Who was Nakht?
Nakht, the Astronomer of Amun, or Observer of the Hours, was a scribe in the 18th dynasty during the rule of Tuthmose IV or Amenhotep Iii.
About the tomb
Tomb TT 52 is located in the Sheikh Abd el-Qurna part of the Theban Necropolis (or the city of the dead) on the west side of the river Nile, opposite Luxor and the Karnak temple complex. The tomb of Nakht lies east of the tomb of Menna. The grave is where Nakht was buried. It's said that the tomb of Nakht was never completed but plastered and had no funerary scenes. Wall paintings in the vestibule are well-preserved and beautiful; some of these became very famous due to the striking art.
The plan of TT 52 tomb is similar to that seen in most other tombs of the 18th dynasty. It has an open courtyard, two chambers inside depicting a T structure, and an underground complex. The tomb's actual construction date seems vague as no images of the pharaoh or other characters from that era can be seen inside.
The paintings resemble those in other tombs like TT 38, TT 75, and TT 108. Details of female figures and the many details cited in the scenes show that Nakht's tomb's decoration was completed when Amenhotep III's reign was there. It's estimated that to complete a small tomb complex like TT 52; six months would have been taken to finish only the decorations, not including the excavation and plastering.
The modern-day tomb
The tomb was found in 1889 by explorers from Europe after its discovery by the local people at Qurna village. A survey by Norman de Garis Davies was based on his study between 1907 and 1910 and led to the finding of a statue of Nakht, which was found in the debris and measured 40 cm in height. The flow of tourists to this place has led to the fading away of the original colors. Seeing the deterioration, protective glass installed inside the tomb has decreased the number of visitors. But people still come here to see some of the best artworks from Egyptian history.
The tomb can be visited from 6 am to 4 pm during winter. The combined ticket for the tombs of Menna and Nakht can be bought from the ticket office at EGP 25. Photography inside all these tombs is an offense that can lead to a massive penalty if disobeyed by anyone.
The Tomb of Nakht, known as tomb number TT 52, is one of the better-known tombs in the Theban necropolis among the nobles' tombs. The paintings in this tomb have lasted the test of time, and various scenes depicting life in that era can still be seen on the walls.