Egypt Travel Guide – Valley of the Nobles

The Valley of The Nobles is located on the west bank of Luxor, in an area called Sheik Abd El-Korna. The site has rock cut tombs of Nobles, and high officials of ancient Egypt, who once served the Pharaohs during the time of the New Kingdom. (1500 – 500 BC).

Among the most important tombs in this cemetery is the tomb numbered 55, which belonged to Ra-Mose. He was the mayor of Thebes, and during the end of the reign of Amenhotep III (Amenophis III) and his son Akhenaton, the vizier.

Unfortunately this tomb is unfinished because Ra-Mose moved, with Akhenaton, to the new capital Akht-Aton (modern day Tell El-Amarna), therefore the decoration work stopped, and the tomb was left unfinished, except for the scenes which already had been completed. Because of this, we can appreciate the high techniques that Egyptian art had during that period.

This tomb consists of a square rock-cut court, with a central doorway, opening into a broad columned hall with columns in the papyrus bud form. The inner hall is undecorated! On the left of the broad hall, and under the inner hall, were shafts’ leading below to two burial chambers, but the mummy of Ra-Mose was not found. The relief carving in this chapel is very fine and only some parts were painted. The tomb numbered 100 is another one of the important tombs in this cemetery; it belonged to Re-khme–e, who was vizier of Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II.

It is another rock cut tomb and its walls are decorated with many painted scenes of the various aspects of life in Ancient Egypt. One of the most beautiful scenes is the one that represents the arrival of the foreign delegations to the court of the Vizier Re-khme-Re, carrying presents and tributes to the King of Egypt and his men. These presents and tributes included items such as, utensils, agricultural products and various animals. One of the most important text engraves in the this tomb is the one which mentions the duties and responsibilities assumed by the vizier in order to let the justice prevail on Earth.

When you visit the tombs, it is very important to know the number of the tomb you want to visit. This way you can visit exactly what you want to see; otherwise you will be lost, as many of the names of the Nobles are similar.

Here I have selected for you, some of the tombs that I recommend for you to visit.

The Tombs Chapel of Nakht, Number 52

The owner of this tomb was one of the Nobles who had the title of the great scribe! He was also an astronomer in the Temple of Amon during the time of the reign of King Tuthmosis IV; his wife was also involved in the activities carried on in the Temple, as she worked as a chanter. The tomb is fairly small but has one the most brilliant colourful scenes; these scenes are well preserved and have great beauty.

The tomb is decorated with scenes of agriculture, and a marvellous scene of Nakht in hunting action, together with his wife standing on a boat harpooning fish. Near to this scene, there is another one of him fowling in the marshes of the Delta, where he is catching birds using a boomerang. Next, there is a wonderful scene where you can see some female musicians playing their instruments, while a blind singer sings for the crowds. You can also see crowds of people, who were invited to this party, watching the show, talking amongst each other and eating from a fruit laden table.

The Tomb of Menna N 69

It is considered amongst the most famous tombs in the Valley of the Nobles, and one of the most beautiful, as it has many magnificent scenes and still remains in good condition. The tomb belonged to a Noble, who had the title of being the land surveyor during the time of King Tuthmosis IV. His job was important, as he was the one responsible for estimating how much in taxes should be levied, for the King, from the local farmers. The tomb is full of scenes of daily life. There are scenes of cultivation, including harvesting, threshing, ploughing the fields and winnowing the seeds (separating the chaff from the seeds).

In the middle of the left wall, in the second register of the agriculture scenes, there is a very cute scene that depicts two girls fighting over falling seeds that passing farmers are dropping, while transporting them to the threshing ground.
This tomb also includes some offering scenes, here Menna and his wife are offering to the God Osiris.
There are also scenes of fishing and fowling in the marshes of the Nile. As well as all of the relief’s, there is also a destroyed statue of Menna and his wife, of which

Nothing remains but the feet!

When looking at the depictions of Menna on the walls, you will notice that his eyes have been destroyed! It seems that he had an enemy, who entered his tomb after the burial and destroyed the eyes in the paintings, meaning that Menna will never be able to see again in the after life.

The Tomb Chapel of Ra Mose

This is my passion and the best tomb so far. This marvelous tomb belongs to the vizier and counselor of the city of Thebes, who lived during the reigns of King Amonhotep III and Akhenaton (or Amenhotep IV) in the 18th Dynasty. In this tomb, there is a complete record of the new cult that Akhenaton, who was regarded as the heretic King, introduced and called Atonism.

Ra-mose lived until the 5th year of the reign of King Akhenaton. Evidence was found that proved that this tomb was opened and re-used by many other Noblemen in a later period; most probably they were the ones who erased the names of King Akhenaton of the walls of the tomb!

The high Priest Ra-mose of Amon Ra had great power! It is clear from the style of decoration inside this tomb, that he enjoyed a very unique position.

The most interesting part of the tomb was for the worshippers of the sun disk, the God Aton, which illuminates the name and figures of the wives and children of Akhenaton. Next to him, in this scene, there is another one of the high Priests with a long mantle and clean-shaven head.

On the interiors wall to the south, is the fine colour scene showing the funeral ceremony and female mourners. There you will see a group of servants carrying offerings to the deceased. On the eastern wall there is a fine specimen of relief sculpture made by the finest artists of the 18th Dynasty; here the scene shows Ra-mose’s wife, father, uncles and sisters. There is also a large scene that shows Ra-mose sitting on a stool with his wife, and their pet goose sitting underneath.
On the southern wall of the tomb, there is a fresco that shows the funeral of Ra-mose, his possessions, and the offerings being made for him. In another scene you can see groups of mourners weeping and wailing. In front of them there is a Priest, standing at the entrance of the tomb.

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