The Goddess' Brewer

Digs & Discoveries May/June 2014

(Courtesy Institute of Egyptology/Waseda University)
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A team of Japanese Egyptologists doing routine cleaning at a New Kingdom necropolis in Luxor accidently uncovered a previously unknown burial chamber decorated with still-vivid murals. “I was surprised to find such a beautiful tomb,” says Waseda University’s Jiro Kondo, who points out that only a handful of chambers with such well-preserved murals have been unearthed at the necropolis. Among the paintings, which date to between 1292 and 1069 B.C., is a depiction of the funeral procession of the tomb’s owner, an official named Khonsuemheb. According to inscriptions in the chamber, he was the chief beer maker of the temple of the mother goddess Mut—an important ritual position. On the ceiling, two figures of Khonsuemheb are painted next to the text of a hymn to the sun god Amun-Ra and a depiction of a solar boat, in which the dead were thought to sail for eternity.

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