile to Luxor and Karnak; to the left are the desert hills, with the temples of Deir el-Bahri at their feet.