TT31, the tomb of Khonsu , also called To (or Ta) .in the valley of the nobles -luxor -thebes




 The portable barque of Montu

 This navigates the Nile placed on the god's true river barque, pulled by two military vessels.
Only the extremity of the kiosk can be seen, overhanging the divine chapel. In front of this stands two masts with banners, a reminder of those which are in front of the pylons of the temples, a way of showing that the barque is a floating temple and that the area where the divine statue is always "djeser", meaning consecrated, or better, isolated
Above is a large protective wing (one of a pair), perhaps representing the Behedety falcon (Horus of Edfu). Under the chapel, impossible to discern correctly on the photo, is Ramesses II, the reigning Pharaoh, who is dedicating some offerings to the god. At the prow of the barque, is found the remains of a falcon head of Montu associated with a large multicoloured necklace.



Two characters are standing in front of the chapel. The scene is very damaged,  The first man, who makes with one hand a fumigation of incense and holds in the other a vase with a short spout, wears the characteristic long white garment of a vizier. This represents Usermontu, who has already been discussed (not to be confused with Usermontu, son of Khonsu). Behind him stands Huy, his brother, dressed in a panther skin, holding in one hand a bouquet and with the other a unidentifiable object. Behind Huy can be seen a small sign of a standard surmounted by a jackal with the head of the pharaoh, the head mounted with the double Ma'at-feather. Finally, there is a large upright multicoloured bouquet.

All of this is confirmed by the six columns of text above the images:  

"Making an incense and libation to Montu, lord of Ermant, so that he may give good and pure food to the Ka of the Osiris, the hereditary lord, the mayor and vizier, Usermontu, justified, born of Maia, justified, (and of) Osiris, the priest of Montu, lord of Ermont, Huy, justified, born of Maia, justified".
The same vizier, Usermontu, is also named in the Ramesside tomb TT148, of Amenemope, where he is defined thus: "His father, the prince, the count, the Divine Father, loved by the god, the superior one of the City and vizier, Usermontu, justified". The vizier, having lived about 180 years earlier, cannot be the biological father. Amenemope, as Khonsu, makes reference to a prestigious ancestor, who seems to have accomplished something special for the cult of Montu.
Tomb TT324 belongs to another high-priest of Montu, Hattiay. Usermontu (of whom the family links with the owner is again not clear) is represented opposite another vizier whose identity cannot be specified any further.
It should be remembered that in the passageway no one censored this reference to an Amarnian vizier having thus served a Pharaoh (probably Tutankhamun) who had been banished from the official list of sovereigns of Egypt.



  The towing vessels






The divine barque is towed by two military vessels, each with  fourteen rowers (seven on each side). A robust rope connects the two boats (although apparently only attached to the rearmost one) and the divine vessel which they tow. However, the decorator seems to have added another rope, fixed to the prow of the divine barque and held by two men on the stern of the towing boats. The smaller man was probably intended to be on the rear boat  Between them a man handles the rudder.
The ends of the towing vessels are decorated, at the prow and at the stern, with images of Montu (again in the form of a falcon head on a large necklace), as well as with another image of the pharaoh, with a feline body and a human head, wearing a false beard and the double feather crown. Both are protected from behind by a snake who spreads its wings in front of itself . Other signs which confirm that these are military vessels, are the two men on the roof of the cabin engaged in single-stick exercises (which they would actually have done on the deck). It is a matter of ritual activity which means  the destruction of the enemies of Horus. Habitually, it would be performed in the presence of the king, but here it is Montu who is the spectator. Either side of the cabin are two men carrying a standard, a small man on the left and a large one at the other end. This last man is identified as "His father, standard-bearer of the great regiment of Nebmaatre, Nebemhyt" ( This possibly represents the father of Neferhotep (therefore the paternal grandfather of Khonsu).
Finally, everything happens as if Khonsu had wanted to represent all the members of his family, who were or had been involved in the cult of Montu.

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