Tombs of the Nobles (Saqqara)

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The Saqqara Tombs of the Nobels is an ancient Egyptian necropolis, mostly comprising of mastaba-style tombs dating back to the Old Kingdom. This necropolis is one of at least four other cemeteries known as the "Tombs of the Nobles" in Egypt.

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Overview

The Tombs of the Nobles date mainly from the Old Kingdom and provide an insight into the burial traditions of Upper Egyptian Nome 1 during the later Old Kingdom.

List of the Tombs

circa BCE

Tomb of Qar (The Saqqara Physician)
The tomb of Qar was discovered to the north of the pyramid of Sekhemkhet in 2001. Qar was a royal physician during the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt, which lasted from about 2350 to 2180 BCE. In December 2006 CE his mummified remais were discovered in a limestone sarcophagus. During excavations some model tools (made out of bronze or copper) were also found that were entombed with him, suggested to be the oldest surgical tools in the world. However, these types of model tools are common in many Old Kingdom burials of officials with different functions. They are not surgical instruments. They are model tools.

circa BCE

Tomb of Ankhmahor
The tomb of Ankhmahor, vizier of King Teti (Sixth Dynasty; circa 2330 BCE), was discovered in 1899 CE by Victor Loret. It is located on the so-called "street of tombs", which separates the royal recropolis with the pyramids of Kings Teti's wives the ministers' tombs.

The tomb of Teti's vizier Ankhmahor, also spelled as Ankh-ma-hor, consists of seven chambers. Six of these chambers were dedicated to Ankhmahor and one to his son Ishfi. The tomb is considered one of the most famous tombs in Saqqara, because of its representations containing scenes of surgery and medicine excercised in Ancient Egypt, as well as a rare scene of circumsision (inspect). The other scenes in the tomb show various aspects of daily life, including scenes of hunting, grazing, bird-hunting and presentation of offerings.

circa BCE

Tomb of Idut
The tomb of Idut is one of the three senior officials from the Fifth Dynasty and the beginning of the Sixth Dynasty (circa 2400-2200 BCE) located adjacent to each other. The tomb was discovered by the archaeologist Cecil Mallaby Firth circa 1926/1927 CE.

The tomb of Idut, probably the daughter of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty, has walls decorated with beautiful inscriptions showing different scenes of everyday life, of hunting, fishing, farming and taxt payments. There is also a rare scene representing the birth of a hippo.

circa BCE

Tombs of Unas-Ank and Inefert
The tombs of the two senior officials date back to the end of the Fifth Dynasty and the beginning of the Sixth Dynasty (circa 2400-2200 BCE). The archaeologist Cecil Mallaby Firth discovered these tombs in the period from 1926 to 1927 CE, each of which contains several chambers with inscriptions.

The tomb of Unas-Ank lies to the west of the tomb of Idut. The tomb belongs to a noble who was most probably one of the sons of King Unas, the last king of the Fifth Dynasty.

The tomb belonging to Prince Inefert, who was also a vizier, liest further to the west. A rare scene of the private life of Inefert and his wife Nemti can be seen, showing them togetherentering a roomwith two beds that the servants prepare for the tomb owner and his wife.

circa BCE

Tomb of Kagemni
The tomb of Kagemni, vizier of king Teti of Sixth Dynasty (circa 2330 BCE), is located just to the north of the Pyramid of King Teti. It was discovered in 1843 CE by Karl Richard Lepsius. It consists of several chambers decorated with scenes of daily life, including scenes of dancing, hunting, poultry fattening, presentation of offerings and shrubs. The decorations of one of the tomb's rooms is specially dedicated to the transportation of the seven sacred oils, which are absolutely necessary for the resurrection ritual, and their presentation of Kagemni.

circa BCE

Tomb of Mehu
Mehu was the vizier and chief justice during the reign of King Pepi I (Sixth Dynasty). The tomb was discovered in 1940 CE. It consists of four decorated chambers with a large courtyard, with an east-west alignment with an eastern entrance in the eastern wall, a vestibule leads to a long corridor runs westwords. The northern wall of the corridor leads to an open court which has two square pillars supporting the roof. At the western end of the corridor, a small room with two doors; one leads to a room with a false door and the second leads to the offering chapel of Mehu which has the offering bearers' scenes on its walls, and a false door which has the titles of Mehu. The tomb is also decorated with a variety of daily life scenes such as fishing and fowling, gold manufacturing etc.

circa BCE

Tomb of Mereruka
The tomb of Mereruka, who was the vizier of king Teti of the Sixth Dynasty (circa 2330 BCE), is one of the largest individual tombs and the most complete from the Old Kingdom in Saqqara.

The tomb contains over thirty chamebrs, of which 21 are devoted to Mereruka, five to his wife Seshsechat and five to his son Meryteti. Several chambers are decorated with inscriptions and scenes, and others without decorations were used as stores.

In 1920 CE, the burial chamber of Mereruka was discovered at a depth of about twenty meters were his mummy was found in a huge limestone sarcophagus. The burial chamber of vizier Mereruka is considered one of the most beautiful, most decorated and most fascenating burial chambers of senior officials in Saqqara.

circa BCE

Tomb of Ptahhotep and his Son Akhethotep
The tomb of Ptahhotep and is son Akhethotep, both senior officials fromthesecond half of the Fifth Dynasty (circa 2450-2350 BCE), is located west of the complex of king Djoser.

The tomb was first excavated by Mariette in 1890 CE and then by Norman de Garis Davies in 1868 CE. It is one of the most beautiful Old Kingdom tombs in Saqqara known for the splendor and precision of its inscriptions. It consists of an entrance that eads to a corridor, with inscriptions and decorations that are partly incomplete. These reveal the techniques and phases of wall painting as applied in the tombs of Saqqara.

The corridor leads to a four column chamber with even more well-preserved inscriptions and decorations, and then to two smaller chambers one for Ptahhotep and the other for his son Akhethotep. Despite being small, both chambers have wall inscriptions of daily life, including farming, hunting, presentation of offerings, and wrestling. The decorations and the hieroglyphic inscriptions of these two chambers are very well-preserved and the colours are still lively.

circa BCE

Tomb of Irukaptah
The tomb of Irukaptah is an ancient Egyptian burial site located in the Theban Necropolis in Luxor, Egypt. The tomb dates back to the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom period, around the time of Pharaoh Thutmose III.

Irukaptah was a high-ranking official in ancient Egypt and his tomb is considered to be one of the finest examples of New Kingdom tomb architecture. The tomb is comprised of several chambers and passages, with elaborate decorations adorning the walls and ceilings. These decorations include scenes depicting Irukaptah with his wife and family, as well as religious scenes and inscriptions.

The tomb of Irukaptah is particularly significant because it provides important information about the daily life and religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptian elite. The decorations in the tomb depict a range of scenes, including religious ceremonies, feasts, and work activities, providing a unique glimpse into the lives of the wealthy officials of the New Kingdom period.

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References

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