Filed under: Trip to Egypt | Tags: COSI, Menna, New Kingdom, Nile, Pharoah Tuthmosis, Tomb Nakht, tombs, Valley of the Nobles
In the Valley of the Nobles today, which contains over 400 tombs of noblemen and high-ranking officials, we saw the openings to dozens of tombs cut into the golden-brown limestone cliffs. The head guardian of the tombs (translated through Ehab), told us about a man who recently fell into one of these open holes, falling 12 meters down to the bottom, because he was so busy looking around at the landscape that he forgot to look down! The guardian had to use a rope to climb down into the tomb and help carry the man back out, with a broken leg.
Within some of the many tombs is beautifully preserved artwork, showing daily life and the afterlife from the New Kingdom. The Tomb of Nakht was the first one we visited. Plexiglass covered the walls, to preserve the tomb walls from the many tourists who visit each year. A much-needed precaution, but of course it makes it difficult to film, with the glare. The walls were covered in scenes of rural life – fishing, harvesting and hunting in the Nile Delta. Nakht was a scribe and an astronomer for the Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV.
Next we visited the Tomb of Menna, which shows Menna and his wife making offerings to the gods, and the Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuki, with scenes of mourners, Osiris, and Anubis, along with others.
We ended the day at the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. She was a female pharaoh – very unusual! She secured power by convincing everyone that she had a right to rule not only because of her blood relationship to her father (the previous pharaoh), but also was divinely ordained to rule Egypt. The Birth Colonnade at the temple shows scenes of her divine birth, with the story of how her mother got pregnant from being touched on the nose.