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Who was Khaemhat?


Khaemhat, or Mahu, was a royal scribe and the "Overseer of the Granaries of Upper and Lower Egypt". He served during the reign of Amenhotep. The only thing known about his family is that he was married to Tivi.

Location of Tomb TT 57

TT 57 is dedicated to a local saint and lies in the Sheikh Abd el Qurna area of Necropolis on the west bank of Thebes in Egypt, just opposite to Luxor. The place is one of the most visited cemeteries in this area. This is the burial place of an ancient Egyptian official, Khaemha.

Those who discovered TT 57 faced many hardships and it’s said that Lloyd, an Egyptologist, was killed shortly after the tomb’s discovery due to the accidental discharge of his gun. The tomb also faced fire and other damages during early exploration. The tomb today does not have any color remaining but the reliefs depict a wonderful display of art in motion and a full-of-life picture.

The Tomb of  TT57

TT 57 is one of the many tombs clustered at the west end of the Abd el Qurna necropolis. The tomb was most likely constructed during the reign of Amenhotep III. Khaemhat is the only private tomb, amongst the four tombs from this era, which was decorated with reliefs and is the only one that dates back to the year 30, during Amenhotep III’s rule. The tomb depicts a complicated variation of the usual T-shaped private tombs. The entrance is similar and the room it leads to is filled with rare agricultural scenes.

The Uniqueness of TT 57

TT 57 is popular for its exceptional relief quality and for the historical significance of the many texts and scenes which describe iKng Sed’s festival. Many agricultural scenes decorating the tomb are associated with the main function of Khaemhat, which included agricultural produce control and its safe storage and distribution. The market scene is also an unusual representation of the tombs of the New Kingdom. Even though similarities in representations can be noted, the peculiarities in Khaemhat's tomb are many and what makes this unique. TT57 can help Egyptologists in learning more about commerce in the ancient Egyptian era.

Khaemhat was the superintendent of the Granaries during an era when Egypt’s art was at its peak. This is why the tomb has such impressive reliefs.

There were some items found near the tomb TT 57 which included a wood and stone shawabti, a bronze spearhead, a shawabti box, and a Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure. Also, three rock steles were found in the tomb, one was Khaemhat and the other two depicted the names of Pedamen and Khonsuiuefankh.

The Khaemhat tomb is now open to the public and can be visited from 6 am till 4 pm during the winter season and the ticket to this can be easily bought at the ticket office which gives entry into the other tombs as well, those of Ramose and Userhet.

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