The Tomb Of Aniba
In ancient times, Aniba was the center of administration in the Lower Nubia province of Egypt. In Egyptian, this place was called Miam, while Lower Nubia was known as Wawat in the local language. During the rule of Ramesses VI, the pharaoh appointed Penniut as his deputy for governing Wawat in 1140 B.C. Penniut was also known to be a priest of the local temple of Horus. Hence, his tomb was constructed in the local necropolis of Aniba during the 12th century B.C. This rock-cut tomb was shifted to Amada in the 1960s, to save it from the waters of the Aswan High Dam, during its construction. Its original site was located on the hillside of Aniba, 40 Km south of this present location. The original capital of Nubia, along with the official residence of Penniut, were both destroyed by the flooding waters of the Aswan Dam.
The Structural Excellence of the Tomb of Aniba
This rock-cut tomb is noted for its simplicity in structure and extensive sculptures and inscriptions on the walls of the tomb. It just contains an unadorned entrance, with the statues of Penniut and his wife in praying postures, on the left side of it. This entrance leads to a transverse chamber, which housed three statues on a niche, in its backside wall. Almost all of which are in an almost destroyed state now. But the central figure has the head of a cow, which suggests that it might be of Goddess Hathor. Ladies, can you imagine people depicting you as a cow?
This chamber is 6.5 m wide and 2.8 m deep, which is comparatively much smaller than most of the Egyptian tombs that were built in this ancient period. The walls of the chamber contain pictures of Penniut and his family members, offering tributes to the Egyptian gods. There are also depictions of funerals and the final judgments, per the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. But unfortunately, a large section of these wall paintings and inscriptions are now missing, and they may have been cut off while shifting to Amada. On the right-hand side of the chamber, the scenes on the wall showed the life of this living world; while the depictions on the left-hand side are about the afterlife, including the judgments of the people in the next world.
The Inscriptions on the Walls of the Tomb of Aniba
The walls of the Tomb of Aniba are important to scholars, for the inscriptions, which were most likely copied from ancient Egyptian documents, were written on papyrus. The main synopsis of one inscription mentions a donation made by Penniut for making a statue of the pharaoh. This particular inscription contains twenty lines and was written on the walls beside the entrance of the tomb, in a rectangular area. There are pictures of gods surrounding the upper part of this inscription, probably to indicate that the gods approved this donation.
There are also prayers of offerings for each of these gods, written below their respective pictures. The pictures of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu were drawn on the right hand of the inscription, while the images of Ptah and Thoth were sketched on the left side. All three walls of the chamber also contain inscriptions, which described offering methods and prayers to different gods.