The transverse hall is divided into two wings, north (right as you enter, view cm-617, view sh-01 vision) and south (left, view cm-606) by the entrance door on the east wall and opens to the longitudinal hall on the west wall. The south wing contains the most interesting elements: the text upon the Duties of the Vizier, a ‘Vizier Investiture’ text by Thutmose III, as well as scenes of tribute arriving from foreign nations. In the north wing there are more traditional scenes of hunting and fishing, as well as the genealogy of the Vizier. The tops of the walls are occupied by the classical frieze pattern khakerou, while at their base runs a band consisting of two yellow and red bands bordered by black lines, below comes an empty space that goes down to the ground.
Transverse Hall, South Wing
East Wall ( pl Davies-XLVII/3)
1)- Taxes from southern cities ( view bg-396, view bg-395)
On either side of the entrance to the tomb, there are five superimposed registers, above one another, displaying processions that are bringing to the Vizier produce of the cities south and and north of Thebes (regions called "The head of Upper Egypt", which reach from Elephantine to Assiut). These regions, north and south, comprise of 40 tax districts each (a total of 80). Each of the 80 district officials brings its contribution, livestock, agricultural and other products, but also frequently in rings or necklaces of gold and silver. Above each of the officials, is a legend whose title indicates, its district and its contribution in precious metals expressed in deben (1 deben = 91g) or its multiples. One of the duties of Rekhmire is to control the proper reception of these products.
The introductory text says: "Checking the accounts. The accounts of the vizier's office of the South City (Thebes). The accounts are opposite the Mayors, District Chiefs, Local Councillors, Heads of Police Prefectures, their scribes and cadastral scribes which are in the 'Head of Upper Egypt' from Elephantine and fortress of Bigeh, conducted according to the writings of ancient times".
The tax collectors are placed to the right of the registers, separated from the payers by stacks of contributions ( pl Davies-XXIX et pl Davies-XXXI).
Register 1 (top) ( view cm-6531): monkeys, a basket of skins (top right), two bundles of reed arrows, a bag with? Ten peculiar pieces of wood, products of the nebes tree: ten arches made of its wood, three skins filled with a fruit paste and two baskets containing cakes made with those same fruits.
Register 2 ( view bs-38406, view bs-38407): more nebes tree fruit, a basket of "good agesou skins", pigeons in cages ( view tb-12 and view tb-38404).
Register 3 ( view bs-38409) : this time there are boxes full of textiles, gold and silver rings (these are white, view xx-3977) et des colliers comportant des perles d'or.
Register 4 ( view xx-113/1) : the stack of objects is replaced by a balance with which precious metals are being weighed. A scribe carefully notes the results. The scene is very damaged.
Register 5 : is in very poor condition. Davies describes bags, reed mats, cordage and ten millstone wheels made of hard red stone.
Note that there are no fish, goats or pigs shown (not food of the elite) and that the only birds represented are pigeons ( view bs-38405).
2)- The Duties of the Vizier ( pl Davies-paintings-XXI)
This long, important text (36 columns) is only found in four chapels, and only one before Rekhmire, that of his uncle Useramon (TT131); it will be repeated in that of his successor Amenemopet (TT 29), in which an ostracon presenting a fragment of the text, probably intended to give indications of positioning to the painter assigned to reproduce them on the wall of the chapel, was found.
Like other important texts of the chapel, it is particularly difficult and subject to differing interpretations.
Given the length of this text, it is presented on a special page: "DUTIES OF THE VIZIER". We see, on reading it, the Vizier has a job with overwhelming responsibilities, which makes the sovereign say, in another text, that of the investiture: "Behold, as for the Vizierate, see, it's really not a sweet thing, see, it's a thing bitter as gall".
Representing the King as Chief Executive and holder of the legislative power, Rekhmire governs from the "per-Nesut" which "means the state and the administrative apparatus which manages all the resources of Egypt [...] It also includes buildings, and offices established in the Royal Residence that house the institutions of the State" (Florence Maruéjol).
3)- The Vizier in session
Rekhmire was seated at the end of the wall, facing left. This has been completely effaced and the area where he was covered with red paint; we recognize the faint trace at his feet as a goose of Amun ( view cm-6519-20, white arrow). Above him is a short text informs us that Rekhmire is "in session to listen (cases) in the hall of the vizier" and amongst the laudatory epithets, is found "dispensing justice impartially and attentive to satisfying both parties, judging between the poor and the rich in the same way, no petitioner crying because of him".
Rekhmire stood in a large room whose columns are inscribed halfway up with the name of Thutmose - Menkheperre ( view cm-6521 - green arrow -, view cm-6144 and view sh-19), "beloved of Maat". The artist has separated the people admitted in the courtroom from those outside ( view cm-612). Before the vizier are four mats each supporting ten elongated objects. One thinks, of course, of the 40 leather rolls bearing the text of the laws which he can consult in the course of his duties, but, as noted by Davies, this is unlikely, because he would be dealing with larger and shorter objects, tied up with a rope; Davies proposes instead to see these as batons of authority which serve the assessors. The Grandees of the Southern Ten are placed before him on the right and left, with as many scribes, 40 people in total. If the petitioners are treated with respect by the ushers in and out of the room, it is not the same for those respondents if their accounts have not been found satisfactory.
Outside the building, at the top and bottom of the scene, two messengers rush to the courtroom. They carry in one hand a plant and the other a stick, while the official who greets them has only a stick.
It is entirely occupied by a large inscription of 45 lines, damaged by numerous pieces falling off: which gives the autobiography of the Vizier ( pl Davies-paintings-XXI). This literary genre is often created in ancient Egypt out of an accumulation of clichés and laudatory phrases. But one can also find real facts in it, sometimes historically important (as in the autobiography of Ahmes, son of Abana).
Due to its length, the text is presented on a special page: "AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE VIZIER"
Historically important, it is divided into three parts from left to right ( pl Davies_paintings-XXII/2, view sh-01): the "tributes" paid by foreign nations, then the text of the installation of the Vizier spoken by Thutmose III and finally, the sovereign seated under a gazebo.
The tribute of foreign peoples (Translations of Michel Dessoudeix)
Thutmose III, a conquering king, greatly expanded the borders of Egypt and placed the Egyptians in contact with, for them, new peoples.. With their natural gift for observation, Egyptian painters reproduced these strangers on the walls of their chapels highlighting their characteristics, sometimes even to a caricature.
The parade in the chapel of Rekhmire commemorates an annual ceremony at which foreign nations' contributions are presented to Pharaoh in the presence of his Vizier who will be responsible for recording and storing them. The riches are piled in heaps which the scribes are carefully observing ( view sh-41). Some are taxes directly levied by Egyptian officials in vassal regions, such Nubia. Others, the "inu", are real tributes since they are imposed on the vanquished Syrian-Palestinian regions: an Egyptian official assesses every year the amount of the contribution as a duty for the local Government to collect. Finally there are ‘gifts’ made by the ambassadors of Asian countries, by the Cretans or the inhabitants of the land of Punt, which are actually exchanges and require reciprocity, although the Pharaonic propaganda is careful to specify that in the ideal world of its representations, all these people are subject to the king of Egypt.
The sequence of compositions in the five registers ( pl Davies-paintings-XXII/1) show, from top to bottom, the tributes of, and ambassadors from, 1) of Punt, 2) the Aegean world, 3) Nubian peoples, 4) Syrian populations and finally in 5) Nubian and Syrian captives accompanied by women and children. There is though a problem: "if the contents of the text and image are truly identical, the order is upset in that the text first mentions countries of the South and then those from the North, while the pictures alternate. "(Valérie Angenot). This simply takes advantage of the complementary nature of text and picture - since it has two simultaneous means of expression -; in the text the countries are grouped that belong to the same regions (north or south) and in the images, the regions with the same political regime (a country that has submitted, or not submitted to Pharaoh).
Register 1 (top) : Punt ( view sh-23, view bg-390, view bs-38415)
This is a very distant and mysterious country, which is best known by the representations that Queen Hatshepsut left in her temple at Deir el-Bahri, and had always attracted Egyptians. Punt was never a vassal of Egypt and it is therefore presented here as sending gifts or trade items. The wealth brought consists largely of fragrant resins, essentially myrrh and incense, cones in pieces or in baskets ( view bs-38427), stacked before accounting scribes in a pyramidal heap ( view bg-389). The two white-spotted, red obelisks are probably made of incense. A myrrh tree being carried by two men, will be for an attempted planting. The Puntites also bring gold, elephant tusks, ebony, ostrich eggs and feathers, leopard skins, giraffe tails, collars besides some live animals: cheetah ( view bs-38418), monkeys, hamadryas baboons, ibexes.
The men have a dark skin tone ranging from red to black. They are dressed in a loincloth with a flap, which goes down between their legs, and has a colourful border.
Accompanying text: "Coming in peace by the grandees of Punt bowing down their backs and bending down their heads, with their tribute to the place where is found His Majesty, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Menkheperre, living forever, and with all the beautiful presents from their country which has never been trodden by others, so his power is (spread) across their borders, while each foreign country is the servant of the Crown. It is the prince, governor, confidant of the King, who presides over [...] which receives all the tributes of all the foreign lands that are made because of the power of His Majesty for his victory."