Tomb of Ankh-hor (TT414)

Ankh-hor was ‘Steward of the Divine Votress Nitocris’, ‘Great Mayor of Memphis’, ‘Overseer of Upper Egypt in Thebes’ and ‘Overseer of the Priests of Amun’ during the reigns of Psamtek II and Apries (Wahibre) of Dynasty XXVI. His tomb is one of a series of large tombs in the Asasif area built at the end of the Third Intermediate Period for high officials in the estates of the Gods Wives of Amun. The great importance of the Gods Wives during this time is clearly reflected in the size of the tombs of their chief administrators, that of Ankh-hor being no exception. As Chief Steward of Nitocris, he would have been one of the most important and wealthiest men in Egypt.

Tomb entrance and hieroglyphs

Above the ground a large mud-brick pylon was constructed and behind this a courtyard leading to a staircase and the subterranean levels of the tomb. Little remains now of the structures above-ground. The stairs lead into a small undecorated cult room with remains of a false door. To the right (west) a passage leads into a hall which probably had four square pillars, but only three remain.

The most interesting part of the tomb to be seen today is the next chamber, a sun court which was constructed around an open space with pillars on the northern and eastern side. In front of the pillars on the eastern side an offering table remains in situ. In this court there are some of the finest reliefs of the period, although very shallow and not always easy to see, with much of the decoration damaged or unfinished. A striped carvetto cornice around the court still shows some colour as well as areas which are drawn in red but left uncompleted. A cartouche of Psamtek II can be seen on the entrance wall.

Sun court in the tomb of Ankh-hor

Ankh-hor’s tomb followed the decoration in the tomb of Pabasa (TT279) and has some rare scenes of beekeeping, although the complete hives are not shown as they are in Pabasa’s tomb, but only the honeycombs.

All of the inner chambers of the tomb, which is quite extensive, were left unfinished. On the western side of the sun court is a short passage with a corbelled roof which leads to a large unplastered pillared hall. Eight pillars can be seen roughly carved out of the rock. This chamber in turn leads to a vestibule with a small cult chamber and statue niche at the western end. Other chambers off the northern side lead to small rooms on an upper level. The tomb was re-used in later periods and contained intrusive burials. Remains of a mummy can still be seen in one of the side-chambers.

Ankh-hor’s unplastered and undecorated burial chamber is on the southern side of the vestibule, where visitors can look down into the very deep burial shaft.

Entrance

The tombs of Kheruef and Ankh-hor at el-Asasif are open from 6.00am to 4.00pm in winter. Tickets can be bought at the ticket office for EGP 25.

~ by Su on February 7, 2009.