Tombs of the Nobles (Amarna)

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Located in Middle Egypt, the Tombs of the Nobles at Amarna are the burial places of some of the powerful courtiers and persons of the city of Akhetaten.

The tombs are in 2 groups, cut into the cliffs and bluffs in the east of the dry bay of Akhetaten. There are 25 major tombs, many of them decorated and with their owners name, some are small and unfinished, others modest and unassuming. Each seems to reflect the personality and patronage of the tomb's original owner.

Northern tombs[edit]

Northern Tombs at Amarna, looking south along the cliffs

These tombs are located in two groups in the cliffs overlooking the city of Akhetaten, to the north and east of the city. They are split into two groups by a Wadi, and are near one of the Boundary Stelae (Stelae V).

Tomb number Owner Title Comments
Amarna Tomb 1 Huya[1] Steward of Queen Tiye
Amarna Tomb 2 Meryre II[2] Overseer of the houses in the royal quarters of the Great Royal Wife Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti
Amarna Tomb 3 Ahmes [1] Sealbearer of the King of Lower Egypt, Steward in the house of Akhenaten
Amarna Tomb 4 Meryra (also called Meryre I)[2] Greatest of seers of the Aten in Akhetaten Incomplete. Had it been completed, it would have been the largest of the noble's tombs.
Amarna Tomb 5 Penthu[1] First servant of the Aten in the mansion of the Aten in Akhetaten, Chief of physicians, chamberlain The tomb was cross-shaped, containing a long outer hall, and a long transverse hall, containing the burial shaft and a now destroyed shrine to Penthu. Only the outer hall is decorated.
Amarna Tomb 6 Panehsy[2] First servant of the Aten in the house of Aten in Akhetaten This was originally a two-roomed tomb; each of the rooms had four columns. Later reuse as a Coptic church has changed the layout and damaged the original decoration.

Desert altars[edit]

At a short distance to the west and north of the Northern Tombs lie the remains of three large mud-brick solar altars in the form of platforms with ramps. The reason for their location is not clear. Their connection with an ancient road leading to the Northern Tombs would seem to be a sign that they were for the benefit of those buried in them.

Southern tombs[edit]

The southern tombs are located in a series of low bluffs south and east of the main city. Associated with these tombs a recently discovered workers cemetery has been found.[3]

Southern Tombs at Amarna, showing cliffs behind
Tomb number Owner Title Comments
Amarna Tomb 7 Parennefer[4] Cupbearer of the king's Person Parennefer had another tomb in Thebes, TT188
Amarna Tomb 7a,b,c Unknown[1][4] Small unfinished tombs located neat Tomb 7.
Amarna Tomb 8 Tutu[4] Chamberlain of the Lord of the Two Lands, etc.
Amarna Tomb 9 Mahu[1] Chief of the Medjay (police) of Akhetaten
Amarna Tomb 9a,b,c Unknown[1] Small unfinished tombs located neat Tomb 9.
Amarna Tomb 10 Ipy[1] King's scribe, the overseer of the large inner palace of the pharaoh
Amarna Tomb 11 Ramose[1] Scribe of Recruits, General of the Lord of the Two Lands
Amarna Tomb 12 Nakhtpaaten Hereditary prince, count, sealbearer, overseer of the city and vizier, etc.
Amarna Tomb 13 Neferkheperuhesekheper[1] Mayor of Akhetaten
Amarna Tomb 14 May[4] General of the Lord of the Two Lands, etc.
Amarna Tomb 15 Suti[1] Standard-bearer of the company of Neferkheprure-Waenre (Akhenaten)
Amarna Tomb 16 unknown
Amarna Tomb 17 unknown
Amarna Tomb 18 unknown[4] Only the facade of the tomb was completed
Amarna Tomb 19 Satau[4] Treasurer of the Lord of the Two Lands
Amarna Tomb 20 unknown[4] The lintel shows the royal family adoring the Aten
Amarna Tomb 21 unknown[4]
Amarna Tomb 22 unknown[4] The lintel shows the royal family adoring the Aten
Amarna Tomb 23 Any[4] Scribe of the offering table of the Lord of the Two Lands, Steward of the House of Aakheprure (Amenhotep II), etc.
Amarna Tomb 24 Paatenemheb[4] General of the Lord of the Two Lands, Steward of the Lord of the Two Lands
Amarna Tomb 25 Ay[4] Fanbearer on the right of the King, God's Father, The commander of all the horses of his Person Ay was a future pharaoh of Ancient Egypt
Southern Tomb 25a[4] Ia (?)

Rediscovery and excavation[edit]

Some the tombs have obviously been open since antiquity, and have been used variously as burial places in the Ptolemaic times, store houses, houses and as coptic churches.

Notes and references[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j N. de G. Davies, The rock tombs of El-Amarna, Parts III and IV, 1905 (Reprinted 2004), The Egypt Exploration Society, ISBN 0-85698-160-5
  2. ^ a b c N. de G. Davies, The rock tombs of El-Amarna, Parts I and II, 1905 (Reprinted 2004), The Egypt Exploration Society, ISBN 0-85698-159-1
  3. ^ "The Pharaoh's Lost City". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m N. de G. Davies, The rock tombs of El-Amarna, Parts V and VI, 1905 (Reprinted 2004), The Egypt Exploration Society, ISBN 0-85698-161-3

Further reading[edit]

  • N. de G. Davis - The Rock Cut Tombs of El Amarna. Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, 2004 (ISBN 0-85698-160-5).
  • Owen, Gwil - The Amarna courtiers' tombs. Egyptian Archaeology Autumn 2000

External links[edit]