Description de l'Égypte & DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE TOMB & ITS DISCOVERY
The tomb has been known since at least the time of the French "Expédition d'Égypte", as testified by the plate below, taken from: "Description de l'Égypte"
*In 1801, W.R. Hamilton published in Aegyptiaca, the scene of the opening of the mouth.
*Champollion mentioned the tomb in his Notes and in his Monuments and published the inscription on the stock-taking of livestock.
*Brugsh did the same, he also described the demotic graffiti.
*Lieblein, in the Namenwôrterbuch publish several of the proper names.
On the other hand the tomb of Renni is hardly mentioned in the famous Urkunden, occupying only a half page in Urkunden IV, with the mention "Renni son of Sobek-Hotep", and also there is the stock-taking of livestock.
**Curiously Lepsius, who described El Kab in detail, and noted nine of its tombs, didn't mention Renni.
Who was Renni ?
All texts represent him by with the determinative of the man placed curiously in the middle of the name. This may be explained as follows : it may have been necessary to distinctly separate the two "n"s and the name had to be pronounced in two parts.
Ren-ny or even Ren-eny.
For the convenience of this exposition, and in respect to tradition, the deceased will continue to be called Renni.
we don't know much about him, and only his tomb provides us with the very rare details.
*Renni was at the time Nomarch of El Kab for Amenhotep I, whose name (Djeser-Ka-Ra) is inscribed in a cartouche above the niche.
*Renni was also great priest of Nekhbet.
*A great many sons and daughters of the deceased are named in the tomb, as well as his parents and grandparents, also brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts.
no trace of Renni could be found elsewhere. Since, in 1981, Marek Marciniuk published a graffiti stela situated in an underground cave of the upper terrace of Deir-el-Bahari, which mentions Nefer-Hotep "Neferhotep justified by Osiris, who created the prince Reneny, born of the mistress of the house Nehi, justified by Osiris". The author proposed to see our character there.
*an arched corridor, forming a kind of tunnel leading to, at the rear, * a niche with a flat ceiling. 9.10m length for the corridor (11.3m for the niche), an average of 3.40m width and 3m in height.
At the rear, on the right (east) is an opening (now walled up) leading to *a small room of about 3m square, in which the funerary well has been dug. It seems that it was part of the initial plan and that it is not an addition. This plan will be subsequently used again for the tomb of Paheri.
The quality of execution of the decor is variable and the colours are often very well preserved. On the other hand, the hieroglyphic texts are studded with mistakes. The monument has suffered much from both time and men, and large sections of wall are missing.
However, it presents rare scenes which make it especially interesting.
Thus, on the west wall, close to the entry, the representation of a chariot harnessed to two horses, may be the earliest equestrian representation in Egypt .
On the east wall, one of the best known performances of the mysterious Muu dancers, as well as a curious scene where a man receives a purifying libation whilst seated on a jar.
THE ENTRANCE OF THE TOMB
The vertical parts of the framing for the entrance are slightly cut back into the surface of the rock (about 30cms). Originally it probably had a paved surface. This is no longer visible today. The entry (if the modern door is ignored) was originally not as wide and had to include masonry and a wooden door that was opened by the deceased's parents, for their visits at the time of the ritual festivals. Many remnants of cult dishes have been recovered outside of the tomb, but none inside.
A small coving, decorated with colour bands on its under surface, protected the entry and its inscriptions from any rain streaming down from the rock above.
*Indeed, all of the doorway is inscribed. The titles of Renni are found there: scribe, hereditary prince, chief of the scribes, chief of the divine servants, and it specifies that he is "born of Ahmose, justified". It also tells us that he was given this tomb by royal favour.
One finds typical classical formulas of dedication "hotep di nesu", which is to say "Invocatory offering which the king gives" to such-and-such a god, so that the deceased can benefit by a system of transfer of these offerings. Also adding a "call to the living", consisting here in exhorting the visitor to recite the magic formulas, to not damage the monument, etc. Promising in return a long and happy life.
The quality of the modern restoration can be seen from the photos, ,. In general, however, one should note inscriptions and imagery had been disappeared over time.
CAVETTO CORNICE & BEAUTIFUL PAINTINGS ON THE CEILING
The ceiling is painted entirely. In the main room, a central axis represents a beam of wood which separates, on both sides a checkerboard motif. The squares have a background of turquoise blue (often faded to white), black now often dark blue) and yellow. They include a red, black or yellow four-leaved motif. This checkerboard design continues on the ceiling of the niche, at the rear, but it doesn't include the image of the central beam
The checkerboard design extends to the top of the walls, which are delineated by hkrw frieze, representing a bundle of reeds or maybe rushes (the interpretations are varied). The hkrw are painted with red and turquoise on a black (now dark blue) background . This rests on an "Egyptian frieze": seen as a band of coloured rectangles (red, blue, yellow and turquoise) each separated by three thin bands (white, dark blue, white), the whole band being edged by a thin turquoise line at top and bottom. This band also runs vertically down the end of the two long walls
Under the frieze and band of coloured rectangles, along both west and east walls, is found a broad white band including a long inscription in (sometimes poorly drawn) hieroglyphs and which have not been sculpted as elsewhere in the tomb. This could be due to having been hastily produced, after the death of Renni.
The actual decor begins under this text band and is divided in three registers.
At the bottom of the walls, below the major scenes, is a shallow dado bordered at the top by a red band edged with white.
The West wall is dedicated to the agricultural activities and a "ritual banquet" with the members of the family of the grandfather of Renni, Sobekhotep. The east wall is given over to scenes of funeral ceremony and to another "banquet" for his parents, his father is also named Sobekhotep. This distribution is strange because one would normally have expected the reverse, that is, the funeral procession on the west wall.
One of the features of the domestic decor of this tomb, which Renni obviously wanted, is the great number of named characters found there. All the speakers are named, including the more subordinate. It is very rare, and undoubtedly indicates the probable wish of Renni to offer life in the beyond to those who best served him (and had been associated with his life) before his death.
Many characters carry the name of Sobekhotep, a reference to the great crocodile god of the Fayum, which is geographically close to El Kab. This results in certain amount of confusion in identifying their relationships. This also appears with other names used withing the family.
|LOVELY PAINTINGS ON THE WALL TO THE LEFT|
1) The inscription of the headband which runs along the top of the wall.
This is in a poor condition and includes a traditional offering formula to the gods. One can still read : "Offerings which the king gives to Nekhbet, to Osiris Lord of Abydos [...] Anubis the one who is in his bandages, master of the necropolis, Lord of the Amentit [...] to prince Renni, Justified (meaning: "deceased" ; lit. "true of voice")". Indeed, by a system of transfer, a part of the offerings thus dedicated to the divinities was supposed to be of benefit to Renni.
2) Agricultural scenes.
These scenes cover about the left 2/3 of the wall.
a) Upper register
The other early mention of horses and chariots is also in El Kab, in the tomb (behind the one of Renni) of Ahmose-son-of-Abana.
Just above this scene, can be found an inscription in demotic, proof that the tomb was visited at a later date.
Under the scene is an offering inscription "an invocatory offering which the king gives to Nekhbet the shining one of Nekhen, (to Horus of Nekhen ?), to Osiris-Khentyimentyiu, to Thoth [...]".
The register continues with traditional harvest scenes of the peasants with bronzed skin, and whose heads are protected by a yellow piece of cloth, cutting the ears of corn very high, as always in Ancient Egypt, with a stone sickle . Women, with a pale yellow complexion, collect the ears which are then placed in baskets. These are here carried on the shoulders of three groups of two men, suspended in the middle of a pole (or possibly two, with the effect of pseudo perspective).
The long inscription above, ends with the name (missing) of "... the mistress of the house of Ahmose".
Under the characters, and establishing a separation with the register underneath, is a short inscription proclaiming : "[May you drink] at the running water and receive the invocatory offering of bread, beer, meat, birds, and all good and pure things given by the sky or brought by Hapi (the god of the inundation)".
b) Middle register
Starting directly under the previous scene, which constitutes the continuation of the harvest, peasants are seen throwing the trampled ears of wheat into air, so that wind separates the chaff from the grain, this last being swept by other labourers The scene of the treading appeared in the register above, in the space between the heap created by carriers of the corn and the two prostrate foremen.
Then follow (heading towards the entrance) the farmers, bent on their plough and who are named, left to right : Kay, Se-uadj-nek-Usir ("May Osiris cause you to flourish", lit. "turn green") and Sennuu. Each of the small ploughs is pulled by a pair of oxen, whose colour is either red or spotted black and white. attached to the inner horns of the pair of beasts : the plough is formed of two curved branches, to which is attached the blade by means of a pin, thus creating the ploughshare, ideal for light soil.
In front of the animals is located the sower Djehuty-Ra. The grain which he sows will be buried, in time, by the plough and by the stamping of the animals, which will afterwards be released in the field and whose presence is only manifested by a remaining pair of horns on the wall behind him.
Arriving in the opposite direction towards them (and under the chariot of the upper register) can be found Renni, sekhem-sceptre and staff in his hands, wearing a small curly wig and flowing white skirt, preceded and followed by his servants, who are all named Behind him "his servant Ahmose" carries the bow and arrows, then "his servant Djehuty" carrying a battle-axe in his left hand and over his left arm is what could be an archer's glove, for protecting the arm (one such glove was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun), whilst on his right shoulder he carries a stool. The object over his arm, has previously been considered as either an animal skin or a piece of cloth for use as a towel or scarf. Between Renni and Ahmose, can be seen his faithful dog (already mentioned, above) held on a leash by Ahmose.
What, one may wonder, is this warlike material doing in this pastoral scene ? It is possible to suppose that Renni participated in Pharaoh's military operations and that it was there perhaps one reason was that of royal favour. Whatever the reason, this type of exhibition was especially aimed at increasing the master's prestige.
Situated between the middle register and the lower one, the text "Inspecting the work accomplished by the hereditary Prince with the divine servants, the scribe, Renni, justified, who renews life" connects the two scenes; harvest, ploughing and sowing above, and stock taking below. By annual regeneration of the harvests and the increasing of the herds, the action of Renni thus fits into the Egyptian order, required by the gods : it is Ma'at in action.
c) Lower register
Below the scene just discussed, is a very rare scene showing pigs with their herdsman Irnutu (?), with a stick on his shoulder.
the scene has since deteriorated The pig was considered as an impure animal in Ancient (and modern!) Egypt although it was extensively consumed, since the analysis of the waste around the ancient villages showed a great predominance of their bones in relation to those of other animals.
Senbet, stooping and with his right hand on his left shoulder, greets Renni, who arrives in the opposite direction, shown as described already, again holding the sekhem-sceptre, but curiously this time passing illogically behind his body . He is represented a little larger than his servants. The first of those here, in front of him, is "the scribe Djehuty". He holds his scribe's material and writes a stock-taking accounts of the animals. These are represented in the inscription above him : "cattle 122, sheep 100 (?), goats 1200, pigs 1500" Behind Renni is located "his servant Ahmose", badly proportioned , who carries his bow and arrows in his right hand and on this arm a possible archer's glove (discussed above), whilst over his left arm he holds a stool. Next comes "his servant Djehuty" carrying a battle-axe in his right hand over his left shoulder, and in his right hand he carries a throwing stick.
Finally comes a very damaged scene, in which can be seen Renni's boat, it probably relates to the master's arrival in the harbour of El Kab . A man's image can still be made out, seated at the prow. The text above him is damaged, but this must be Renni himself. A young woman offers him refreshment, and the hieroglyphic Ka sign, which could belong to an expression of the type "n Ka ek", literally "For your Ka !", i.e. "for your health !". The prow of the boat is partially visible after a damaged area, and a sailor hanging in the rigging announces that the harbour is in view. The rest of this part of register is definitely lost.
3) Banqueting scenes.
The real or symbolic nature of these banquet scenes remains debated in Egyptological literature, but they are present in nearly all tombs of individuals (even in the royal tombs).
Here these scenes occupy about 1/3 of the west wall, at the northern end, and are separated from the previous agricultural scenes by a vertical line. The very beautiful conservation of the colours is very noticeable, the representations themselves stand out clearly on a blue-grey background.
The banquet on this wall is for Renni's grandparents, Sobekhotep and his wife, Idy. The scene unfolds on four registers and all the guests are named. The two rows at the top are reserved for the men and the two below for the women.
The register below, represents other guests, their position on the lower register suggests a lower elevated social standing. The characters kneeling on a mat are two "curate priests", who have to participate in the ceremonies. The second, Djehuty, with his hand on his shoulder in sign of respect, turns to speak to the character behind him, named : Nema the elder, whose function is unknown.
Note the difference in treatment of the chairs, those of the upper register having straight legs, while those beneath have legs with curved ends
The third register, the first with females, is nearly completely lost, and it is necessary to refer to the bottom register to see the representation of these ladies. All are kneeling, up to the place where the register is going to pass under the representation of the master and his wife, Sobekhotep and Idy. The chair is an attribute of social importance, these females do not benefit from it, in spite of their ties of relationship with the master. Wearing a tripartite wig, they hold in their hands, as do the the men above, a lotus flower and a piece of material. Under the representation of Sobekhotep and Idy, these are the ten daughters who are represented standing, wearing long tight dresses, with their arms held straight down their sides.
4) The representation of prince Sobekhotep and his wife Idy.
This is located at northern extremity of the west wall and occupies the height of three registers . It is separated from the rows of guests by a large offering table, of which only a part of the top now exists
The couple are seated, side by side, on a couch with a small sedate cushioned back, which in turn is on a mat. Sobekhotep wears a short curly wig and the straight beard of the living, as well as a large wsr-necklace around his neck. He holds out his arm towards the table of offerings in front of him, from which he is separated by five columns of partially mutilated text, of which the last three columns proclaim "Hereditary Prince, Sobekhotep, true of voice, born of the Mistress of the House, Ahmose", thus adding more support to Griffith's claim to the identity of the couple. Above the couple, the line of text identifies the wife in the scene as "His wife, mistress of the house, Idy".
. Idy wears a long white dress, a tripartite wig and she also wears a wsr-necklace. She holds in one hand an open lotus flower to her nostrils and her other arm encompasses her spouse. Bracelets decorate her wrist and her arm. Under the chair, there is a Hathoric mirror with a polished copper disk, as well as pots of ointments and make-up which will serve her to fulfil the role which is hers in this context : she takes the function of the goddess Hathor and must, by her beauty and skill, stimulate the sexual functions of her husband in order to enable him to be reborn of his own works in the beyond. In front of the couple can be seen a child's legs. This is certainly one of their sons.
The wall is concluded by the vertical lengthening of the Egyptian frieze, already mentioned earlier.
Now let's continue our visit with the content on the east wall, to the right of the entrance.
|THE WONDERFUL SCENES ON THE EAST WALL (RIGHT)|
This wall is reserved primarily for the funeral scenes, only interrupted by a second banqueting scene, which is much less developed than that of the west wall.
Like the west wall, this wall is in the main divided into three registers.
1) The inscription of the headband which runs along the top of the wall.
At the top of the east wall, as found on the west wall opposite, a long inscription painted but non engraved : "Offerings which the king gives to Nekhbet, mistress of Nekheb, Osiris in Nekhen and Anubis in the necropolis. May he give them all good and pure things, provisions by the thousand, incense by the thousand, ointments by the thousand, and all good and pure things. May they receive everything which the sky covers and which the land produces, or which Hapi brings, for the Ka of [...] Justified, born of prince Sobekhotep, Justified, and of the mistress of the house, Ahmose".
2) The couple Sobekhotep and Ahmose, and the banquet.
Before dealing with the major detail of the wall, the banqueting scene and the image of the couple who supervise it will be dealt with.
The scene begins immediately to the right of the doorway to the small room which is now walled up.
The couple are represented in a design similar enough to their counterparts on the west wall, but here the woman doesn't hold a flower and she holds her husband in both arms. Under the chair only a fan is represented (handle at the top). In front of them is an offering table over-laden with meats, breads, vegetables, etc. In front of this, represented much smaller, one register high, is a son by the name of Djehutymes, "His son, scribe and butcher in the temple", who presents them with a choice cut of meat : the right foreleg of an ox, the Khepesh . Below him, again one register high, is probably another son of whom very little survives. This whole scene is the height of two registers, separated from the following funerary scenes by a vertical line.
The banquet is also represented in a part of the third register, below the couple delineated by the vertical line, but passing beyond it (about half as much again) slightly toward the right but again terminated by a vertical line. While taking into account the missing section, it must have contained eight guests making two groups of four facing each other and which appear to have been alternatively male and female. Each is seated on a comfortable chair on a mat in front of individual offering tables (on which only the men have meat) : these represent characters of importance, relatives very close to the nomarch. Represented beneath Renni's grandparents and also facing right, is his son, Sobekhotep, and a daughter whose name has not survived. The first of this group of four facing left (after the missing section of wall) is Renni himself, clearly named : "his eldest son, the Prince Renni" . The name of Renni is also belongs to one the females "his daughter, Renni", who is therefore a sister of our male Renni. She can be seen at far right, just before the vertical termination line .
3) The funerary scenes.
Having fulfilled his obligations with regard to his family, the remainder of the wall is dedicated exclusively to Renni. The funeral scenes which are represented here are of great interest because of their originality, their good conservation of colour and, according to me, their quality of production.
It is necessary to start from the other end of the wall, close to the entrance doorway, and to follow the progression of the scenes, which are displayed on three registers.
a) Upper register
The beginning is lost. The first thing which can still be identified is a large sledge, at the front of which is a sem-priest clothed in his ritual panther skin. Behind him, is a representation of a chapel of Lower Egypt with a rounded roof (Per nu), in which a woman stands turned towards the rear and in front of her is a very damaged figure, probably Renni, leaning forward and probably worshipping the barque of which only a part of the prow is still visible. Griffith proposes to see there, the solar barque approaching the chapel.
On the other side of a fracture in the rock, three dancers (a man between two woman) sing while keeping rhythm to the song with their arms. In front of them a man, who also holds the rope for hauling the sledge, guides the oxen by the horns from which it is attached . Above the chanters, a partial inscription informs us that the words are "sung by people of Pe and people of Dep". The remainder of the text is very difficult to understand in order to propose a consistent translation. Adolf Erman suggested reading there, in part : "their hearts are happy, your shepherd and your master is one who goes into the earth on this day".
In front of the draught animals and appearing to welcome the whole group, are found three Muu dancers, the first of which is badly damaged. Their representation is characteristic, with their very high headgear of plaited reeds and their attitude with a raised leg and the pointing index fingers. The significance of this dance remains a mystery, It is interesting to compare this representation with that of the tomb of Paheri who will become a governor after Renni.
Then come two porters carrying a large yellow-brown chest, which rests on what looks like a red bed or couch shaped in the form of a lion . It has two udjat-eyes on its side, and it is quite probable that it contained the canopic jars, which hold the deceased's viscera. Under the chest is a young woman, by the name of Djeret, with a strange hairstyle. the mourner is associated with Isis or Nephthys, but this association seems a little unconvincing to me.
The tekenu rests, as always, on a sledge pulled here by two men. In front of them, is the arrival in the necropolis, where the goddess of the west, holding in her hands the ankh-sign of life and a wsr-sceptre of power, welcomes the cortege The first character can be seen offering him homage with a libation of water. The accompanying inscriptions say : " [...] for you the mountain opens up on both sides, the mountain gives two hands to you. The Amentit rejoices in (your arrival) to the west" and "entering in the secret chamber of the great palace".
THE MIDDLE REGISTER
At first sight, it would be possible to think that it is exclusively Osirian, because it starts with an evocation of the pilgrimage to Abydos, and ends in front of the statue of the Great God.
The scenes of navigation
The ritual scenes.
After a small gap, caused by a fracture of the rock, the scene starts again with a very curious representation of a man seated on a jar, bearing a white disk on his head
After a vertical demarcation line, is a group of three squatting women, wailing and waving their hands as the procession passes. The following reasonably large gap doesn't allow the total number of women to be specified, but after it stands another mourner, bent forwards, with her hair falling in front of her face. They represent, according to the damaged text, the deceased's sisters.
These scenes of lament take place in front of the place where the preparation of the mummy is finished. Here, one is stretched out on a bed similar to that which served to transport the chest . A priest proceeds with a libation or an application of ointment. Then follows the ceremony of the "Opening of the Mouth" on the upright mummy, which should return to him the use of his senses Several details are non conventional : the priests should be sem-priests, with shaven heads and wearing the ritual panther skin. Ideally this ritual would have been accomplished by the eldest son of Renni.
At the end the register, is the conclusion of the ritual scene.
Anubis waits for Renni under the representation of a chapel of Lower Egypt and, no doubt, goes on to lead him to Osiris-Khentimentyu, situated behind him.
c) Lower register
As already seen, its left part is occupied by a banqueting scene.
The right-hand section consists in fact of a continuation of the funeral procession of first register, and more participants.
Found here firstly are some men, extremely well portrayed, designated as purification priests : Ahmose, Djabaemra and Djehuty. This is followed by a wide gap
Then comes an elder and friend, who leads this part of the funeral, who is quite bold, typically androgenic He is identified as "his friend, Saumes". He is obviously a man of importance considering his imposing presence, his clothing and the honour which is bestowed on him. Next are four porters who transport a chest, supported by poles on their shoulders, which must have contained precious personal effects of the deceased and that will be buried with him. Alongside the box, is represented a young dancer.
In front of the porters is another mourner, a girl named Sataah, who leads the procession, but ahead of her another porter carries a box and a jar by means of a yoke across his shoulders.
Finally the scene concludes with the accumulation of products which will serve either in the ritual, or in the banquet : provisions and seven jars probably containing the seven sacred ritual oils. The man who cuts the foreleg of the sacrificial ox is "his brother, the scribe, the butcher of the temple" Some pieces of meat are already grilling on the fire, but it is certain that the thigh being cut is going to be presented (perhaps cooked) in front of the mummy of Renni.
|THE WONDERFUL SCENES ON THE NORTH WALL|
Directly either side the opening is found an inscription, each of two lines :
• On the east side (right) : "An offering which the king gives to Osiris-Khentimentyu, lord of eternity, ruler of forever, to the gods who follow him (and to his majesty?), may he give invocatory offerings of bread, beer, meat, birds, linen and incense by the thousand, of pots of ointments and all good and pure things for the Ka of the hereditary Prince, chief of the priests, Renni, Justified". Underneath is found a representation of Renni seated in front of a table of offerings.
• On the west side (left) : "An offering which the king gives to Anubis in his mountain, who is in his bandages, lord of the sacred land (= the necropolis). May he give a good burial in old age, a going out and a coming in from the necropolis, the soft breath of the north for the Ka of the hereditary Prince among the divine following, Renni, Justified". Here again, underneath is found a representation of Renni seated in front of a table of offerings.
On the curved area above the entrance to the niche, the inscription is especially interesting because it permits us to date the tomb with certainty, which is far from always being the case.
It shows two representations of the "Hereditary Prince, the revered scribe, Renni, Justified" offering red vases to the cartouche of Pharaoh Djeser-Ka-Ra, that is to say Amenhotep I. The sovereign is qualified as "The good God, Lord of the Two Lands" and "Giver of life, eternally".
|THE NICHE WITH BIG RECESS FOR THE STATUES OF THE DECEASED|
1) The rear of the niche.
Situated centrally at the rear are the remains of the statue of Renni, on a raised dais (
This has been deliberately, completely smashed, only the base and a portion of the back pillar survives.
On either side, on the back wall, is an udjat-eye and a representation of a reclining Anubis on the representation of the entry to the tomb.
2) The two lateral walls.
These are devoted to ritual scenes carried out in this tomb, as in others, by the sons of Renni. These scenes are painted and not sculpted (except for some inscriptions). Their colour is beautifully preserved, even though their craftsmanship is not exceptional.
The two panels are surmounted by the hieroglyphic sign for the sky and are surrounded on their three sides by an Egyptian frieze, of alternating colourful rectangles.
The whole scene of the wall is centred towards the seated couple who represent "the revered hereditary Prince, the scribe, Renni, justified, who renews life, revered lord, justified by the Great God, Lord of Abydos (= Osiris)" from the text in front of him. The text above the female declares her as "his mother, Ahmose, justified by Osiris". Renni chose his mother instead of his wife for this role, yet essentially it is she who is sexually his in this context. She embraces her son with one arm while the other hand rests on his arm. Both are seated on a long couch resting on a thick mat. In front of them, is a well garnished offering table. Below the seat is a large pot made of veined alabaster, the nature of which we are ignorant.
Further beneath, are objects which the deceased considered as particularly useful for his life in the beyond, two baskets, a large wsr-necklace, two loincloths and what appears to correspond to two vases of precious essence, two chests of which one is made of ebony encrusted with ivory, and finally a curious unidentified object, evoking - the Aa18 hieroglyph of Gardiner (value "sA").
At the top, in front (right) of the offering table, is found the frequently found "placard" or offering table contents list, enumerated in vertical rectangles.
This is a rather reduced list, both in variety as well as in number : 22 types of offering with small quantities : 1 bread, two jars of wines, etc...
This can be compared with the lists found in the tombs of the fourth and fifth Dynasty, at Saqqara, which show up to 96 different types of offering. The quantities are also different, they are expressed in thousands. Several hypotheses could explain this change :
- the recent exit of the dominating Hyksos, the nomarchs not yet having recovered their status nor the wealth which they had during the Old Kingdom.
- the fact that the nomarch of El Kab was a character less close to the Pharaoh than when they were buried in Giza and Saqqara.
- a change in cult worship; the mentioned products would have been the those truly presented in the quantities indicated, at the time of the burial ceremony. This hypothesis seems most probable to me because their representation, being closer to the statue of Renni, would thus have been renewed for the eternity as an established fact.
The participants at the ceremony are sons of Renni. The name of the sem-priest is lost. Behind him, the person carrying the long scroll (a Book of the Dead ?) is Sen-Djehuty. Three other sons, Tchuni, Ahmose and Neferhotep, are knelt, one arm raised and the other striking the chest, in the typical attitude of the Henu ritual, rarely represented in the private tombs. It relates to the "Powers" of Pe and Nekhen . The middle son has a lighter skin, and could be mistaken for a daughter, except for wearing the same attire as the other two and having a bare upper torso, and of course by being named as "son". The lighter skin may have been introduced purely to identify the presence of three sons. The final son, Nebmes, who stands behind the kneeling trio, looks at the couple but his body is turned in the opposite direction and carries what looks like a net.
Underneath, Djehuti-Ur makes the offering of a brazier from which springs a flame. He is followed by the Ahmose the sem-priest and finally by Paheri who holds a small scroll in his hand.
The scene is constructed almost to the same design as that of the east wall. The woman is partially erased but is also called Ahmose. Therefore, again, she is probably his mother. Under the seat, is a beautiful sealed vase, again of veined alabaster, but of a different shape. Renni stretches his hand towards a now invisible offering table. In front of him, at his feet, stands an anonymous young boy. On the other side of the table, and facing the couple, is Nebseny, kneeling and making an offering. He is followed of a sem-priest and another son carrying the large scroll, as seen before. They are followed, also as before, by the three kneeling sons performing the Henu ritual, Tchuni, Ahmose and Neferhotep, the middle son again has a lighter skin. Lastly, Nebmes with net (?) in hand, and appearing to be moving away (as on the other wall).
This time, the lower register does not contain an assortment of objects, as on the east wall. In the whole lower register can be found the ceremony of the "Opening of the Mouth, in the House of Gold, for his statue, on this beautiful day" which seems to take place in front of the deceased's statue. The "House of the Gold" designates the place of the tomb where the sarcophagus rests, and the "beautiful day" is the one of the funeral.
Notice that on this register, no one wears the ritual white scarf worn across the chest.
The sem-priest who officiates is "his son Nebseny". Behind him, Maay holds a libation vase; he is followed by Djehuty-nefer who brings the right foreleg of an ox, and then by another seemingly essential character, carrying a heart to the ceremony. It is more difficult to explain the offering carried by this following character: a heart; it could possibly be either the actual organ of the ox, or just a heart-shaped amulet, often found on the mummies.
After the fracture in the wall, six other sons, all anonymous (there is no text accompanying them) make various offerings.
So ends our visit of the tomb of Renni. This monument, even if it is not a major piece of work, it remain nevertheless very interesting as we have seen, and it is one of the only witnesses of this kind from the very beginning of the 18th Dynasty.