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Tombs of the Nobles - located in, around and under the small village of Gurneh

Luxor Travel Blog

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Tombs of the Nobles in the village of Gurneh.
There are 500 tombs that comprise what is known as the Tombs of the Nobles.  The necropolis that the New Kingdom nobles used is very close to where the Kings and Queens were buried and contains some of society's most prestegious individuals.  Vaziers,  Royal Scribes, and Overseers were all buried here.  It is situated on one of the slopes of the valley wall, so it has a great view of West Bank and Nile river spread out before you.

Now the catch is that the village of Gurneh sprung up LITERALLY over the necropolis, which means that you have to walk a gauntlet of begging children and hungry "tour guides" to visit each tomb.  Just politely turn say "no thank you" which is "La Shukran" (by now you should be an expert at this phrase) and enjoy your time at the Tombs of the Nobles.
Female musicians. Nakht.
  Often your taxi driver will have arranged for a guide to meet you there.  They can be quite helpful (not necessarily in the accuracy of their knowledge about the tombs), but in detouring other "guides" and the begging children from hassling you and also assisting you in finding the open tombs amongst all the homes (which is a feat unto itself).

We were able to visit the following 7 tombs (only 7 are usually open at a time):

Nakht: 

Scribe of the Granaries.  Contains the famous female lute player accompanied by muscians and dancers scene.

Ramose: 

Vizier to Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten).  Very grand and spacious tomb with pillared halls and magnificent carved reliefs.  This tomb reflects the traditional hieratic Egyptian style prevailing under Amenhotep III and the Amarna Style developed under Akhenaten.
Akhenaten portrayed traditionally. Ramose.
  Both left and right hand walls flanking the entrance are traditional.  On the left hand rear wall, Akhenaten is protrayed as Pharaoh in the conventional style, prior to his changing the art form and religious structure.  This is very rare and unusual and in my opinion is good solid evidence in support of the theory that the art change was a cultural idea and not based on some deformity or disease he had.  On the right hand wall, Akenaten is portrayed in the Amarna Style.  This is one of my favorite tombs in Luxor and is definitely worth the visit if you are in Luxor!

Userhet: 

Royal Scribe to Amenhotep II.  The tomb wall paintings depict many domestic, everyday life scenes.
North corridor with false door at the end. Rekhmire.


Rekhmire:

Vizier under Thutmosis III and his son Amenhotep II.  No other tomb in Egypt offers such and extensive catalogue of real life activities in such minute detail.  And to think that he wanted to take this with him to the afterlife and be remembered for these things.  This tomb also contains proof that written law existed as early as 1500 B.C.  There is a picture of a criminal of some kind brought to justice in a court of law.  At the foot of the "judgment seat" there is roll of papyrus, which is interpreted to be the written law by which the accused will be tried.  In this tomb there is also a rare representation of a temple in the process of being constructed.  This is another tomb I highly recommend seeing if you can.  It will help give you can idea of one way archaeologists acquire information about Ancient Egypt.
Grape arbor ceiling. Sennufer.


Khaemhet: 

Overseer of the Granaries of Upper and Lower Egypt during the reign of Amenhotep III.  At this tomb, the guard showed us the mummy of a child in a closed back room.  He claimed that the child was an Ancient Egyptian.  It wasn't.  The child had been mummified by the natural processes that occur in deserts.

Sennefer:   

Mayor of the Southern City (Thebes) and lived during the reign of Amenhotep II.  The ceiling of the tomb had painted vines all over it.  On the walls, was a depiction of a funerary procession and the opening of the mouth ritual.  This ritual was important because it allowed the mummy or statue to be "animated" by the magical opening of the mouth.  This let the statue or mummy eat, drink and enjoy the offerings that were left at the tomb, thus allowing it to sustain the ka (the double/part of the soul that stays on in the body or statue, but was also independent of the individual and could move, drink and eat).

Menna:       

Scribe in the Fields of the Lord of the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt.  This tomb has lots of depiction of daily life.

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Tombs of the Nobles in the village…
Tombs of the Nobles in the villag…
Female musicians. Nakht.
Female musicians. Nakht.
Akhenaten portrayed traditionally.…
Akhenaten portrayed traditionally…
North corridor with false door at …
North corridor with false door at…
Grape arbor ceiling. Sennufer.
Grape arbor ceiling. Sennufer.
Girl and goat.  Tombs of the Noble…
Girl and goat. Tombs of the Nobl…
Duck hunting scene. Nakht.
Duck hunting scene. Nakht.
Blind harpist and women. Nakht.
Blind harpist and women. Nakht.
Entrance to Ramoses tomb.
Entrance to Ramose's tomb.
Ramoses tomb.
Ramose's tomb.
Akhenaten portrayed in Amarna Styl…
Akhenaten portrayed in Amarna Sty…
Ramose and wife. Ramose.
Ramose and wife. Ramose.
Funeral Procession. Ramose.
Funeral Procession. Ramose.
Entrance to Rekhmires tomb.
Entrance to Rekhmire's tomb.
Cretan and Nubian ambassadors brin…
Cretan and Nubian ambassadors bri…
Nubians with giraffe with a monkey…
Nubians with giraffe with a monke…
Statue and sphinx construction. Re…
Statue and sphinx construction. R…
Corridor with statues at end.  The…
Corridor with statues at end. Th…
Captives as decoration of chair. K…
Captives as decoration of chair. …
Amenhotep III depicted on wall. Kh…
Amenhotep III depicted on wall. K…
Khaemhet bowing. Khaemhet.
Khaemhet bowing. Khaemhet.
Boats of Abydos. Sennufer.
Boats of Abydos. Sennufer.
Sennufers tomb.
Sennufer's tomb.
Chamber door and sem-priest. Sennu…
Chamber door and sem-priest. Senn…
Sennufer and wife. Grape-vine ceil…
Sennufer and wife. Grape-vine cei…
Annubis, Osiris and Sennufer.
Annubis, Osiris and Sennufer.
Sennufer and wife.  Sennufer.
Sennufer and wife. Sennufer.
Luxor
photo by: LadyMaja