Section 1 

Inscription n°15 "Final Titulature (ie. the set of titles borne by an official)" (see cm-205)
"The hereditary prince, the count, the chancellor of the King of Lower Egypt the sole companion, the lector-priest, the leader of the prophets, the leader of the army, the leader of the mountainous region,the leader of the interpreters, the great leader of the nomes of the Throne of Horus and the rural area, Ankhtifi, the excellent one who is true of voice, the one who is praised by his entire city.".

 Section 2 

Here there are only traces of a representation of Ankhtifi (see cm-206).

 Section 3  (see cm-212, cm-208, cm-209, cm-210 and cm-211)

Three men (probably the sons of Ankhtifi), distributed on three superposed registers, each presents the front leg of an ox to their father who is on section 2.

 Section 4  (see -cm 213)

• At the top, a man carries in each hand a red ovoid vase. One of the vases seems to be placed on a kind of cushion (see cm-214).
• a man carries two enormous fishes, using a wooden yoke.

Lower down, a cooking scene is distinguished by its originality and its relatively good conservation (see cm-216).
• The middle register shows two men busy around a brazier of burning coals. The character on the left, sitting on a small wooden cubic seat, holds a long stick at the end of which is staked a plate of ribs, held over the live coals. Opposite, his assistant is fanning the fire to revive the live coals and to maintain the heat. Between the two characters is a curious object which seems to finish in a duck head or a spatula (see cm-219). The use that could be made of this instrument remains undetermined.
• The scene of the lower register shows a variant of the fashion of cooking: a pot, probably in terracotta, rests on a support, with below it a burning fire. Here meat is not roasted, but boiled. On the right of the scene, a man fans the fire to maintain it, stirring the cooking with the help of a stick, with his other hand, to keep it cooking. The left character, holding a piece of meat with his right hand, is preparing to plunge it in the pot. With the other hand, he carries a piece of meat to his mouth in order to test if it is cooked (see cm-221 and cm-223). It is exceptional to find a scene so natural and realistic in a tomb.

 Section 5  (see cm-224 and cm-225)

At the top, a man carries a young gazelle. In the middle, a man holds a yellow hare with a white stomach by the hind legs and by the ears (see cm-226). At the bottom, a man holds a rabbit by the ears in each hand (see cm-228).

 Section 6  (see cm-231)

Ankhtifi is represented twice, standing, clothed of a loincloth with an apron. His neck is decorated with a necklace. He holds the kherep sceptre with the left hand.

 Section 8 

A once painted relief represents a standing Ankhtifi. He holds a cane in his right hand and a lotus flower in his left hand.


Only the base of this pillar remains, with a height of approximately 50cm (see cm-234).


There are no more than a few traces and fragments of a painted representation of Ankhtifi (see cm-235, cm-237 and cm-238).

 PILLAR 10  (see cm-240)

Only the bottom of the pillar is preserved, it is decorated with scenes of animal husbandry. A yellow and black cow of which the top of the body, the head and the neck have disappeared, breast-feeds its white and black calf.

 PILLAR 11  (see cm-249)

There are only a few traces of paintings. One can however distinguish the legs of two men and the feet and the ankles, decorated with periscelides of a woman (see cm-252).

 PILLAR 12  (see cm-254)

 Section 1 

We can still see the legs of a hunter and his bow //////. He is accompanied by his dog, a white and red greyhound, of which there only remains the front paws, and a child, of which only one leg is visible (see cm-255).

 Section 2 

A drover, of which there only remains the head and a part of the chest, leads a cow with beautiful yellow horns (see cm-257).

 Sections 2 and 3 

Here there is the presence of four porters of offerings, two women and two men are present (see cm-259 and cm-260).

 PILLAR 13  (see cm-261)

On this very badly preserved pillar there are scenes of dance, spinning and offerings. Today no more than a few traces remain.


Little remains of the decoration of this pillar. In the middle of section 7, we can still distinguish a large basket. Below, a man holds a hare by the ears and the back legs (see cm-264, cm-263 and cm-265).

 PILLAR 15  (see cm-266)

On this very badly preserved pillar, we can now only detect the general traces of a man.

 PILLAR 16  (see cm-267, cm-268, cm-270 and cm-271)

Some craftsmen are performing various tasks, in particular the manufacture of furniture. One can see some workers polishing or waxing a gold covered piece of furniture and, to the right, a harp placed on a pedestal (see cm-276).A kneeling character brandishes a kherep sceptre (see cm-275 and cm-269).
There is also a man who carries three round loaves in a yellow crescent-shaped basket. Another man carries a large basket on his shoulders and balances it with his right hand.

 PILLAR 17  (see cm-277)

Nothing remains today of the scenes which decorated this pillar.

 PILLAR 18  (see cm-278)

Only the base remains to a height of about 1m, without decoration.


The scene of ploughing which decorates the entire middle register of the pillar (the upper register has disappeared) is interesting and original: the plough is, unusually, pulled by donkeys (detail hardly visible today (detail hardly discernible today, see cm-281). The scene happens in front of Ankhtifi, supported by his cane (see cm-280). Three men accompany the team. The first one drives the donkeys (Female donkeys are more docile, according to Vandier). The second steers the plough; the third, finally, must be the sower (see cm-284).
Scenes of brewery decorate the bottom of the pillar and are only interrupted by the two paintings which have just been described (see cm-286). At the bottom, one can still see a kneeling woman kneading dough. A man, standing in a big jar, tramples on the mixture of flour and water which must form the dough.

 PILLAR 20  (see cm-287 and cm-288)

The lower register is occupied entirely by dancers (thirteen originally, of which four are better preserved) who are holding each other by the hand. It seems that the artist, using the round shape of the support, wanted to give to the spectator the impression that these women were dancing around the pillar. A short legend is painted in black above some of these women and pernits their identification: "His daughter [beloved], Nebi, the younger"; "His [daughter] Iret (?) and (his) daughter Nebi .. do that which Hathor likes in favour of Ankhtifi" (see cm-289, cm-290 and cm-293).
In the upper register, women (nine originally) are again arranged around the pillar, but this time, they don't hold each other anymore by the hand. Today this scene has almost entirely disappeared.


This pillar contains scenes of hunting and animal husbandry.

 Section 1  (see cm-294)

A hunter, the right knee on the ground, the left leg raised in front of him, is represented in position of shooting. Above him, which means nearby, is a very large red dog with a white stomach.

 Section 2  (see cm-295)

Two superimposed men, the character at the bottom seems to hold a wooden yoke.

 Section 4 

A white cow with yellow spots feeds its calf (see cm-297). Above, the remains of the legs of a cow.

 Sections 6 and 7 

A dog, white speckled with red, jumps on a hare and bites it (see cm-299).

 PILLAR 22  (see cm-300)

Numerous scenes of butchery on wild animals were visible here at the time of the discovery of the tomb. Today nothing remains other than the scene which decorates the lower register. There we see a man cutting up a gazelle. With his left hand, he raises the victims hind legs and opens its stomach with a large knife which he holds in his right hand.

 PILLAR 23  (see cm-304)

A modern reconstruction of the pillar has been made in concrete.

 PILLAR 24  (see cm-305)

The decorations of this pillar have disappeared today, with the exception of two feet.

 PILLAR 25  (see cm-307)

A man and a woman lead a red gazelle with a white stomach. The man walks behind, the woman walks next to the animal (see cm-309).

 PILLAR 26  (see cm-310)

Only the base of this pillar remains, 50cm in height.

 PILLAR 27  (see cm-311)

A modern reconstruction of the pillar has been made in concrete.

 PILLAR 28  (see cm-312)

Only the base of this pillar remains, 50cm in height.

 PILLAR 29  (see cm-313)

No decoration.

 PILLAR 30  (see cm-314)

No decoration.

  • AUFRERE Sydney : "Le nomarque Ânkhtyfy et la situation politique en Haute-Égypte avant le règne d'Antef II", Égypte, Afrique & Orient, 18, p. 7-14, 2000
  • AUFRERE Sydney : "L'artiste de la Première Période Intermédiaire", Égypte, Afrique & Orient, 18, p. 15-26, 2000
  • COULON Laurent : "Véracité et rhétorique dans les autobiographies égyptiennes de la Première Période Intermédiaire", BIFAO 97, p. 109-138, 1997
  • DORET Éric : "Ankhtifi and the description of his tomb at Mo’alla", in Silverman, David P. (ed) : For his ka: essays offered in memory of Klaus Baer, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization n° 55, p. 79-86, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1994.
  • DORET Éric : "Ankhtifi of Mo’alla", in Donald Redford (ed) : The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, vol. 1, p. 94-95, AUCP, 2001
  • FAVRY Nathalie : "Le nomarque sous le règne de Sésostris I", Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2009
  • GOEDICKE Hans : "Administrative notions in the First Intermediate Period", Chronique d'Égypte 70 (fasc 139-140), p. 41-51, 1995
  • GOEDICKE Hans : "Ankhtyfy's fights", Chronique d'Égypte 73 (fasc 145), p. 29-41, 1998
  • MANASSA Colleen : "El-Mo'alla to El-Deir", UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, 2011,
  • MORENZ Ludwig : "Power and status. Ankhtifi the hero, founder of a new residence ?", CRIPEL 28, 2009-2010
  • Mo‘alla Survey Project : The Yale University Mo‘alla Survey Project. (Internet resource:
  • PERRAUD Milena : "La tombe d’Ankhtifi à Mo’alla", Toutankhamon magazine, n°39, 2010.
  • SPANEL Donald : "The date of Ankhtifi of Mo'alla", Göttinger Miszellen 78, p. 87-94, 1984
  • SEIDLMAYER Stephan : "The first intermediate period", in Ian Shaw (ed) The Oxford history of Ancient Egypt, p. 108-123, Oxford University Press, 2000
  • VANDIER Jacques : "Mo’alla, La tombe d’Ankhtifi et la tombe de Sébekhotep", IFAO, Bibliothèque d'étude, Tome XVIII, 1950. The essential elements of the description are based on this book
  • WILLEMS Harco : "Crime, Cult and capital punishment (Mo’alla inscription 8)", Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 76, p. 27-54, 1990

Text by Christian Mariais
English version by Jon Hirst and Jim Ashton
Photographs by Christian Mariais (cm), Richard Sellicks (rs)
Serge Blanc (sb), Daniel Berrubé (db), Gilberto Modonesi (gm)
Alain Laffont (al), Christiane Dispot (cd)
Plates by Jacques Vandier
Web pages created by Thierry Benderitter

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