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Front room--wall 5

In the centre of this wall is another recess bearing traces of plaster, this time perhaps with a more rounded top than that in Wall 2, perhaps suggesting that it contained originally a stela, in the conventional apposition to the probable false door at the opposite end of the room. This page considers the false door and stela. Traces of plaster are visible all over the remainder of the wall, but only in the top right-hand corner is any decoration visible.

Above is a low-resolution version of our drawing of this decoration. Click on parts of the image to see close-up photographs. Click on this link to see a large photograph of the whole fragment.

This scene after cleaning proved to show two pairs of Syrian men and women standing in towers on a fortress-like building with their arms raised in adoration, while above them flies a pair of birds.

This decoration shows a building with a small turret or tower protruding at the right and left sides. This structure is coloured pink, with the courses of brick or stone indicated on it using red lines, probably drawn with a straight edge. On top of the walls and turrets is a series of semi-circular battlements. In the central area between the turrets is a rectangular white shape, which appears to be decorated with three rows of pale pink circles.

Several figures are shown on the turrets. The left-hand one shows the upper parts of two Asiatics with their arms raised in a gesture of adoration. The head of the right-hand person is destroyed but the hair of the left-hand man appears; his skin colour is an orange-pink and he is shown with a blue beard. The skin of the right-hand figure is yellow, and from the parallel arrangement with the figures to the right it would seem to be that of a woman. Both figures are dressed in similar clothing, mainly white but with blue and red stripes; the garment of the man extends to his wrist and that of the woman to the elbows. In front of and below the man is the head and neck of a figure with white hair, perhaps decayed from black; the colour of the skin is the same as that of the Asiatics. Immediately to the left of the left-hand turret is the upper part of a large amphora.

There is a similar pair of Asiatics in the right-hand turret, and they are better preserved: the hair of the man is blue and evidently cut short, while the hair of the woman appears longer although now coloured white.

Above either end of the central white shape is a bird, unfortunately damaged by wasps' nests. The wings of both birds appear to be outstretched, but their arrangement is not totally clear. The legs and claws are clearly painted red. To the left of the left-hand bird and above the left-hand Asiatic seems to be the end of a text—there are a number of pale blue shapes and traces of a red sketch, the latter of which clearly gives . These traces have been copied but the interpretation is presently unclear. There is a large red line (as sketch or a guide) running just below the block border, and another behind the hands of the left-hand Asiatic.

This scene seems to be unparalleled in tombs of this date at Thebes. The only scene with something in common is in the tomb of Amenmose (TT42), showing a fortress with Syrians adjacent to it (Norman and Nina de Garis Davies, The Tombs of Menkheperrasonb, Amenmose, and Another (Nos. 86, 112, 42, 226) (TTS 5, 1933), pl. xxxvi, p. 30-1). We were able to visit this tomb in 2001:

One interesting parallel is to battle scenes of the Ramesside period, where such poses are found, and it is not uncommon for a figure to be shown being thrown over the battlements.

A description of how we document the paintings will be found here.

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2014