As on the south wall, it includes religious scenes and profane scenes ( figure tb-02).
West End: Couples receiving offerings
( pl Davies paintings-XXV/01, view cm-636, view cm-636/03, view dm-1269) It is almost identical to the western end of the south wall, showing four stacked registers one above another. The couple formed by Rekhmire and his mother, or his wife, are in front of offerings stacked on a table. The couple's children, who officiated as sem-priests, are hammered out.
The seated couple have disappeared. Before them offerings are being heaped up on a table, being brought, as on the opposite wall, by the temple priests ( view cd-083). Above the table is a placard detailing the items. The sem-priest officiating has this text above him: "You live there as a God, provided with bread, provided with beer, provided with fresh water. Your veal legs are being prepared, the choice pieces are brought to you, and best of the offering tables are ... for the Osiris, the Mayor, the Vizier, Rekhmire. As surely as the King is pure, all the offerings made to your Ka will be pure. It is also true that as God is satisfied with his offerings, the Osiris will be pleased with his offerings. Welcome, O servant of Osiris! Like an Akh among Akhu, as a great one in his tomb, it is that the great Ennead of the Gods who are in the great house of Heliopolis assists you. Come to me. Sit up close to me Do not be far from me Your tomb is your protection, you can be sure of. See I gave you the eye of Horus...!. . May this, your Eye of Horus, be beneficial to you. You go out with him in the company of Isis and appear at dawn in the Maadet boat, You have power to navigate and your feet can go out. You were born of Horus and were conceived by Seth. Water is pure for you in the eddies of current, and you will get a meal in the city of Heliopolis, with your father Osiris and with Atum. You will raise up your arms and embrace him. You [...] to your triumphant body for eternity. O Osiris, Mayor, Vizier, favourite of Anubis, Rekhmire".
The role of the sem-priest is taken by Menkheperrêseneb. Rekhmire is with his mother ( view sh-333).The offerings include birds, plucked and unplucked, vegetables (lettuce, cucumbers, and leeks), fruits (figs, dates, and grapes), and bread ( view sh-336); above the offerings beautiful stone vessels are represented separated by lotus stems, probably containing ointments or oils ( view sh-337).
The role of the sem-priest is taken by Senouseret. He performs a censing and a libation. Rekhmire is accompanied by his wife ( view sh-332, view sh-334).
This is the highest one and impossible to photograph. The role of the sem-priest was probably held by Amenhotep. Rekhmire is with his mother.
On the right of registers 2, 3 and 4
Between the sem-priest consecrating the offerings left, and the scenes of the Ritual of Opening the Mouth on the right, are ten columns of text (in orange on the pl Davies-paintings-XXV). This fourth register says: "Formula to bring on the glorified state. Let it be that he enjoys his offerings His arms are washed, his arms are outstretched The libation of water is poured out. Are you in heaven? Are you in the earth? Come, come out! You are Ba, you are glorious (akh), you are strong (sekhem), and you are equipped. Ma the power of your legs take you, so that you see this your house Seshat has built for you and on the walls which Khnum has raised up for you. May the doors of the myrrh casket be open for you, may the doors of the liquid firmament be open to you, as \they were for Horus protector of his father. A son is an akh for his father, a father is an akh for his son: This means they may go out You will be counted before Thoth who is the accountant for Ikhsesef of efficient plans at the head of Westerners Your bread is in the usekhet-hall,.. your meat portions are in the great slaughter house of the God. Sit upon your throne; mounds rise up (before) you,(water) streams will move themselves for you and be at your disposal. Feet stomp for you, arms stretch towards you, the ...? dance for you, big birds are slaughtered for you and the heavenly people prepare them for you. The two kites, the birds are crying behind you, they are Isis and Nepthys. (saying) Osiris N., rise up! "(Translation Assmann / Baum)".
The Ritual of Opening of the Mouth (ROM)
|Tip: enlarge the image by clicking on it, save it to your computer and print it out before continuing.
The Ritual of Opening of the Mouth (ROM)
Known from the Old Kingdom, this ritual does not disappear until Roman times, but its meaning changes over time. Originally, it is performed using magical passes on a royal or divine statue to animate it and making it suitable for receiving the essence of divinity thus becoming a hypostasis of the God. Later, the ROM will be performed on any object capable of hosting a portion of divinity. Alongside this rite on the statue, ROM is practiced at funerals to allow the lifeless corpse to come alive again and, in the first place to eat, but also to be able to defend itself verbally in the judgment of the dead. The other senses were also likewise restored: sight, hearing and smell. The classic New Kingdom ROM is a mixture, more or less heterogeneous, of two rituals on the statue and the corpse incorporating elements of the myth of Osiris as now the area of the dead is ruled by Osiris, and temple rituals. The ROM initiates the transmutation of the deceased into a supernatural being able to move freely between the worlds. The ritual takes place the day and the sun god intervenes at several points. Originally, it was held (in theory but probably not in practice) in several places: the House of Gold (a workshop annexed to the temple for the manufacture of statues), House of Natron (a place of purification ), a room of offerings, a place of sacrifice and the chapel (where the statue was located). For each stage there is (theoretically) the name of the ritual specialist, a short description of his action, and the texts he has to say. If necessary, one can specify the place and terms. In all cases, the goal is the same: to ensure the (deceased’s) continued existence in the world of the beyond. It is the combination of words, gestures and actions made by the right people with the help of consecrated objects, that allows the ritual to be effective. In the New Kingdom, it seems that the ROM could be practiced repeatedly at the funeral: upon the mummy, the coffin or the statue. Sometimes the deceased is dressed as a living person ( drawing J. Padgham).In the case of Rekhmire, the ritual is specifically performed on a statue of the deceased. In his day, the complete ritual included some 75 episodes. But the ritual is never shown at all in the same building or on the same papyrus, but it is precisely here in Rekhmire’s tomb that one finds the more complete version type, with its 51 scenes, which served as the basis for the fundamental work of Otto Eberhardt, 'Mundöffnungs Ritual'.
The ROM appears here like a series of drawings, with images commented upon but placed without any sequential order. We will see that the name of the Vizier and the sem-priests have been deleted almost everywhere, but all else is still very well preserved.
According to Goyon, "It seems that the pivotal action scenes are of slaughtering, one for Upper Egypt (sc. 23), the second for Lower Egypt (sc. 43) and the setting aside of the heart and haunch of the sacrificial animal, for which all consecrated objects then used to touch the openings of the head, are only substitutes. It is onto this central double core (sc 23-42, Upper Egypt. sc. 43-46, Lower Egypt) that the Preliminaries (sc. 1-9), the Book of animating the statue (sc. 10-22) then the Ceremonial of clothing (sc. 47-63) the funeral meal (sc. 64-71), and finally, the closing Rites (sc. 72-75) have been grafted".
In the description below, we will follow the order in which the scenes appear starting at the bottom to the right and moving from right to left. The separation between scenes is not always made clear.
This starts with two columns of introductory text: "Practicing Opening of the Mouth of the Statue of Rekhmire in the House of Gold".
• Scene 8 ( view bs-38750)
This is an intermediate stage: Participants take their places.
• Scene 1
Positioning of the statue; provision of clothing: "Rekhmire is stood up on a bed of sand, facing south, unclothed.". Behind him, the statue of a god with green flesh is stood erect on sand "in peace in the House of Gold [...]"
• Scene 2
Libations of water with four nemset ewers.
• Scene 3 ( view bs-38748)
Libations of water with four decheret ewers.
• Scene 4
Purification using natron of Upper Egypt.
• Scene 5
Purification using natron of Lower Egypt.
• Scene 6 ( view bs-38747)
Purification using incense.
• Scene 7
Fumigation with incense.
• Scene 9 ( view cm-637, the scenes painted in red correspond to those in which Rekhmire stands.
The conception of the statue – it is the sleep and awakening of a sem-priest. The sem-priest is the figure wrapped in a cloak and curled up on a seat which has curved legs, or a bed. A comparable scene, for example, is in the tomb of Djehutymes ( view tb-06). This scene represents the sem-priest in two functions, "asleep" and "awake". According to Budge, it is in the first "sleep" state during which he sees "in all its forms" the type of statue that must be made for "his father" (i.e. of the deceased) in "all its forms ". In addition, he also sees invertebrates (insects and spiders). It has been suggested that the sem-priest would act as the first Egyptian magician and the entire scene would correspond - in an expected shamanic manner - to a trance during a ‘false sleep’. This ritual could be linked with the mysterious Tekenu.
• Scene 10 ( view bs-38746)
Continued from the previous scene. The sem-priest and imi-khent priests ("Chamberlain") are between the conception and creation of the statue. The three men behind the statue are "sculptors" ( view bs-38745).
• Scene 12
The sem-priest speaks to the sculptors: "who will now make for me an effigy similar to him?"(= His father). However the statue is ready, because the deceased had it created in his lifetime. The declaration is symbolic: it is for the consecration and animation of the statue.
• Scene 14 ( view bg-443)
Touching the mouth with a finger. This gesture is likened to that of the mother who opens her child’s mouth before feeding the infant and it ensures the deceased can receive meals in the afterlife. It may also be an action to help the newborn individual to breathe.
• Scene 13
The sem-priest - who carries on his left shoulder a curious white cloak (qeni) of papyrus stem - advances, with the lector priest, to meet the sculptors and a polisher and those who address them.
• Scene 15 ( view bs-38742)
Following directly on the previous one. The text urges: "Let them do it in peace, those who would strike (= carve out) your father".
• Scene 16
The sem-priest addresses the polisher: "I do not allow you to make my father's head shine".
• Scene 17 ( view bs-38741)
The lector priest announces that the statue is completed.
• Scene 18 ( view bs-38740)
The lector priest enjoins the sem-priest to see his father.
• Scene 19
The sem-priest removes the qeni-cloak, and passes on the panther skin.
• Scene 20
Comments of the sem-priest.
• Scene 21 ( view cd-041)
Comments of the lector priest. Note the juxtaposition of the Vizier’s image being smeared, while the sem priest has been hammered out.
• Scene 22 ( view bs-38739)
Change of scene, proceeding from the inside to the outside.
• Scenes 23 (part 2 and 3) and 24 (part 2)
Slaughter of an ox with long horns in the presence of sem-priest, lector priest, large throng of mourners and a butcher. The formal speech of a woman says: "I have brought you your enemy, so that he is sacrificed at your feet". The enemy is Seth, the murderer of Osiris, which is materialized in the ox.
• Scene 25 and 23 (part 1) and 24 (part 1) ( view bs-38736)
The animal's thigh is presented to the mouth and the eyes of the statue to open them and transfer the principle of life of a powerful and fruitful being to it.
• Scene 27 ( view cd-048, view bs-38735)
Application of the instrument wr-Hekau (Grand-of-magic) which is shaped like an upright snake ( view bs-38735_01). The text proclaims the protection of Mut who brings all the gods to the deceased so that they make him live.
• Scene 26
Application of an iron chisel mesekhtyu. This instrument has the form of a bovine foreleg. The text defines the purpose: "May you open with this the mouth of Rekhmire so he can walk and talk with his body before the Great Ennead in the Noble House located in Heliopolis".
• Scene 28
Presentation of the statue consecrated by a lector priest.
• Scene 29
Presentation of the statue consecrated by a lector priest (destroyed).
• Scene 30
Address to sculptors and engravers; the sem priest proclaims he is Horus-Seth.
• Scene 31
The sem-priest, the lector priest and a companion will seek for and bring back "the son he loves", that is to say Horus.
• Scene 32 ( view bs-38732)
Application of medjedefet instrument, a variant ivory adze, and application of a finger in the shape of a was sceptre.
• Scene 33
Opening of the mouth with the help of the little finger.
• Scene 36 ( view bs-38731)
Presentation of four abet-objects. These are elongated objects of white stone, symbolizing the teeth of the deceased.
• Scene 43 ( view bs-38730)
Slaughter by the butcher of an ox of Upper Egypt in the presence of the great throng of mourners and a lector priest.
• Scene 44
Presentation of the heart ( view bs-38729)and haunch and then placing them on the ground.
• Scene 45
Identical to the scene 25.
• Scene 46
Application of the tied adze and the mesekhtyu chisel.
• Scene 50
The statue is dressed. It is presented with a white piece of cloth. It is also presented with the chesmet front-piece, an element of royal regalia consisting of a belt carrying on the front a piece of jewelry. It is given a green piece of cloth.
• Scene 39 ( view bs-38726)
Fanning with an ostrich feather: so the deceased can breathe.
• Scene 37
Application of the pesech-kaf chisel, a stone tool with a fishtail form forked blade fishtail ( view ucl).With the sacrifice of an ox, this is one of the oldest known rituals, dating back to the Predynastic era.
• Scene 38
Offering grapes: so the deceased can eat.
• Scene 41
Offering water: so he can drink
• Scene 47
• Scene 59 ( view bs-38724)
Litanies and censing to all the Gods and Goddesses.
• Scene 65A
Purification of the offering table. The deceased can eat.
• Scene 69 ( view bs-38722)
Recitation of formulas for glorification by the three chief lector priests who, on one knee, do the Henu gesture alternately beating their breasts with their fists. A gesture of joy, it can, in a funerary context, convey the emotions in the presence of a superhuman power, like that of a God or of a deified deceased. This glorification ("s-akhou", literally making akh, powerful, efficient) are recitations of demonstrative sentences often starting with the sudden calling out: "Eh (O) this Osiris N...!", followed by exhortations : "Take thee thy head, collect your bones, etc...".
• Scene 73
Transport the statue to its chapel by the nine Companions expressly designated as the Four (!) Children of Horus.
• Scene 74C
The statue is placed in its chapel.
• Scenes 74B and C
Opening the doors of the chapel and placing a wreath on the consecrated statue.
• Scene 75
Declaration of the statue’s completion.
• Scene 71 ( view bs-38720)
Censing for Re-Horakhty before an offering table.
• Scenes 72A and B ( view bs-38719)
Offering and litanies to the gods and closing statement. The officiant will vacate the premises by clearing all traces of his footprints.