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The West Wall


The wall is centred by the narrow entry (just 0.54m wide) which divides it into two unequal length parts, the right side (north) being approximately 3.00m, but only 2.90m on the left (south). The height varies from 1.92m at the centre (at the entry) to 1.78m at the extreme south end, increasing to 1.93m at the northern end. Each side is divided vertically into two main panels of similar sizes. The south side is comprised of two false doors, adjoining and partly overlapping each other, and on the north side is another false door, preceded at the entry end by a series of scenes relating to the deceased receiving food offerings. Again, by working at different levels of depth, the artists have tried to produce a three-dimensional aspect, as seen in LXXXVIII. The main difference between the two sides is that colour was applied and is fairly well preserved on the north side, but it was not applied on the south side. The south side retains traces of original drawings thus indicating that the decoration of this side remained unfinished.
The existence of three false doors is not exceptional in the necropolis. The two false doors on the south side extend almost the full height of the wall. On the north side, the false door has at its base a stone offering table (it rear edge inserted into a niche). The offering section of this north wall has an undecorated dado area (approximately 0.50m in height) below the scenes and the floor. Bordering the north false door, on either side, is a sunken outer rectangular area which also have an undecorated area equivalent to the dado area just mentioned (see XCV).



 The north side (right) 

This part of the wall is 3.015m long at the top and 2.96m long at the bottom, the height (as mention previously) is 1.92m at the entrance and 1.93m at the northern end. It is divided into two distinct parts of almost identical in width, about 1.4m for the offering scene and 1.6m for the false door with the two sunken outer rectangular zones, the left sunken zone thus enhancing the false door and the offering scene. An original image of this wall was taken from inside of shaft no.89, on the north wall (see XXXVIII). Below the false door was positioned an offering table/platform.

 Left-hand section - receipt of offerings 

The decorated area, which is surrounded by a double black line, is only 1.33m long and 1.30m high (see line drawing and image left). A broad undecorated dado area (0.50m high) separates it from the ground. The top and sides are surrounded, outside the double black line, by a narrow undecorated border. The scene area is divided into two parts, separated by a black line, above which is the deceased and offerings, whilst below is a scene of animal slaughter.

 The deceased and offerings  (0.98m high)

The two figures, their accompanying texts, as well as the offering table with its loaves, are carved in sunken relief, whilst the rest is in raised relief. The two male figures have their skin painted dark red, as indeed have all of the other characters in the register below.
Identified as "Sole companion, inspector of the king's house, Nyankhnefertem" by the three columns of text above him, the deceased is seated on a chair painted black with thin, vertical yellow strokes, indicating either planks or veins and knots of wood. Its low back is covered with a white cushion. The legs end in claw feet resting on semi-conical supports. The tomb owner wears a short kilt, a wig and a short beard. Around his neck is a broad necklace made of alternating rows of light blue and dark blue (suggesting the turquoise and lapis lazuli). His left hand rests on his thigh holding a piece of cloth, the other reaches out towards the yellow loaves of bread which stand symmetrically erect on the blue table with a single supporting leg.
The offerings are represented in two ways: on the table and in the three registers in front of and above the table ,where they are arranged in a truly ordered style, whilst under the table they seem disorganised.
In total there are twelve half-loaves on the table, whilst under it is a piled accumulation of a variety of food, the artist obviously wanted to create a "live" representation, which would correspond to the reality on the floor during a funerary meal. There are several cuts of oxen: flanks (with ribs), legs, a head, several birds, lettuce and grapes, etc.
The heir apparent, "his eldest son, wab-priest of the Great House, Meruka" walks forwards, from the entrance of the chamber, towards his father, to add a goose to this pile. He presents it with both hands outstretched, one immobilising the wings, the other holding the neck of the bird. He is officiating at the funeral of his father, as this marks his pre-eminence among the siblings. He has a short curly wig and wears a tight fitting kilt, the edge of which forms a rounded line which diagonally crosses its surface.

In front of and above the table (actually meant to be in the surrounding area) are three sub-registers (0.20m in height) containing methodically organised offerings. To fill the gaps in the composition, the artist has added bunches of grapes, their beautiful turquoise blue colour with black spots make the registers attractive with the rest of the multi-colours having disappeared extensively.

• Bottom sub-register : in the same plane as the loaves on the table are two large vases (see XCIc). On the left is represented a large bowl/vase with stems of lotus flowers which are alternately open or buttons, perhaps a flower pot [Note however: the hypothesis of Schäfer should also be considered, that the flowers are a metaphor for the interior decoration of the vase]. To the right is another boat-shaped vase in which are placed five unidentified objects, separated by the grapes and lettuce.
• Middle sub-register : on the right is a black painted low table on top of which is a basin and an ewer with a spout which points towards the tomb owner, a second object on the table, to the right, has disappeared. To the left, beyond the table, is then a curious object, possibly a bowl on a short stand with only the outline of the bowl shown in order to display that it was completely filled with fruit, then a flat stand and another (but shallower) bowl each containing various foods, including conical breads. On the far left stand five rolls of fabric.
• Top sub-register : this again starts on the right with another low oblong black table supporting three vases of slightly different shapes, the middle one being of a different colour. Then an accumulation of various commodities on and under another low single pillared stand. This is followed by three tall vases without spouts and sealed with high conical stoppers; there are separated by bunches of black grapes. Next is a curious flat-shaped inclined dish in the shape of a reed boat with an accumulation of provisions. Finally there are two tall elaborate vases.

 Bottom register: two scenes of butchery  (0.32m high)

The imagery was created in raised relief on a background which has preserved traces of its original dark grey or black colour. Two large carcasses of cattle whose hind legs are bound are lying on the ground and being cut up by butchers.
•  Scene on the left : an assistant, who is awkwardly represented with arms which are too long, holds on tightly to the front leg of the beast, whilst his companion holds the knife, saying "Hold (one)". Again, the designers had a problem, as the knife begins where the hand should be. It should be noted that there is no sign of any grid, which would have defined their proportions, as was used for the representations of characters in the Old Kingdom (as noted by Kanawati, see bibliography). At the rear stands a man who is busy "sharpening the knife", the imagery of the left hand and forearm of this man is very confusing.
• The scene on the right is more realistic because the butchers are represented behind the carcass. Again, a sharpener stands towards the rear of the carcass, while his companion, leans with a hand inside the animal, is busy (according to the text) "extracting the heart".
In front, a character named in the text at his feet as "Tjetji", undoubtedly the son of Nyankhnefertem, is carrying with both hands a large "khepesh" (front leg) to the table of offerings, as specified in the short column of hieroglyphs in front of him, "bringing a choice cut of meat".

 The right-hand section: the false door, its outer recessed zones and offering table 

This area is immediately striking to the eye with the conservation of much of its multi-colours, an extraordinary aspect to the group and giving the viewer an idea of what has been lost elsewhere in the chamber and a multitude of others.

 The outer recessed zones  (see XCV)

The false door is flanked by two rectangular areas of 1.92m in height, recessed into the wall by 2cm. This gives the impression that the external doorposts and lintel of the "door" are raised. The left zone is 0.23m wide, the right one being 0.30m at the bottom to 0.36m at the top. The decorated area of each reaches only to the level of the bottom line of the decorated segment found on the southern area, that of the offerings. The non-decorated dado space below these are respectively, left then right, 0.63m and 0.64m high. The decoration of both is carved in raised relief, consisting of a vertical sequence of four rectangular squares. The content of both zones is of oils for the annointing of the deceased.
• The column to the left (see XCIV detail) is, as mentioned, divided into four parts, one above the other. They each contain the image of a low black table supporting three vases in the top two areas, and two in each of those below. The names of oils which the vases contain are written horizontally above each group; these are (from top to bottom): "sTj-HAb" , "Hknw" , "sfT" and "nxnm". The vases are of different shapes, but have the same decorative pattern: the body is blue with black spots, the top and neck are red with a narrow vertical white stripe in the middle.
• The column to the right (see XCIV detail) shows the remains of a dark background and that it also required several repairs and alterations. This column is, like the other, divided into four parts, each showing characters who are similar in each case. They stride towards the false door, holding in their hands a vase containing an oil of a name other than those seen in the other column. This identification is written in a column of text in front of the porter, and in each case is preceded by: "bringing", then the name: "twAwt oil", "HAtt aS oil", "HAtt THnw oil" and finally "mrHt oil". The figures are clumsily created, with many alterations, reflecting the difficulty of the work of the artist in this corner of the wall. A very interesting detail worth noting is that Mereri (one or more of them) has added his name to the two middle images, between the column of text and the front of the legs. In the upper one, written in red characters, is "Mereri"" whilst the one below this has, in blue: "His son, [...] of the Great House, Mereri". These insertions are probably contemporaneous with those found on the east wall, where the same name was written in red, but there they are visibly replacing the name of another brother.

 The false door  (for all descriptions, refer to XCIII and the line drawing)

As already mentioned, this false door does not actually extend down to the floor. A recessed niche (about 1.12m long by 0.6m deep and 0.22m high) was cut below it to accept the rear edge of the offering table, which is discussed in detail below.
The false door measures 1.04m wide and 1.69m high (above the niche below it). It consists of two doorposts and a lintel outside and the same internally. Between the top (outer) lintel and the inner one is a scenic panel, typical of false doors. A central slit, topped by a roller, is located between the two inner doorposts. The background of the false door, initially black, was then covered with a white distemper in order to make it appear greyish. This was then painted secondarily in pale yellow, which is especially visible on the external lintel; texts and vignettes are engraved in sunken relief and are richly colourful.
The group is distinctly different from the false door of Merefnebef, whose background imitates granite and whose inscriptions are monochrome (see 073f). This change, which is important because it has been noted how much Temi was anxious to copy his prestigious predecessor, without doubt reflects changes and testing of ideas towards a different style, a little more free, in a period where the political power of the monarchy begins to disintegrate in favour of the nobles (resulting, for example, in the gigantic mastaba of Mereruka).

• The external part of the false door

- The two doorposts
These measure about 0.25m wide and include at their bases the abridged name of the deceased, Temi, written above the image of him, where he is seen striding towards the centre of the door with a long staff in his hand (see Cc, the left image). In the left image he wears a short wig and a beard, and is clothed in a projecting kilt. In this image, most of his upper body colour has been retained as well as the black colour of his wig. The other image (right) has totally lost its colour and he appears to wear a shoulder length wig. The text, identical on the two sides, is produced in two vertical columns: (1) "An offering which Osiris gives (namely) an invocation offering for him on the Opening of the Year Festival, the Festival of Thot, on every festival, every day, in eternity (2) (for the) inspector of the Great House, honoured by the king, possessor of reverence, honoured by the Great God and by Anubis, (3) "Temi" (written horizontally at the bottom).
- The lintel
This measures 1.04m by 0.31m. On its left is an image of Nyankhnefertem walking towards the right (see XCIXa), before whom there are three lines of text: "(1) "An offering which the king gives and an offering which Osiris (gives) (namely) that he may be buried in the necropolis after he has become exceedingly old. (2) An offering which Osiris gives (namely) an invocation offering for him on the Opening of the Year Festival, on every festival, every day, eternally, (3) "(for the) inspector of the king's house, major domo of the Great House, honoured by the Great God, Nyankhnefertem".

• The internal part of the false door

The whole inner section is set deeper (2.5cm) into the wall than the two outer doorposts and lintel. The actual central section, the passageway for the deceased's ka, is set even deeper. This inner area consists of two inner doorposts between which is the entry passage for the ka of the deceased, the inner lintel (which rests on the doorposts) and above this the usual rectangular panel, which includes the image of the seated deceased before an offering table.
- The two inner doorposts
These are 1.04m high and 0.023m wide. Their decoration resembles that of the outer ones, with a representation of the tomb owner striding towards the centre. He is surmounted again by two columns of inscription with a horizontal line at the bottom, this time giving his full name. The text includes the yellow cartouche encircling the name of king Unas (Wenis) (last king of the 5th Dynasty). The two texts are again the same: (1) God's servant of the pyramid of Unas, sole companion, (2) inspector of the king's house, privy to secrets of the god's word, (3) Nyankhnefertem".
- Passage for the ka
This narrow ka entry area is 0.09m wide and 1.04m high, and is 0.03m deeper than the surface of the inner doorposts. A semi-cylindrical "drum" is set just below the upper edge of the recess. This sausage-shaped ring represents a rolled blind used over the windows in the houses.
- The inner lintel and panel
The actual inner lintel consists of a horizontal line of text, on the left-hand side of which is an image of the tomb owner sitting on a chair, staff in hand. The text in front of him states: "Sole companion, inspector of the king's house, Temi".
Above this is a panel, usually found associated with a false door. This is comprised of two outer text columns with the deceased seated in front of a single supported offering table. Apart from the partially lost yellow background, the colours have survived well. However, the finish of the painting was neglected, especially in the right arm, hands and legs, and there is almost no detail. The chair is yellow, with multiple black lines, and its lion feet rest on very high semi-conical supports. He sits with his right hand held out towards the pile of upright breads on the table, with his other held across his chest. The two columns of text state, left: "Inspector of the king's house, Temi" and right: "Sole companion, inspector of the king's house, Temi". At the top of the offering scene is yet another title: "lnspector of the king's house, Nyankhnefertem". Above and below the table is a list of offerings; above are: "a thousand (loaves) of t-bread, a thousand (loaves) of pAt-bread, a thousand jars of beer, a thousand of alabaster (vases), a thousand (pieces) of clothing", below are: "a thousand oxen, a thousand birds".

 The offering table, at the bottom of the false door 

At the foot of the false door is positioned an offering table, later moved to the centre of the room by looters in search of the burial pit, but once more in it's original position (see XCV). A niche to accept the rear edge of the table was cut into the wall beneath the bottom of the false door decoration, thus raising the feet of the those at the bottom of the columns. This is in the shape of a limestone plaque 1.12m by 0.60m with a thickness of 0.15m and not really in the form of a table. A Hotep sign is engraved on the surface between two rectangular depressions.
The translation of the inscriptions is as follows (following the numbering on the image opposite) : (1) "An offering that the king gives and an offering that Anubis (gives), that an invocation offering may come forth for him on every festival"; (2) "Funerary priest of the pyramid of Teti, Inspector of the king's house, Nyankhnefertem"; (3) "Deputy supervisor of the god's servants of the pyramid of Unas, Inspector of the king's house, Temi"; (4) "Inspector of the Great House, (Ny)ankhnefertem""; (5) "Inspector of the king's house, Temi"; (6) "Inspector of the Great House, Temi".

 Burnt traces 

Found at the foot of this false door and near the entrance (and only there) was evidence of worship in the form of burnt traces on the ground (of 30-35cm diameter) with remains of charcoal and some bone. The few fragments of pottery found date from the reign of Teti and a little later. This provides an important clue: it seems that at this time, the cult "funeral" of an individual began to be made in his lifetime in his chapel chamber, even if it was not completed.

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