Tomb of Foreman - Deir el Medina Necropolis (TT359)
Know about Deir el Medina, the Valley of the Artisans
This valley was inhabited by painters, laborers, craftsmen and cravers who worked in the royal tombs near the place. The place is thus referred as the Workmen’s Village, and the name Deir el Medina was derived when the temple of Hathor was converted into a church.
Inherkhau: an introduction
Referred as the "Foreman of the Lord of the Two Lands in the Place of Truth", Inherkhau lived and worked in the 20th dynasty during the reigns of Ramesses III and Ramesses IV. His tomb, TT 359, is located on the West Bank of Luxor in the necropolis of Deir el Medina. The tomb has some remarkable and rich decoration patterns and depicts one of the finest artistic works in the dynasty. TT 359 is the only Tomb from the 20th dynasty and decorations in the upper and burial chambers were all painted in a yellow background. The two tombs of Inerkhau are referred as TT 299 and TT 359, while the former is believed to be for Inherkhau and TT 359 tomb was intended for the use of his family.
Inherkhau’s role in the tomb construction
It’s believed that the tomb was supervised by two foremen, where one was responsible for work on the right side and other for work on the left side. The role of Foreman became hereditary and they not just supervised work but also worked in distributing work and payments and played a prominent part in the local court. The great grandfather of Inherkhau became a foreman during the rule of Ramesses II and Inherkhau joined as an ordinary laborer and attained the position of a deputy foreman of his father at the age of 17. It’s believed that he should have worked till Ramesses VII reigned.
Remarkable features of TT 359 tomb
Scenes from Book of Gates and text from Book of the Dead were seen in the Upper chamber with one image of Inherkhau with his wife facing queens and kings were also found. The ceiling displayed unusual patterns of spirals and rosettes. The deep burial chamber has the most striking images and has seventeen images in fourteen scenes in three registers to the right and three registers to the left scenes on right portray mythological creatures and on left showed scenes from the afterworld.
For entry into the tomb
Tomb of Inherkhau is located next to Sennedjem’s tomb in Deir el Medina and can be visited by tourists from 6.00 am to 4.00 pm during winter season. The cost of the ticket is EGP 30 for the tombs of Inherkhau and Sennedjem and Temple of Hathor and can be bought at the ticket office at the main West Bank.
Remains of the tomb
It should be noted that the tomb TT 359 did not had any funerary equipments left and also there were no funeral banquets and scenes of lamenting to be seen. The tomb has been believed to be visited in the beginning of 19th century after which scenes were removed by the collectors.