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

This valley was inhabited by painters, laborers, artisans, and cravers working in the nearby royal tombs. 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 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 cemetery 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 yellow. 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 two foremen supervised the tomb; one was responsible for work on the right side and the other on the left side. The supervisor role became hereditary; 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

In the upper chamber, scenes from the Book of Gates and text from the Book of the Dead were seen, with one image of Inherkhau with his wife facing queens and kings. The ceiling displayed unusual patterns of spirals and rosettes. The deep burial chamber has the most striking images. It showcases seventeen images within fourteen scenes, in three registers to the right and three to the left. The scenes on the right portray mythological creatures and those on the left show 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 from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter season. The ticket cost is EGP 30 for the tombs of Inherkhau and Sennedjem and the Temple of Hathor and can be bought at the ticket office in the Central West Bank.

Remains of the tomb

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

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