Tomb of Roy (TT255)

The most recent tombs to be opened to visitors on the West Bank belong to Roy and Shuroy and have both been superbly restored. They are situated close together at Dra ‘Abu el-Naga at the northern end of the Theban necropolis, on the hillside just before the road turns off towards the King’s Valley. Roy was a ‘Royal Scribe in the Estates of Horemheb and of Amun’, probably during Horemheb’s reign. His wife, who appears with him in the tomb paintings is named as Nebtawy, or ‘Tawy’ for short.

Entrance to the Tomb of Roy

Roy’s tomb is tiny, consisting of only one small chamber with a niche and burial shaft. The quality, detail and colour of the paintings, however, makes up for it’s diminutive size.

Roy and his wife Tawy

The wall immediately to the left-hand side of the entrance is divided into four registers. Roy and his wife are seen before a man who is bringing a calf, and there are scenes of ploughing and pulling flax. Around the tops of the walls a frieze of Hathor heads, Anubis jackals and the titles of Roy and his wife can be seen.

Mourners at the funeral procession

Further along the wall there are five scenes from the ‘Book of Gates’. A man named Amenopet, who is overseer of the king’s granary, stands before Nefertem and Ma’at with his wife. Roy and his wife are also shown praising Re-Horakhty and Hathor, then Atum and the Ennead of nine gods. The deceased couple are led by Horus to a judgement scene for the wieghing of the heart. They are then shown led by Harsiesi to Osiris, Isis and Nephthys at the end of the wall. The bottom register shows the traditional funeral procession with the ‘nine friends’, mourners and priests moving towards a pyramid tomb where the mummy is held by Anubis before the Western Mountain.

The mummy of Roy in his shrine

On the opposite wall, to the right of the entrance, are three scenes showing priests and mourners offering to the deceased and banqueting scenes. Onions seem prominent in these scenes and one of the priests is seen censing and libating an enormous bundle of onions.

The niche on the end wall (not so well-preserved) contains a stela on which the barque of Re is adored by baboons. Roy and Nebtawy are depicted with the text of a hymn to Re. Above the niche was a double-scene of Horemheb and his queen Mutnodjmet before Osiris and the deified Amenhotep I and Ahmose-Nefertari before Anubis. At the sides the deceased and his wife are shown in attitudes of praise with the Western Goddess in a tree on the left.

Ceiling in the tomb of Roy

The tomb has a beautiful ceiling decorated in a colourful geometric ‘textile’ design. Roy’s burial shaft is in the right-hand corner near the entrance. A statue of Roy kneeling with a stela, which probably came originally from the tomb, is now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.


The tomb of Roy is open from 6.00am to 4.00pm in winter. A ticket for the Dra ‘Abu el-Naga tombs of Roy and Shuroy costing EGP 15 can be bought at the ticket office.

~ by Su on February 7, 2009.