All of the remaining discussed scenes of the tomb of Kheruef are concentrated here and in the passage through the doorway. It can be understood at this point that what was achieved (and what survived) represents very little in relation to the initial plan.
( and ) This is dedicated to the first jubilee festival of Amenhotep III, the 27th day of the second month of the season of the inundation (Shemu), year 30 of his reign. The whole wall focuses on the scene showing the royal couple attending the ceremony, seated within an ornate kiosk.
The decor is arranged in three sections, the main one being on the right. This shows the king, his wife and Hathor in a kiosk. Next is the scene of a reward ceremony, which the king presides over. The area to left of this is divided into two registers, which are further subdivided. Running along the top of the whole wall is a kheker frieze.
The royal couple, accompanied by the goddess Hathor, are under a richly decorated marquee, surmounted of a frieze of uraei (). The structure is supported by delicately slim lotusform and papyriform columns. It should be noted that the queen stands behind the seated king and Hathor.
This is decorated with rekhyt birds ( and ). These birds (crested lapwings) raise the arms in the sign of worship, their wings bent curiously towards the rear. They are perched on the hieroglyphic sign
'neb' (meaning "all"), next to a small star, the sign
'dua' ("to adore, worship or praise"). It is therefore necessary to read the whole as
"all praise" or
"everyone worships". The birds are turned toward the central axis, shown as two short columns of hieroglyphs, which proclaim:
"All plains and hill countries are at the feet of the Perfect God".
The exact significance of Rekhyts remains under discussion: to remember ancestral the populations of Lower Egypt overcome by the Upper Egypt? In general "Rebels", subdued by the king? Or more simply the "common people", as proposed recently?
The inscription above, on the right, says:
"Giving praise to the mighty king and paying homage to the ruler of Thebes, by the princes of all foreign lands with bizarre languages, when they come to make an act of allegiance because of His Majesty's power".
and on the left:
"Giving praise to the Perfect God and paying homage to the Son of Amon, by the princes of all distant foreign lands, who were ignorant of Egypt".
Represented underneath are lotus blooms and papyrus plants, the two traditional plants of Upper and Lower Egypt.
He is seated on a cuboid throne, decorated with a vulture with outstretched wings, which enclose him around his waist. The bird probably represents the goddess Nekhbet, who thus spreads her protective wings around him, as she does in sacred buildings (). His feet rest on a
Heb ("festival") hieroglyph. He wears the Double Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt and holds in his hand the insignia of royalty, the crook and flail; here the crook looks like a long cane, different from the traditional
heka. Although not obvious at first sight, only his two hands are outside of the jubilee cloak worn during the sed-festival. He wears a hooked false beard, as in the other scenes. The uraeus which decorates his forehead faces the one which descends from the solar disk engraved in front of him, suggesting a complementarity of nature and power (). Hanging just below the edge of his broad necklace can be seen a small ornament in the shape of a
tyet-symbol (frequently called the 'knot of Isis'), the symbol for "life" and "welfare".
In front of the throne stand two small animated hieroglyphs, the
was ("power") and the
ankh ("life"). To each have been added arms, with which each wave a fans. According to the associated text, the air which they put in motion has a divine power
"Because it gives all life and all joy" (). This symbolic action of blowing the breath of life will be resumed extensively a short time after, in the Amarnian iconography.
In the five columns in front of him, the text reads:
"Re-Harakhti, mighty bull, repeating the jubilee, the Two Ladies, appearing in the White Crown and wearing the Red Crown, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, the Lord of the Ritual and Lord of Diadems, Neb-maat-Ra, the Son of Re, who has assumed the Double Crown, Amenhotep Ruler-of-Thebes, given life, stability, and dominion like Re forever".
"Hathor, Lady of Denderah, as she gives life and dominion", she is traditionally the
"lady of the 'per hay'", the building specifically associated with the sed-festival, and for which the kiosk is here as a substitute manifestation. She can also play the role of goddess mother of the king.
Hathor is seated next to the sovereign, on whose shoulder she rests her hand. That fact that she sits behind him, and not the queen, is that this complies with Egyptian convention; because during this festival she has a much more prominent role. Her magnificent tripartite wig is surmounted with her usual attribute: a pair of cow horns framing a solar disk. Extending from the front of her headband can be seen the uraeus. Her neck is decorated with a menat necklace, whose counterweight is easily visible at the back.
The goddess holds in her left hand three thin palm stems, hooked at the tip, the hieroglyphic signs at the base signifying "all" (neb-sign), "millions" (the man to the raised arms), "hundreds of thousand" (the tadpole) and finally "protection" (the shen-sign). Thus Hathor assures the king
"all the protection for hundreds of millions of years". This combination of signs can also be seen hanging from her right arm ().
Behind the king and the goddess is queen Tiy. The fact that she is standing indicates that she is associated to the ceremony, but doesn't take any intrinsic part. Nevertheless, her presence also confirms the eminent position that the royal wives achieved during the 18th Dynasty.
She wears a tight fitting dress with two shoulder straps and, like her husband (but not the goddess), she wears sandals on her feet. On top of her tripartite wig she wears a composite crown, formed from a mortar decorated with uraei, surmounted by two long feathers enclosed by a pair of cows horns. In her left hand, which hangs by her side, she holds a small lotus flower; whilst in her right hand she clutches a symbol of her power to her chest; this is similar to the flail held by her husband.
Her accompanying text, which is divided by her raised arm, describe her as:
"The principal wife of the king, beloved of him, Tiy, may she live. It is like Ma'at following Re that she is in the following of Your Majesty".
Immediately above the threesome is a winged sun disk, more commonly known as the Horus of Edfu. The text on either side identifies it and states its purpose:
"The Behdetite, the great god, variegated of plumage, the lord of heaven and lord of Mesen, as he gives life, stability, and dominion".
Framing the kiosk, inside the pillar supports, are two columns of text. These are compilations of the titles of Amenhotep III. The front one (left) reads:
"Re-Harakhti, the mighty bull, appearing in truth, the Perfect God, celebrating jubilees like his father Horus-Tanen, a lord of splendour like Min upon the great dais, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Neb-maat-Ra, the Son of Re, beloved of him, Amenhotep Ruler-of-Thebes, beloved of Ptah the Great, South-of-His-Wall, given life like Re, forever". The one at the rear has:
"Re-Harakhti, mighty bull, appearing in truth, the Perfect God, the Son of Amon, whom he has installed on his throne upon earth to do what his ka desires, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ruler of the Nine Bows, Lord of the Two Lands and Lord of the Ritual, Neb-maat-Ra, the bodily Son of Re, beloved of him, Amenhotep Ruler-of-Thebes, beloved of 'He who awakes uninjured', who resides in the Mansion of Sokar, given life forever".
This is divided into two parts, the upper being occupied entirely by 11 columns of text relating to the accompanying events.
This text is a summary of the scenes which will be examine below. It starts with an anecdotal title, then a statement about the different rewards which are conveniently located directly above the tables charged with the gold items. The lake, of which mention will be made, probably corresponds to Birket Habu, an immense artificial area of water which was located at Malqatta, in front of the king's palace.
"Year 30, second month of the third season, day 27, under the Majesty of Horus, mighty bull, appearing in truth, given life, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Neb-maat-Ra, the Son of Re, beloved of him, Amenhotep Ruler-of-Thebes, given life, at the time of celebrating the first jubilee of His Majesty: the glorious appearance of the king at the Great Double Doors in his palace [of the House] of rejoicing and introducing the officials, the king's friends, the chamberlain, the men of the gateway, the king's acquaintances, the crew of the barque, the governors of the palace, and the king's dignitaries.
Rewards were made of the Gold of Praise, and ducks and fish, of nbwy (gold), and they received ribbons of green linen, each person being made to stand according to his rank. They were fed with food of the king's breakfast: bread, beer, oxen, and fowl. They were directed to the lake of His Majesty to row in the barque of the king. They grasped the tow ropes of the evening barque and the prow rope of the morning barque, and they towed the barques at the great place. They stopped at the steps of the throne.
It was his Majesty who did this in accordance with writings of old. Past generations of people since the time of ancestors had never celebrated such rites of the jubilee. It was for the one appearing in truth, the Son of Amon, who enjoys the legacy of his father, given life like Re forever, that which was decreed."
This scene is almost totally lost today, having been hammered out by the afore mentioned culprits.
Directly above the scene is a horizontal line of text, which separates it from several columns of text above. This states:
"Rewarding the governor of the palace, the royal scribe, and steward [of the principal wife of the king, Kheruef].. [by the] hand of the king.". Kheruef is being rewarded with at least one (if not all) of the gold shebiu necklaces which stand on the pedestals situated in front of the royal kiosk.
Only the laborious work of the experts from the Oriental Institute allow us resolve the destroyed scene (). A gold shebiu necklace was placed by an official, standing in front, around the neck of Kheruef. Behind Kheruef are other civil servants, these have also been hammered out, along with the official. They are designated as
"The royal friends and the king's dignitaries" and like Kheruef, they are here to receive their rewards.
Underneath the pedestals holding the necklaces is another, which is piled with smaller rewards including gold fish, ducks, also large and small lotus flowers (). The shebiu necklaces were produced from pure gold, but these others were shaped from a metallic alloy of a lower standard. All of are mentioned in the large text above the scene.
This has been subdivided into two long sub-registers containing musicians, chantresses and dancers.
This shows one of the most famous representations of the Egyptian art, which appears in many manuals. This fame is justified by the extraordinary quality of the sculpture, the respect of the proportions, the physiognomy (facial features) of the characters. It shows eight 'princesses', standing in pairs, they represent the daughters of foreign princes raised at Pharaoh's court, and thus 'Egyptianised', but this is not certain ().
By looking at the intricate hairstyles, it can be seen that the scene has not been finished, and that the princesses have on their heads a rectangle, this mortar has not been decorated (). Each makes a libation, using a spouted vessel, of which two different styles are shown. By comparing those which are being held with those on the pedestals in front, it can be seen that the stoppers have been removed before use. From the following texts, the composition of the two styles of vessels used by the girls can be identified. The ones held by the front four (nemset-ewers) are of gold, whilst the others (libation flasks) are of electrum.
The text located in front of and above the princesses says:
"Ushering in the children of the great ones [who have come bearing] nemset-ewers of gold and libation flasks of electrum in their hands in order to perform jubilee ceremonies. Causing them to stand at the steps of the throne in front of the dais in the king's presence". And, in front of each girl can be read:
"Making purification four times".
Above the entire scene it announces:
"Pure are your nemset-ewers of gold and your libation flasks of electrum. The daughter of the Mentiu, she gives to you cool water. 0 sovereign, life - prosperity - health, you shall henceforth continue to exist".
Probably to break the monotony, one of the girls of the third pair wears a bracelet around her upper arm ().
These scenes are separated from the previous ones by a column of text:
"Introducing the women into the king's presence in order to perform [jubilee] ceremonies in front of the royal kiosk". All of these subordinate characters are represented distinctly smaller than those which have been encountered so far.
First are a group of four chantresses, resting on their heels, facing each other in pairs and gesturing with their hands. Between them, the text states:
"Opened are the double doors, so that the god (= Amenhotep III) can pass, purified". Next there are two musicians, who both play long flute-like instruments. These are followed by another chantress, who holds her right hand to her ear, possibly to hear the sound of her own voice better (). Behind her is another flutist. Then there are two standing dancers, the first waving an object, the exact nature of which is unclear, the second seems to beat her chest with her hands (). Some of the women, for some unknown reason, have no engraving to the hairstyle, thus leaving it smooth.
Next is another group of four kneeling chantresses clapping their hands and exclaiming:
"Clap, clap! Sing and clap your hands. Be flooded with joy (or in more modern parlance, 'let yourself go!')
Above of the musicians, a long text is addressed to Hathor:
"Pray, be jubilant for The Gold (here meaning 'Hathor')
, and good pleasure for the Lady of the Two Lands (an epithet of Hathor)
, so that she may cause Neb-maat-Ra (Amenhotep III)
, to be given life, to be enduring. Come, appear! Come that I can make you make festival at the twilight, and of music in the evening! O Hathor, you are exalted in the hair of Ra, in the hair of Ra (note that this is repeated. It is an allusion to the uraeus on his the forehead, or to the udjat-eye, both of which can be personified by the goddess)
, because the sky has been given you, the deep night and the stars. Great is her majesty when she is appeased. (god of the earth)
Adoration of The Gold when she shines forth in the sky. To you belongs everything in the sky while Re is in it, and to you belongs everything in the earth while Geb
is in it. There is no god who does what you dislike, when you appear in glory. (figuratively speaking, the east)
Proceed, 0 Majesty, to the place which you desire. She has no place […] wrath. 0 my mistress, come and protect King Neb-maat-Ra, given life. Make him healthy on the left side of the sky
so that he is happy, prospering, and in health, in the horizon.
All men appease her while there is The Gold. If [you] desire that he live, cause him to live during millions of years unceasingly. Pray, would that this may be protection".
Then come the three pairs of dancers who, with one knee on the ground, execute their complicated movements.
Behind them stands a man, a long staff in his left hand, a sekhem sceptre in his right () ; do these two attributes indicate that he has authority, but over whom? The dancers probably. He is followed by a group of women clapping their hands, except for the one who plays the tambourine (). More dancers complete the sub-register. The first three are female, followed by three males. The males wear a lion-type mask, which is nearly lost on the last two. These are both represented as being fat, with falling breasts. They are all probably priests playing the roles of the gods Bes or Aha, and assuring thus, by amazing magic, the perpetuation of the ceremony.
Immediately above this series of assorted characters, the upper sub-register is more badly damaged.
Continuing from the left-hand side, towards the right, more kneeling dancers can be found, in sometimes strange ritual stances (). Then there are more standing dancers, all leaning forwards, some with their hands raised, some with them placed on their hips, some even touching the ground () ; their heads can be seen turned upwards or downwards ().
Then the composition changes by the placement of a shrine (or a chest?), which extends to the column of text which introduced the two sub-registers. The content of this small rectangular area is certainly different in appearance (). It actually contains a monkey, a bounding calf and a duck (or a goose) in flight. These are three symbols indicating the rising sun: the monkeys receive it with their scream; the birds fly off and the calf (equating to the deceased or the regenerated sun) rises every morning from the mountains of the west, to where Hathor carried it during the night. These animals greet, each in their own manner, Amenhotep III, who, like the rising sun, rises regenerated for the sed-festival. This is another example of the king's solarisation at the end of his life.
Several graffiti have been added by visitors during the following decades.
Above of the head of the bounding calf, can first be read three signs in hieratic, forming the word
bak, "servant" ().
Above are superimposed two horizontal lines, probably drawn at the same time. They are to be read from right to left ().
"The purified, draftsman in the temple of Amon, Neferrenher, justified",
"The purified, draftsman in the temple of Amon, Bak (en) khonsu, justified".
On the same register, further to the left, above the third and fourth dancers () :
"The Osiris, the draftsman in the temple of Amon, Ashaikhet, justified, son of Pendua, justified, born of Baketamon, justified, whose maternal grandmother is Hemetnetjer, justified, in peace".
Still further to the left, in the same register, a man, very beautifully drawn, is seated, in prayer (). There is no accompanying text.
"His palace of the House of Rejoicing" is represented by an open door decorated with friezes. Amenhotep III advances, dressed in the characteristic coat of the sed-festival, out of which project his two hands carrying the classic crook and flail. He only wears the white crown of Upper Egypt, from which hang ribbons towards the rear, and toward the front the cobra of the goddess Wadjet (Lower Egypt) ; whilst above him is the vulture of Nekhbet (Upper Egypt). These two symbols face the head of cobra which descends from a solar disk and which has an ankh (the sign of life) hanging from it. Behind the sovereign, at a smaller scale, stands queen Tiy. In front of him, a short text says:
"Glorious appearance of the king in the jubilee cloak".
In front of the royal couple parade two rows of five priests, each carrying a standard in their hands. The first two (left), at the top, have the canine fetish and are identified as
"Wepwawet of Lower Egypt at the top of their standard. This god, "the opener of the way", comes naturally at the head of the parade. The third man holds a fetish resembling that of the 'mysterious tekenu' (considered to be body parts, possibly left over from mummification, wrapped in an animal skin), and is identified as
"Nekhen of the king". It is also possible that this symbol was Gardiner's hieroglyphic sign Q3, which was a variant of the name Osiris. The fourth is in the shape of boomerang (), there is no identifying text. The fifth, designated as
"chief lector-priest", has no standard but holds a papyrus scroll in his left hand. Above these last two is a line of text:
"The gods who are in the jubilee who are in His Majesty's retinue".
Underneath, the first priest carries a fetish decorated with the ibis of Thot and the next has one decorated with Horus. Behind these are three men of a larger stature, the first is identified as
"Bearer of insignia", they hold in their hands the symbols appropriate to the festival.
This scene, is extremely damaged, and even the specialists of the Oriental Institute had difficulty reconstituting it ( and ). It is, like the scene before it, divided into two sub-registers.
On the lower sub-register, a line of men head this time towards the right, holding in their hands the ropes serving to haul the barque transporting the royal couple. This is located in the final (left) scene of this register.
The scene of the upper sub-register is in no better state. The participants are the welcoming party for the royal couple, and as such all face towards the barque. In front can be recognised four pairs of princesses, and at the rear four pairs of chantresses.
Very damaged vertical columns of text are positioned in front of each pair of princesses, stating:
"The royal [children who… the king and who] play with [sistra in their] hands, together with the chantress[es] of Amon… Every… Horus…". Two pairs of princesses are identified as
"the king's daughter, whom he loves".
Next, seven columns of text introduce the chantresses:
"The principal [of the concubines of] Amon-Re and chantresses [as] they… the Perfect God in the rites of His Majesty's jubilee. The s[ong] of music which they utter: Music… the lords of the jubilee. Setting the rhythm… illumining… The King of Upper and [Lower] Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Nebmaare, given life, as he takes his place in the b[arque]… [Universal] Lord… adoration; the horizon… like Re forever and ever".
In front of the heads of the first pair of chantresses, the reamins of the text names one as
"Ruiu", the name of the mother of Kheruef. In front of the second pair is
"His sister, whom he loves, the chantress of Amon, Henutnofret".
Strangely situated above the sub-register of those receiving the royal couple, and strangely not above those hauling the barque, a short text states:
"[…] you hold the prow [rope] of the evening barque, and the tow rope of the morning barque, after you have transported the gods of the jubilee by water […]".
This scene matches the one of the exit from the royal palace.
Amenhotep III, clothed identically, and wearing the white crown, is standing in the barque of the night (only a small representation, it is explicitly named in the surviving fragments of text). Queen Tiy stands behind him. Slender columns support a canopy.
As previously, in the exit from the palace, some high officials stand in front of the king (and probably another at the rear), of which the first one is identified as Kheruef himself, and the second is
"… sole companion, [vizier], judge, and 'He of the Curtain' "; the third is a lector priest.
The prow of the barque was decorated splendidly and includes a very visible net, the significance of which is still under debated, and which seems somewhat obscure.
The barque must specifically transport the fetishes (seen carried in an earlier scene) appropriate to the festival, because they are represented above the characters in front of the king, and in the accompanying text it states:
"Beginning the journey by [His Majesty at the time] of the high Nile in order to transport the gods of the jubilee by water".
There is a very important element proving the solarisation of Amenhotep III whilst alive, written by Raymond Johnson:
"The jubilees of Amenhotep III
It is probably no coincidence that Amenhotep III's new artistic style with its solar symbolism and exaggerated youthfulness appeared at the very time he celebrated his three Heb Sed or jubilee celebrations in the last decade of his reign.
The sed-festival was a great rejuvenation ceremony which Egyptian kings traditionally celebrated (theoretically) after their first thirty years of rule and then every three or four years thereafter.
The exaggerated youthfulness of Amenhotep's facial features in the new style must have been intentionally designed to reflect the king's symbolic rejuvenation at the culmination of his jubilee rites.
But the new costumes of the king with their solar and funerary iconography go another unprecedented step further. According to the tomb parallels, the costume iconography indicates that Amenhotep III is to be identified with the sun god Re. Providentially for us, another key piece of the puzzle is preserved in the Theban tomb of the high official Kheruef, who supervised Amenhotep's jubilees. Reliefs there, dated to Amenhotep's first jubilee in year thirty, depict a jubilee ritual where Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiy are being towed by members of the court in the evening and morning barques of Re.
The ritual which is depicted in Kheruef's tomb is found in Pyramid Text 222 from the Old Kingdom, which describes the union of the king and the sun god in the solar barques of the day and night, after the king's death. Yet Amenhotep III clearly is represented enacting this ritual when alive.
It is without doubt that these innovations had an enormous influence on the young prince Amenhotep, who was going to become Akhenaton, for which Aten will be an integral part of the deification of his father (see ).
According to THE REVOLUTIONARY ROLE OF THE SUN IN THE RELIEFS AND STATUARY OF AMENHOTEP III ; the text is freely available (see bibliography)."
Part of the ceiling has been decorated. The basic motif is formed with circles which intersect each other, creating turquoise blue images of leaves (). In the centre of each circle is a sky-blue circle, and between is a bright red base. Each part is edged in white.
Three columns of hieroglyphs are delimited by two lines. Each stretches longitudinally, from the entry toward the rear (south). The glyphs and edging lines are primarily a beautiful blue hue. The ochre yellow base has all but disappeared.
Each text band consists of a classic formula of the type
"Hetep di nesu",
"An offering which the king gives…" (a translation called into question by linguists, but which is still taken as standard). The principle is known: the king makes offering to the god × (here Osiris, Ptah-Sokar-Osiris and ? (missing), with the responsibility for the god to transfer a part of the offerings to the blessed N.
The most interesting text is the one which is addressed to Osiris:
"A offering which the king gives (to) Osiris, Ruler of Eternity, the great god and king, lord of everlastingness, that he may grant the corpse to flourish in the necropolis while the ba is off to the sky to behold the solar disk as it sails in the morning barque, that he may be there in the retinue of Re and the potent bas speak to him and give him a seat in the barque in order that he may enter the abode of the righteous". This is followed, as usual, by a list of his titles and his name
"for the ka of the noble, count, Seal Bearer of the King of Lower Egypt, sole companion, greatest of the great and worthiest of companions, magistrate at the head of subjects, with all kilts being under his supervision, true [scribe] of the king, beloved of him, and first royal herald, Kheruef".
The general description of the ceiling which has just been made is also valid for the northern wing of the portico (). Therefore, it will not be discussed there.