Tuesday Tomb – TT69

Interior of TT69, the tomb of Menna. In the niche, there stands the remains of a statue of Menna and his wife (Source: http://www.bellabs.ru/Egypt/Luxor/Egypt2011_11-1291_Qurna_Menna(TT69).jpg).

TT69 is the Theban tomb of Menna, the ‘Scribe of the Fields of the Lord of the Two Lands’. It is believed that he lived during the reign of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh, Thutmosis IV. Menna’s wife, Hennutawi, was a Chantress of Amun.

TT69 is located in  Sheikh Abd el-Qurna which is part of the Theban Necropolis, and is a classical T-shaped tomb, typical of private Theban tombs. Although not completely finished, TT69 is one of the most completely decorated Theban tombs. The quality of the painting is astonishingly fine. Unfortunately, Menna’s images have been subjected to vandalism in antiquity – his face has been hacked out in order to prevent him receiving eternal life in the afterlife. Images of the god Amun have also been removed.

Detail of painting in TT69 (Source: Wikimedia Commons).

TT69 is well-known for it’s beautiful images of fishing, fowling, agriculture, and every day life. Depictions of the grain harvest are extremely detailed, revealing much about ancient Egyptian agricultural practices.

On the east wall (below), two registers depict Menna, seated surveying the work that is taking place in the registers before him. The scenes are very intensely detailed, and are to be followed from bottom to top, from the tilling of the land to the measurement of it, after reaping the harvest.

Other scenes depict the ploughing and seeding of the land, the harvesting of the crop, the threshing and winnowing of the grain, and the measuring of the grain.

Scenes on the east wall (Source: OsirisNet).

The left wall of the inner chapel, depicts the funeral procession of Menna to Abydos. His sarcophagus is transported by barque and then pulled on a sledge. Offering-bringers carry equipment to Menna’s tomb, and mourners travel by barque.

At the far end of this wall, the scene depicts the weighing of Menna’s heart against the figure of the goddess Maat, who represented truth and order. Horus stands by the scales, rather than Anubis, and Thoth records the scene (below).

The weighing of Menna’s heart (Source: OsirisNet).

Eight columns of text surround Menna, which read:

The scribe of the estate of the Lord of the Two Lands, Menna (partly erased), triumphant. He says: O my heart of (which comes from) my mother, O my heart of my mother, O my heart of my existence, do not rise up against me, with the keeper [of the balance] as a witness against me; do not be an enemy against me before the divine powers, do not cause a fall [of the scale] against me in the presence of the keeper of the balance, you who are my Ka which is in my body. The creator [the god Khnum] has made my limbs sound : come you forth [to] the happiness which we go to; pleasant it is for you, pleasant the hearing [on] the day of weighing of words.

For a comprehensive description of TT69 including many images, see OsirisNet.


14 comments on “Tuesday Tomb – TT69

  1. Love this post of Tomb TT69 Thanks for the beautiful pictures inside the tomb and the story told. Egyptology is fascinating. I was in awe when visiting Egypt 5 years ago & want to go again to see The Valley of the Nobles.

  2. […] Content Directory > Featured > Tomb – TT69 Tomb – TT69 Friday, 31st of August 2012 egyptianaemporium.wordpress.com TT69 is the Theban tomb of Menna, the ‘Scribe of the Fields of the Lord of the Two Lands’. It […]

  3. Beautiful African history, it’s nice see some detailed information on the workings of early African cultures like the Egyptians. I love the picture of the brown skinned Egyptian man carrying the antelope, he looks very peaceful.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post – that’s one of my favourite images too 🙂

      • Are you an egyptologist? Or just fascinated with ancient Egypt?

      • An Egyptologist in training 🙂 I’m studying for a masters degree in Egyptology. I have a bachelors degree in Egyptology which I completed in July.

      • Oh wonderful, I’m actually a college student currently looking to major in cultural anthropology with a concentration in archaeology, and I minor in near eastern studies. I certainly hope you don’t mind me asking questions. 🙂

        So what archaeology have you conducted in egypt? 🙂

        How do you view ancient Egyptian African culture vs modern Arab culture?

        Also is there still plenty of archaeology to be done in Egypt?

      • Also what university are you currently studying at for your masters?

      • Not sure I can help you with all of your questions, but some I can 🙂

        I’m studying at Swansea University in the UK. I haven’t done any archaeology on Egypt – I’m a text based person so my specialism is translating the hieroglyphs rather than archaeological fieldwork.

        With regards to whether there is much archaeological work to be done, yes, particularly in the Delta region, however, the restrictions upon archaeological fieldwork in Egypt are very strict.

      • Thanks 🙂
        I’m assuming when you say translate hieroglyphs, you referring to a lexicon or language record of some sort. I wouldnt expect anyone who wasn’t fellahin or Nubian to be able to red Egyptian heiroglyphs,old Nubian, or meroetic script.

        So I’m curious how you translate, and if you could provide me with any info to decode hieratic script writing.

        Also which Egyptian period are specialized in? I basically break it down into two, pre-Nubian rule, and pre Greco-roman rule.

      • I do read Egyptian hieroglyphs (Middle and Late Egyptian). I have only started on hieratic recently so I have not fully learned to read it yet.

        I’m specialising in the Third Intermediate and Late periods.

      • Okay thanks for sharing. Really cool stuff, and good luck on getting your masters. I’ll be following 🙂

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