Thursday,20 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1238, (19 - 25 March 2015)
Thursday,20 September, 2018
Issue 1238, (19 - 25 March 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Luxor tombs found

Two painted 18th-Dynasty tombs have been discovered in Luxor, revealing the splendour of ancient Egyptian art, , writes Nevine El-Aref

An American-Egyptian archaeological mission stumbled upon two exquisitely painted New Kingdom tombs in Luxor last week in a discovery that shows how skillful ancient Egyptian artists were.

The tombs were uncovered in the Sheikh Abdel-Gorna area on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor during cleaning work carried out by the mission from the American Research Centre in Cairo (ARCE).

The tombs share one courtyard and their walls are painted with stunning and colourful scenes depicting their owners with the god Amun, and during hunting and cultivation activities. Other scenes show the tombs’ owners and their wives in front of an offering table.

The first tomb belongs to a guard of the temples of the god Amun named Amenhotep Rabiu and his wife Satamen. The second belongs to a noble called Samut and his wife Takhaeet.

“The incredibly beautiful works displayed in the tombs demonstrate once again the majesty of the ancient Egyptians and their unequalled skill in creating gorgeous murals depicting scenes from Egyptian life,” said Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty.

Sultan Eid, director of Upper Egyptian Antiquities at the ministry, said that the tombs were looted in antiquity, as their funerary collections and sarcophagi are missing.

Some parts of the decoration and hieroglyphic texts were also erased, as well as the name of the god Amun, indicating that the tombs could have been damaged during the religious revolution led by the monotheistic king Akhenaten, who united all the ancient Egyptian gods into a single god, known as Aten.

Amenhotep’s tomb is T-shaped with two large halls and an unfinished small niche at the rear of the tomb. An entrance leading to a side room with a shaft in the middle is at the tomb’s southern side. “A shaft of this type could lead to the burial chamber,” Eldamaty said.

The second tomb is composed of a rectangular hall with a shaft, now filled with sand, in the middle. Two doors opening to the first tomb were also found. Both tombs will now be restored.

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