The Valley of The Nobles is located on the west bank of Luxor in an area called Sheik Abd El-Korna. The site has rock-cut tombs of nobles and high officials of ancient Egypt. These men once served the Pharaohs during the time of the New Kingdom. (1500 – 500 B.C.)
One of the most important tombs in this cemetery is tomb 55, which belonged to Ra-Mose. He was the mayor of Thebes during the end of the reign of Amenhotep III (Amenophis III) and his son Akhenaton, the vizier. Unfortunately, this tomb is unfinished because Ra-Mose moved, with Akhenaton, to the new capital Akht-Aton (modern-day Tell El-Amarna), therefore the decoration work stopped, and the tomb was left unfinished, except for the scenes which already had been completed. Because of this, we can appreciate the high techniques that Egyptian art had during that period, but we can’t see the final product.
This tomb consists of a square rock-cut court, with a central doorway, opening into a broad columned hall with columns in the papyrus bud form. The inner hall is undecorated. On the left of the broad hall, and under the inner hall, were shafts’ leading to two burial chambers, but the mummy of Ra-Mose was not found. The relief carving in this chapel is very interesting but only some parts were painted.
Tomb 100 is another important tomb in this cemetery. It belonged to Re-khme–e, who was vizier of Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II.
This rock-cut tomb has walls decorated with many painted scenes of the various aspects of life in Ancient Egypt. One of the most beautiful scenes is the one that represents the arrival of foreign delegations to the court of the Vizier Re-khme-Re, carrying presents and tributes to the King of Egypt and his men. These presents and tributes included items such as utensils, agricultural products, and various animals. One of the most important text engravings in this tomb is the one which mentions the duties and responsibilities assumed by the vizier in order to let the justice prevail on Earth.
When you visit the tombs, it is important to remember the number of the tomb you want to visit. This way you can visit exactly what you want to see; otherwise, you will be lost, as many of the names of the Nobles are similar.
Below are some recommended tombs to visit.
The Tombs Chapel of Nakht, Number 52
The owner of this tomb was a noble who had the title of great scribe. He was also an astronomer in the Temple of Amon during the time of the reign of King Tuthmosis IV. His wife was also involved in the activities carried on in the Temple, as she worked as a chanter. The tomb is fairly small but has some of the most brilliant colorful scenes. These scenes are well preserved and have great beauty.
Scenes of agriculture and a marvelous scene of Nakht in hunting action together with his wife standing on a boat harpooning fish adorn the tomb. Nearby is another scene of him birdhunting in the marshes of the Delta, where he is catching birds using a boomerang.
Next is a wonderful scene of female musicians playing their instruments while a blind singer sings for the crowds. You can also see crowds of people who were invited to this party watching the show and talking as they eat from a fruit-laden table.
The Tomb of Menna N 69:
This is one of the most famous tombs in the Valley of the Nobles and one of the most beautiful. It has many magnificent scenes and still remains in good condition. The tomb belonged to a noble with the title of being the land surveyor during the time of King Tuthmosis IV. His job was important, as he was the one responsible for estimating the amount of taxes to collect from the farmers. The tomb is full of scenes of daily life. There are scenes of cultivation, including harvesting, threshing, plowing the fields and winnowing the seeds (separating the chaff from the seeds).
In the middle of the left wall is a cute scene of two girls fighting over falling seeds that passing farmers are dropping, while transporting them to the threshing ground.
This tomb also includes offering scenes of Menna and his wife as they make an offering to the God Osiris. There are also scenes of fishing and birdhunting in the marshes of the Nile. As well as all of the reliefs there is also a destroyed statue of Menna and his wife, of which nothing remains but the feet!
When looking at the depictions of Menna on the walls, you will notice that his eyes have been destroyed! It seems that he had an enemy who entered his tomb after the burial and destroyed the eyes in the paintings, meaning that Menna will never be able to see again in the afterlife according to ancient Egyptian beliefs.
The Tomb Chapel of Ra Mose
This is the best tomb by far in the Valley of the Nobles. This marvelous tomb belongs to a vizier and
counselor of the city of Thebes who lived during the reigns of King Amenhotep III and Akhenaton (or Amenhotep IV) in the 18th Dynasty. The tomb contains a complete record of the new cult that Akhenaton, who was regarded as the Heretic King, introduced and called Atonism.
Ra-mose lived until the 5th year of the reign of King Akhenaton. Evidence proves that this tomb was opened and re-used by many other Noblemen in a later period, most probably by the ones who erased the names of King Akhenaton of the walls. The high Priest Ra-mose of Amon Ra had great power! It is clear from the style of decoration inside this tomb, that he enjoyed a unique position.
The most interesting part of the tomb was for the worshippers of the sun disk, the God Aton, which illuminates the name and figures of the wives and children of Akhenaton. Next to him, in this scene, there are another one of the High Priests with a long mantle and clean-shaven head.
On the interiors wall to the south, is the fine colored scene showing the funeral ceremony and female mourners. There you will see a group of servants carrying offerings to the deceased. On the eastern wall there is a fine specimen of relief sculpture made by the finest artists of the 18th Dynasty. Here the scene shows Ra-mose’s wife, father, uncles, and sisters.
There is also a large scene that shows Ra-mose sitting on a stool with his wife, and their pet goose sitting underneath. On the southern wall of the tomb there is a fresco that shows the funeral of Ra-mose, his possessions, and the offerings being made for him. In another scene, you can see groups of mourners weeping and wailing. In front of them is a priest standing at the entrance of the tomb.