Private Tomb of - Dra' Abu al-Naja (TT 255)
Who was Roy?
Roy was a royal scribe and a steward in the estate of the King Horemheb and at the Temple of Amun and to Nebtawy who was his wife. Nebtawy was a chantress to Amun. The couple having any children seems to be ruled out and no details about any relatives are also found.
The tomb TT 255
Tomb TT 255 is the private tomb of Roy and belongs to the late 18th and early 19th dynasties. This is located in the region known as Dra’ Abu al-Naja at the west bank of Luxor in the Theban Necropolis. The tomb is amongst those two which have recently been opened to the public. The tomb is smaller in size possessing just one chamber including a burial shaft that leads into an open courtyard. Tomb TT 255 has a south-eastern orientation. The walls are not flat and the surface is rough with corners that are rounded. The scenes have been made on a thin mortar which has helped in filling up the irregularities on the ceiling and the walls. It is one of the so-called "Tombs of the Nobles"
Decorations inside the tomb
Even with its small size the ceiling of the tomb is very beautifully decorated and has geometric patterns on it. The pattern consists of polychromic rectangles combined with small floral designs. The height of the ceiling is very low when compared to that of any average person. The hieroglyphs seen are black in color done on a white or yellow gold base. The columns on this are separated by thick red lines drawn vertically. Other decorations are depicted in an informal style and are sketches which seem to have been drawn rapidly and are thus less idealized when compared to other private tombs of the area.
The front wall of the tomb has four registers. Also scenes from the Book of Gates are found on the left wall. A depiction showing funeral procession of Roy is also present. This decoration is well painted showing very minute details finely. An interesting fact is the many red-painted columns in the tomb but without any text on them. It’s believed that Roy had a sudden death because of which the decoration must have been stopped in between. Another finding was a statue of Roy kneeling with a stela and is now situated at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
A wall painting feature in the tomb of Roy depicts relatives and friends in his funeral convoy making gestures of mourning. One of the mourners, probably an older person, has a grey wig.
The bottom line
Tomb TT 255 belonging to Roy is an interesting one among the Tombs of the Nobles. The low height of the ceiling somehow paves a hurdle for tourists even with an average height, where banging heads result in the plaster of the roof coming out very easily. Meanwhile it is one of the most beautiful of all the preserved graves, with worthy scenes and colors in the paintings that are still intact.