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THE FINDS of nakht in the valley of the nobles

The kneeling statue of Nakht. The best known of these is that of the 40cm high kneeling statue of Nakht, created in fine white limestone.

When Davies commenced his work of copying the tomb for the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum in 1908-9, he assumed that the subterranean chamber had been already been cleared, which wasn't the case. It was only in March, 1915, that he undertook this task and was immediately rewarded by the discovery of the statue, which had been flung down the shaft on its right side. This probably occurred when the burial chamber was rifled subsequent to the heretical movement of the Eighteenth Dynasty - the name Amon had been removed. Except for injuries to the left elbow and knee, caused by the fall, the statuette was practically undamaged and its brick-red flesh and the black of the hair had retained their brightness and colour.

Later in 1915, the statue was shipped to New York. On the way there, the steamer "Arabic" was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland, and was sunk. This resulted in the loss of the statue, all that now remains are Davies' original photographs and replicas, such as the one currently seen in the niche at the back of the rear chamber.

The statue is that of a kneeling figure in a simple Egyptian white kilt, presenting an upright stela-shaped slab. If this had been located in the rear niche, and facing the entrance of the complex, it would (in theory) have faced the rising sun, making the textual content more in keeping. At the top of the stela are the pair of udjat-eyes, separated by a shen-ring and a nun-dish.

The stela-shaped slab had eight rows of yellow inscribed hieroglyphs with the following address to the Sun-god : "An adoration of Re, from the time of his rising, until he sets in life, by the serving priest of [Amon], the scribe Nakht, justified. 'Hail to you, Re at your rising, Atum at your beautiful setting. You appear and gleam on the back of your mother. You have appeared as king [of the gods]. Nut performs the nini-greeting before your face. Ma'at embraces you always. You traverse the heavens with a glad heart, the sea of knives (a locality in the celestial world through which Re passes) has become peaceful, the venomous enemy is felled, his hands are bound and knives have severed his vertebrae.' ".

• Further tomb finds, found in and around the complex, were sparse and usually fragmented. Parts of several coffins, furniture, earthenware vessels and some funerary cones were rescued. The few almost completely damaged finds were the result of looting of the tomb by tomb robbers. These are listed here as given by Davies in his publication, but re-ordered slightly (the numbers on the images are referenced in the details and are not the actual find numbers).

  1. Two coarse red jars, 12 and 19 cm. high, with ribbed neck and with dark red bands painted in the hollows and on the shoulder (image 1). This shape of jar, which is known in pre-dynastic times and is common, in the Middle Kingdom, thus re-appears in the second half of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
  2. A slim jar (broken) of pale yellow pottery painted with four rows of blue petals between compound red lines. It stood about 30 cm. high, the actual fragment being 28 cm. long and 8.25 cm. broad at the mouth (image 2). This type of jar is frequently represented in Eighteenth Dynasty tombs, but is generally given a more bulbous shape and larger dimensions. Being used as a water jar, its mouth is closed with grass and its neck entwined with foliage to keep the contents cool. Hence it is appropriately decorated with painted garlands and spray.
  3. A red pottery pitcher with handle, decorated with a double black line at the junction of the neck and shoulder. Similar double lines run from this to the foot, with black spots between the lines (image 3).

  4. The broken sides and lid of a wooden box 40 cm. long, painted in black and white panels (image 5).
  5. Parts of sides, ends, and cover of one or two boxes about 35 cm. by 19 cm., painted with black bands on white and a central panel in red, the cover being slightly arched (images 4 and 6). Similar boxes are shown in almost every picture of burial equipment and were probably intended to hold ushabti figures. It is interesting both in this and in other cases to be able to take in the hand and measure the actual objects pictured on the walls.

  6. Two of the four legs and the connecting bar of a small table or stand of hard unpainted wood. The legs were 25 mm. square in section and curved slightly outward. The table (?) was 48 cm. long and stood a little less than 30 cm. high.
  7. Three of the four legs and a piece of the seat-frame of a low wooden chair painted black, 24 cm. high in front. The back legs are lower, so as to give a comfortable slope to the seat (images 14 and 15).
  8. A similar set, painted white. Two sides of the frame are pierced with eighteen holes to take the string or thongs of the seat, which was about 60 cm. square and raised 26 cm. from the ground in front (images 8, 9, 12 and 13).
  9. Three legs of a rougher and somewhat higher chair, painted black (images 10 and 11).
  10. The top rail of a chair-back hollowed out to the form of the seated person and having five tenon holes to take flat uprights, a broad one in the centre and two on each side (image 7). It is 37.5 cm. long, and, being black, perhaps belongs to item 7 above. These three chairs probably went with the three coffins, one to each. The legs were carved, as usual, to represent the two fore legs and the two hind legs of a lion and each pair was joined half-way down by a side bar.
  11. A wooden bracket to strengthen a joint of a table or of the chair-back above.

  12. Three funerary cones inscribed with the name and titles of Nakht and his wife. See below for further details.

  13. A wedge-shaped brick of burnt clay, stamped on three sides with the same impression as the funerary cones, is probably from M. Grébaut's clearance of the tomb.
  14. A face from a man's anthropomorphic coffin in hard red wood, the wig painted black with yellow stripes, the eyebrows and eyes having been inlaid (with coloured glass probably). Also pieces of the curved head-end painted a dull black with broad horizontal yellow bars-a common type.
  15. A face from a woman's coffin of a similar type in common wood, coloured white with painted eyes (black) and eyebrows (blue). Also the foot-end and a broken side-plank of a coffin of the same sort.
  16. A similar face painted yellow, with eyes and eyebrows as above.
  17. Pieces of a coffin smeared with black pitch with decoration in light yellow. A goddess stands on the nub sign at the end. A legend ran down a longitudinal column on the lid and dedications to the gods of burial down transverse bands. The name is illegible. These three (?) coffins may be attributed to Nakht, his wife, and one or more of his children or relatives.
  18. Part of the stem of an octagonal head-rest, of rather rough work. The fitting had been cleverly done by the use of forked pins cut from twigs. Such a peg, on being driven in where two diverging holes ran into one, spread out and held the two pieces firmly together.
  19. Two pieces of a light walking-stick (probably placed originally in the coffin with the body).
  20. A tiny hard-wood stick for applying kohl to the eyes. [ Kohl was a black eye cosmetic, made by grinding galena (lead suphide) and other ingredients.]
  21. A wooden hair-pin.

• The three funerary cones. Made of terracotta, these would have been inserted above the entrance to the complex. Their exact function is unclear. They all resemble the one shown in the above list but their sizes vary, all approximately 20cm in length. The three columns of inscription on the flat circular face state: "The revered before Osiris, the serving priest of Amon, the scribe Nakht and his sister, the chantress of Amon, Tawy.".

• A pedestal. The tomb of Nakht also contained, perhaps fortuitously, a pedestal like an elongated pot-stand, carrying a round slab on top. It is hollow and roughly made of unbaked mud mixed with straw. This is, in crude form, the blue pedestal of the round alabaster slab which is found in the pictures, piled with food, in front of the deceased. In a more squat form, and cut entirely out of alabaster, this pedestal-table furniture was known in the early dynasties. This was found by Davies in the inner room, among some rubble originating from an excavation of a tomb, of a later period, TT23.


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