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What to Know about Deir el-Medina, the Valley of the Artisans

This valley was inhabited by painters, laborers, craftsmen, and cravers who worked in the royal tombs nearby. It's thus referred to as the Workmen’s Village, and the name Deir el-Medina was granted when the temple of Hathor was converted into a church.

Inherkhau: An Introduction

Referred to as the "Foreman of the Lord of the Two Lands in the Place of Truth", Inherkhau lived and worked during the 20th dynasty, during the reigns of Ramesses III and Ramesses IV. His tomb, TT 359, is located on the West Bank of Luxor in the necropolis of Deir el-Medina. The tomb has remarkable and rich decoration patterns and depicts some of the finest artistic works in the dynasty. TT 359 is the only tomb from the 20th dynasty and decorations in the upper and burial chambers were all painted on a yellow background. The two tombs of Inerkhau are referred to as TT 299 and TT 359, while TT 299  is believed to be for Inherkhau, and TT 359 is intended for the use of his family.

Inherkhau’s Role in the Tomb Construction

It’s believed that the tomb was supervised by two foremen, where one was responsible for work on the right side and the other for work on the left side. The role of foreman became hereditary and they not just supervised work but also worked in distributing work and payments and played a prominent part in the local court. The great-grandfather of Inherkhau became a foreman during the rule of Ramesses II and Inherkhau joined as an ordinary laborer, attaining the position of a deputy foreman under his father, at the age of 17. It’s believed that he worked till Ramesses VII began his reign.

Remarkable Features of TT 359 Tomb

Scenes from the Book of Gates and text from the Book of the Dead were seen in the upper chamber with one image of Inherkhau with his wife facing queens and kings were also found. The ceiling displayed unusual patterns of spirals and rosettes. The deep burial chamber has the most striking images and showcases seventeen images within fourteen scenes, located in three registers to the right and three registers to the left. The scenes on the right portray mythological creatures and on the left showed scenes from the afterworld.

For Entry Into the Tomb

The Tomb of Inherkhau is located next to Sennedjem’s tomb in Deir el-Medina and can be visited by tourists from 6.00 am to 4.00 pm during the winter season. The cost of the ticket is EGP 30 for the tombs of Inherkhau and Sennedjem as well as the Temple of Hathor and can be bought at the ticket office at the main West Bank.

Remains of the tomb

It should be noted that the tomb TT 359 did not have any funerary pieces of equipment left and there were also no funeral banquets or scenes of lamenting to be seen. The tomb is believed to be visited at the beginning of the 19th century at which time scenes were thought to be removed by the collectors.

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