Tomb of - Deir el-Medina Necropolis (TT290)
Irunefer’s tomb no 290, referred as TT 290 is located at the far end of the Western Cemetery to the west of the Ptolemaic temple of Hathor in Deir el Medina on the West Bank of Luxor. The three main sections in the tomb consisted of the entrance, antechamber and the burial chamber.
Who was Irunefer
Irunefer is believed to be the owner of this tomb who worked as a necropolis workman or a worker at the royal tombs, during the Ramesside era. He is known by the title "Servant in the Place of Truth" and lived during the 19th dynasty in the village. Parents of Irunefer, were Tausret his mother and Siwazyt as his father, who was a priest and was married to a woman Mehytkhati. He lived during the era which is considered to be the prosperous time of Egypt’s history.
The tomb TT 290 was discovered by Bernard Bruyere, who was a French archeologist in the year 1922. It’s said that the tomb’s possessions was mostly robbed with nothing much remaining. The few funerary types of equipment left were fragments of a wooden coffin and few stele fragments.
The tomb as today
The complex of the tomb comprises of a surface offering chapel that is made out of subterranean rock and mud bricks. It’s said that the tomb at one time had the typical superstructure of the small pyramid which were found in Deir el Medina tombs, with almost nothing surviving presently. The above ground chapel features deep, vaulted stele and a barrel vaulted roof and two stele receptacles on short wall.
The underground chambers can be reached by a rock cut vertical shaft which is few meters deep. The plaster inside was first covered with golden yellow paint, characteristic of tombs built in the 19th dynasty. Available space was decorated with paintings of human, divine and animal figures.
About the tomb: TT 290
The tomb number TT 290 belonged to Irunefer and depicted the most interesting corpus of the Ramesside era which was differentiated due to its beautifully adorned vaulted burial chamber. Leading to the burial chamber was a short passage which was decorated with a lying jackal Anubis, who was facing the entrance to the tomb and hieroglyphs the vault made of brick in this chamber was dedicated with colorful scenes and painting and also contained names of the family members. The background was golden yellow, typical to tombs of this era. The scenes on walls included images of funerary divinities, spells from the Book of the Dead, manifestations of the deceased’s ba and his shadow and demons.
The bottom line
The Tomb of Irunefer in Deir el Medina is among the better preserved tombs and one of the most colorful architectures depicting art of craftsmen from this era. It is among one of those three tombs in this area which is open to public and where people can see the hidden treasures associated with the Egyptian history from that period.