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Wall 7

Wall 7 is the lintel over the doorway to the passage of the tomb. It bears a scene in sunk relief; the relief is actually cut into the plaster, not the rock. Click on the picture below for a larger version.

Stretching across the top of the scene is a 2 cm wide and very long ! sign. In the middle below is a winged sun disc with two pendant uraei, either side of which is a Behdetite text incorporating a cartouche of Thutmose III; only that on the left is well-preserved.

Immediately below the sun disc are two back-to-back figures of Osiris, destroyed from about the chest downwards. These figures are almost identical, wearing the white crown, with large counterpoises for their collars visible at the tops of their backs. The shape of the figures is perhaps subtly different, suggesting that they may have been made by different craftsmen, or that the artist worked differently in different directions: for example, the beard of the left-facing Osiris is longer and more curved than that on the right.

The left-hand Osiris holds a was and a heqa sceptre, and probably a flail, which are visible separately at the top, before the staffs merge together. The right hand Osiris holds similar items but the representations of the staffs are kept distinct.

The left-hand part of the scene, the only part moderately well-preserved, shows Senneferi and his mother before Osiris. Beneath the two leftmost columns of text is the right-facing head of a female figure, Senneferi's mother according to the text, wearing a tripartite wig with arm(s) raised before her. There is little detail remaining, and very little colour. To the right of the raised arm(s) is a small amount of green which may represent a pile of food being offered to Osiris.

Most of the right-hand part of the scene (after the first 3 columns of text) is lost, although the extent of the scene can be judged by the remains of the right-hand end of it, with a column divider evident just to the left of the cobras in the canopy in wall 4. All that remains of the decoration is the raised hand of the first figure, doubtless Senneferi, holding a µ pot, with the beginning of the offering text adjacent to it. I believe it is possible that Senneferi's father could have accompanied him in this part of the scene.

The texts in the scene are as follows:

At top (left)

'The Behdetite, may he give life to the lord of the two lands, Menkheperre…'

At top (right).

'/// [Men]kheper[re]…'

Between the two figures of Osiris:

'May protection and life be behind [him]'

Relating to left-hand Osiris

'That he might permit the smelling the sweet breath [of the north wind] ///, Osiris, king of the gods'

Relating to left-hand offering figures 

'The iry pat haty-a [the trusted one of] the lord of the two lands, the overseer of [seal-bearers] Senneferi, true of voice;

His mother Satdjehuty'

Relating to right-hand Osiris

'That he might give invocation offerings and other offerings, Osiris lord of Abydos'

Relating to right-hand offering figures 

'The iry pat haty-a ///

Below the hand of the figure offering at right

Making …

At the far right-hand end there is a trace of the final column divider of the text, and to the left of it are some green traces from hieroglyphs; they are perhaps from birds, but which ones is uncertain.

The plaster is painted dark red in imitation of a hard and expensive stone like quartzite or granite, with the hieroglyphs and other decoration filled with green paint, again imitating the usage of hard stone. Traces of red paint over the green suggest that the hieroglyphs might just have been painted before the stone imitation colour was applied. There is some modelling in the hieroglyphs, but no detailing, while there is also modelling in the figures, in particular the collars and the facial features.

Scenes relating to the adoration of deities on lintels over doorways (including the tomb entrance) and shrines are very common in Thebes. They may be found over the inner or outer side of doorways, although the majority are located so as to face towards the entrance to the tomb. In the 18th dynasty, these show the deities associated with death and the west, most frequently Osiris, Anubis, or the goddess of the West. They continue to be popular in the 19th dynasty, when solar deities are added to the repertoire. Locations over doorways are also a common place for the name of the king or kings served by the tomb owner.

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

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2014