Private Tomb of - Sheikh Abd el-Qurna (TT100)
Who was Rekhmire?
Rekhmire was a Vizier during the reigns of Tuthmose III and Amenhotep II during the eighteenth dynasty. He also had the title of Governor of the Town to his name. He was amongst the highest civil officers in the town. He had the responsibility of area from Aswan to Assiut. He was also the Steward of the Temple of Amun at Karnak and the mayor of Thebes. The text depicting his duties explanation is among the most important administrative texts of the New Kingdom. Everything about Rekhmire except brief details on ostracon and papyrus is known from his tomb that is numbered TT 100 and lies in the Sheikh Abd el Qurna area in Egypt.
The tomb TT 100
The tomb of Rekhmire, tomb TT100, is a T-shaped structure illustrating traditional design. The unusual features include a long passage ending having a ceiling that is steeply sloping. The burial shaft is however found missing indicating that Rekhmire was not buried in this tomb, but another tomb to his name has also not been found. The hall and the passage are magnificently decorated with scenes from daily life and are exceptionally well-preserved. The scenes showing details make this tomb an interesting place in the entire necropolis.
The tomb plan is like most other private tombs having a simple plan and a courtyard followed by a vestibule which is 20 meters long. After this is a 25 meters long chapel. The chapel seems to be the most attractive part of the tomb with an interesting ceiling design. The ceiling design offers enough space for a fine decorative design. However presence of any ritual shaft is ruled out.
Decorations inside the tomb
Decoration begins in the vestibule in an archaic style similar to the tombs of the Middle Kingdom leading to a chapel depicting exceptional work of art. Themes like Opening of the Mouth ritual, Beautiful Feast of the Valley festival can be seen. Also unique scenes depicting an insight into the daily life were also found. Most paintings show a high state of preservation with most colors well preserved through the test of time. The wall of the vestibule has five registers scenes showing products from Upper Egypt. Most walls inside the tomb depict various phases from Rekhmire’s life along with relatives and more. Scenes of fishing, wine making and hunting can also be seen.
The height of the ceiling in the chapel somehow paves a hurdle in the visitors being able to see the decorations on the upper part of the chamber. The walls of the chapel have six registers with Rekhmire supervising the gathering and food preparation for the temple. Also scenes with eight registers showing labor work at the Amun’s temple can be seen.
The final word
The tomb TT100 belonging to Rekhmire is among the finest private tombs on the West Bank at Luxor, and the artwork throughout the tomb highlights the extraordinary talent of the craftsmen and artists who contributed in its construction.