Private Tomb of - Sheikh Abd el-Qurna (TT31)
Who was Khonsu ?
Khonsu, also known as To, with the title First Prophet of Menkheperre, was the priest in the cult of Thutmose III and belonged to the reign of Rameses II.
Tomb TT 31
The Tomb TT 31, which is the Tomb of Khonsu, is located in the village area of Sheikh’ Abd el-Qurna . The place is adorned with many beautiful paintings displaying the cult of Thutmose III and the god Montu. The entrance to the tomb has two steale against both the walls. Next is a traverse hall that leads to the passage and a niches shrine at the rear. In the entry way paintings of the family worshipping Re and birds on the ceiling can be seen.
To the left of the entrance, the wall shows scenes about the Festival of Montu and some relatives of Khonsu. The temple of Montu at Armant was constructed by Thutmose III; as depicted in a part of the pillar. On the right side of the hall, there are judgment scenes portraying Khonsu, his wife and Usermonty, led by Harsiesi to Osiris, Isis and Nephthys.
The ceilings of the passage are very beautifully decorated and entrance has a grape arbor and geometric textile patterns and natural paintings of fledgling birds, ducks, locusts and nests. The scenes at the rear end show deceased offerings to the many deities.
The tomb today
The courtyard in which the tomb TT 31 was cut is now spoilt, but broken fragments from the door jambs were reassembled some eight decades back from now. They show Khonsu, followed by his mother Tausert, his son, and one of his two wives, walking out of the tomb into the daylight in “adoration of Ra when he arises on the eastern horizon.” Khonsu in these illustrations is shown wearing a panther skin, the women hold sistra, and his son carries a brace of birds. A frieze of alternating Anubis jackals and khekerornaments runs across the top of the jamb.
The other side of the door is even more badly damaged, but it displays Khonsu, his mother and son walking into the tomb, i.e. toward the western horizon, in “adoration of Ra when he sets on the western horizon.” Mother and son in the pictures are shown in similar costumes on both reveals, but Khonsu is illustrated as bald on the north reveal and with a wig on the south. On the ceiling of the doorway, birds in flight are drawn in a very formal style, laid out in ranks and files. The ceiling of the third doorway shows a very pleasing scene of the birds.
Entrance to the tomb
The tomb of Khonsu is open for tourists from 6.00am to 4.00pm in winter season. Tickets for the three tombs which are Tombs of Khonsu, Userhet and Benia can be bought at the ticket office.
The bottom line
The western bank of Luxor is among the most important archeological sites on the planet. The place is a home to many beautifully crafted monuments which depict the rich history and architecture of Egypt. Here only can be found the Tomb TT 31, which is among the Private tombs of Khonsu.