This is the simple tomb of the scribe of the granaries under Thutmose IV. It comprises two chambers and only the first is decorated. But in this single room are such detailed activities, executed with such infinite charm and in such a good state of repair that the tomb of Nakht will always rank as one of the finest. The more detailed the earthly activities depicted in the tomb , the easier for them to be repeated in the hereafter; that much isclear. But this tomb has, in addition, extraordinary and remarkable irrelevances that both surprise and charm.
We will turn to the left after we enter the doorway. On the first wall (a) is a series of agricultural scenes including ploughing, digging, sowing, etc. In the upper row the deceased superintends three stages of the harvest: the measuring and winnowing of the grain , the reaping and pressing of the grain into baskets - with a charming drawing of a man leaping in the air so that the weight of his body might press the grain tightly-and, in the lower row, the laborers being organized by the deceased for ploughing in two teams. Note that the ploughman has ragged hair, the ox is piebald and that, in the midst of the strenuous work one of the workers
takes a moment's respite to drink from a wineskin on a tree.
On the rear left-hand wall (b) there is a delightful scene showing the deceased and his wife (in the lower row) being brought flowers and geese by their son whilst three women play music to them. These female musicians are sensitively painted in perfect detail. The graceful nude lute-player dances to the accompaniment. of.a
no less graceful flautist and harpist. The body of the one girl is given front-view treatment while her head is turned to speak to her colleague. Above is a blind harpist playing to guests and attended by an audience of women seated on the ground, who are apparently more interested in local gossip than in watching the dancers, and a naked young girl leaning to put perfume before the nostrils of three women. Below Nakht's chair is a bristling cat who has just stolen a feast.
On the right-hand rear wall (c) the deceased is seated with his wife in an arbor (lower row), while flowers, poultry, grapes and fish are brought to them by their servants. Servants were of course a regular feature in the homes of Egypt's noblemen. Each had a specific chore: cleaning the bed-chamber, washing the laundry,
acting as nanny.
On this same wall (c) birds are being caught in nets and plucked. The filled net is a complex of wings and colors. Grapes are being picked and turned into wine (lower rows) and in the upper row the deceased enjoys his hobbies. He is spearing fish and shooting fowl. The fishing scene was never completed. Though the fish them-selves are drawn, Nakht has no spear in hand. His wife tenderly holds an injured bird in her hand. His little daughter holds his leg to prevent him from losing balance.
It is interesting to note that, in contrast to the twelve dramatic zones of the underworld traversed by the deceased Pharaohs in their tombs in the Valley of the Kings, the deceased noblemen had simple intercourse with the gods. On each side of the entrance doorway Nakht followed by his wife and three rows of servants,
makes offerings to Amon, whose name was obliterated by Akhenaten whenever it occurred.
In the second chamber, in a shaft descending to the mummy chamber, was found a small and exquisite statue of Nakht in a kneeling position and holding an inscribed stele. This little masterpiece is now lying on the floor of the Irish Sea, on which it was being transported was sunk in World War I.
Nakht the man has emerged from the paintings in his tomb. We know about his official career with its emphasis on organization, efficiency and production, his family life with its show of harmony and plenty, his entertainments with their air of light-hearted gaiety and the pastimes that gave him most pleasure.
Pictures from the tomb of Nakht:
(His wife tenderly holds an injured bird in her hand.)
(Birds are being caught in nets and plucked. The filled net is a complex of wings and colors.)
(Three women playing music to them)
(Naked young girl leaning to put perfume before the nostrils of three women)