Archive for the Theban Necropolis Category

Assasif Tombs Egypt – Pabasa – Harwa – AnkhHor – Petamenophis – Kheruef – Puimre

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Assasif Tombs Egypt – Pabasa – Harwa – AnkhHor – Petamenophis – Kheruef – Puimre

Just a few of the El-Assasif Tombs in Thebes, Egypt.

“Whilst buying tickets to Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el Bahri you may have noticed the sign giving ticket prices for the Assasif Tombs. Next time don’t ignore them they are well worth a visit. The Assasif is a very rich area for archaeologists and there are teams working at Petamenophis, Harwa and Puimra. The tombs that are open are Kheruef which is fully described here: and Ankh Hor, which are on the same ticket and finally Pabasa, which is a separate ticket.”

[Retrieved on 07 Feb’  ’09]

Details on El-Assasif Tombs mentioned above:

Tomb of Kheruef [also called Senaa] (TT192) 18th Dynasty.
Steward to the Great Royal Wife Tiye, during the reign of Amenhotep III. The reliefs in the tomb contains depictions of Tiye, Amenhotep III (shown as a weak and elderly figure in some decoration)and Akhenaten (named as Amenhotep). Hence, its decoration program started late in the final years of Amenhotep III and the earliest phase of the Akhenaten’s reign.
The tomb of Kheruef is large enough to have several later tombs associated with it, or placed within its substructure. The tombs, TT189, TT190, TT191, TT192, TT194, TT195, TT196 and TT409 are all much smaller and largely undecorated.


Petamenophis [Padiamenope, Patuamenap or Pedamenopet] (TT33) 25th to 26th Dynasties.
Chief Lector Priest. This beautiful limestone fragment of relief comes from Tomb 33 at  El-Assassif, belonging to Petamenophis. The portrait of this priest of modest rank, who owned one of the larger tombs of the Theban necropolis, has all the characteristics of the art of the transitional period of the 25th and 26th Dynasties. An archaic profile, individualised by large eyes with very marked eyebrows and by a thick-lipped mouth, is in particularly representative of it.

Petamenophis, Padiamenope, Patuamenap or Pedamenopet

Petamenophis, Padiamenope, Patuamenap or Pedamenopet


Harwa (TT37) 25th Dynasty.
Harwa’s tomb is situated in the middle of the Assasif area, built on the processional way of Mentuhotep, with an entrance at the south. Archaeological excavations of the tomb began in 1995 and continue to-date. Harwa was an enigmatic person in ancient Egyptian history. He lived at the beginning of the 7th century BC, when the Nile Valley was in the hands of the Nubian Pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty. He held the position of Great Steward of the Divine Votaress, a position that allowed him to manage the huge resources of the state of Amun-Re of Karnak. This position was held for three centuries by the members of the clergy and embraced the whole southern Egypt. The importance of Harwa is mainly demonstrated by the eight statues portraying him in various attitudes which are now kept in the major Egyptian collections all over the world (Cairo, Aswan, Paris, London and Leipzig).

Harwa (TT37) 25th Dynasty

Harwa (TT37) 25th Dynasty


Puimra [Puimre, Puyemra and also Puyemre] (TT39) 18th Dynasty.
The Ancient Egyptian noble and architect, Puimre was Second prophet of Amun during the reigns of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut. His tomb is located in El-Khokha, part of the Theban Necropolis, on the West Bank of the Nile.


Ankh Hor [Ankh-Hor, AnkhHor] (TT414) 26th Dynasty.
Ankh-Hor was ‘Steward of the Divine Votress Nitocris’, ‘Great Mayor of Memphis’, ‘Overseer of Upper Egypt in Thebes’ and ‘Overseer of the Priests of Amun’ during the reigns of Psamtek II and Apries (Wahibre) of Dynasty XXVI. His tomb is one of a series of large tombs in the Asasif area built at the end of the Third Intermediate Period for high officials in the estates of the Gods Wives of Amun. The great importance of the Gods Wives during this time is clearly reflected in the size of the tombs of their chief administrators, that of Ankh-hor being no exception. As Chief Steward of Nitocris, he would have been one of the most important and wealthiest men in Egypt.Ankh-Hor’s tomb followed the decoration in the tomb of Pabasa (TT279) and has some rare scenes of beekeeping, although the complete hives are not shown as they are in Pabasa’s tomb, but only the honeycombs.

(TT414) 26th Dynasty”]Ankh Hor [Ankh-Hor, AnkhHor] (TT414) 26th DynastyPabasa [Pabes] (TT279) Ancient Egyptian noble Pabasa was Chief Steward to the Nitocris I, Divine Adoratrice of Amun, during the Saite Period – Twenty-sixth dynasty
Pabasa has a large tomb at Asasif, just outside the entrance to Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri. Like Ankh-hor, who held this important title after him, he was the ‘Chief Steward of the God’s Wife Nitocris’ (Neitiqert) during the reign of Saite king Psamtek I.
Pabasa’s tomb still has a large mudbrick superstructure. A steep flight of stairs leads down to the entrance of the subterranean levels and on the lintel above the doorway is a fine relief of a barque, adored by the souls of Pe and Nekhen, by the God’s Wife, Nitocris and by the deceased.
A small vestibule leads to a larger pillared sun court. The vestibule shows scenes of Pabasa’s funeral procession, including mourners and the ‘Abydos Pilgrimage’. There is a long text of Pabasa and depictions of his son, Thahorpakhepesh, who acted as sem-priest at his father’s funeral.
On the inner lintel of the entrance to the court, a relief shows Osiris and Re-Horakhty, in the centre of a double-scene, with Pabasa and Nitocris and cartouches of the king (Psamtek I) and his daughter Nitocris on either side.
Beyond the sun court is a hall containing eight pillars, part of which was decorated but is now very damaged. The pillars were also decorated with deities and texts on the sides facing the central isle. At the rear of the hall a decorated niche contains Pabasa’s burial shaft. His granite sarcophagus is now in Glasgow Museum.
Several other chambers containing burial shafts are accessed from the rear of the hall.

Pabasa - Pabes - Wall Relief

Pabasa - Pabes - Wall Relief

(TT279) Sarcophagus”]Pabasa [Pabes] (TT279) Sarcophagus

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“An end and a beginning

On March 23, 2007 the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art opens at the Brooklyn Museum. To celebrate the opening and the accompanying exhibition, “Pharaohs, Queens and Goddesses”, we decided to devote the last posting of the 2007 season at the Mut Precinct to some of the female figures, mortal and divine, associated with the site.

Hatshepsut being crowned by Amun-Re and granted life and dominion by the goddess “Great in Magic”, from the reconstructed Red Chapel in the Karnak Open Air Museum. An early 18th Dynasty temple at Mut dates to the reign of this woman who ruled as king.

“God’s Wife of Amun” was an important female priestly title in Thebes. In the 1st millennium BC it was usually held by a sister or daughter of the reigning king, each God’s Wife adopting her successor. They became so powerful that they were able to have themselves represented in roles normally played by the king.

In scenes of goddesses suckling humans, the human is normally the king, with the scene representing the transfer of life and power. Yet in this scene in the Chapel of Osiris-Ruler-of-Eternity at Karnak, not only is the God’s Wife of Amun, Shepenwepet I, being suckled, she is also wearing 2 Double Crowns, something shown nowhere else in any period.

In her funerary chapel at the temple of Medinet Habu, Amunirdis makes offerings to Amun and Hathor. The presence of funerary chapels to mortals within the sacred grounds of a temple is rare until the Third Intermediate Period, a time when God’s Wives of Amun flourished.

Intangible concepts could also be represented as goddesses. In a scene commemorating an important military campaign by Sheshonq I of Dynasty 22, the goddess “Victorious Thebes”, carrying a mace, an axe and a bow, drags conquered cities (shown as bound prisoners with the city names enclosed in cartouches representing fortified walls) to be slaughtered.

Upper and Lower Egypt were represented as the goddesses Nekhbet (right) and Wadjet. Scenes of the king flanked by these protective deities are common in all periods of Egyptian history. This one comes from the Mut Precinct’s Ptolemaic Chapel D.

Keeping Mut and Sakhmet happy was a main function of the Mut priesthood. In this scene from the Mut Precinct’s main entrance the king (holding Hathor-headed sistra) and two priestesses play music to Mut and Sakhmet to amuse them and keep them contented.

Two busts of Sakhmet in the Mut Precinct. Sakhmet angered could release disease and disaster on Egypt. Contented she could control these forces, which is why she is a goddess of health and healing as well as of death and destruction.

These 3 reliefs of Mut span a period of several hundred years. On the left is a relief from Amunirdis’s funerary chapel at Medinet Habu; in the center a relief from the chapel of Osiris-Ruler-of-Eternity at Karnak; and on the right a relief in Chapel D at the Mut Precinct. In all three scenes Mut appears in her usual guise of a human wearing the Double Crown.

And finally, a stela of a king offering to Mut that we uncovered in 2006. While the stela is uninscribed, it is entirely possible that it dates to the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, showing that Mut continued as an important goddess even after Egypt’s conquest by Rome.

Richard Fazzini
Director, Mut Expedition”