Nebamun's Colorful Afterlife

Fragments of scenes from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun

British Museum

Nebamun viewing his herds, a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun (-1350/-1350)British Museum

Nebamun's tomb is a fascinating example of the rich decoration often found on the walls of tombs in ancient Egypt. Here, he is described not by his name but by his character  ‘scribe who counts the grain in the granary of the divine offering'.

Surveying the fields for Nebamun, fragment of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun (-1350/-1350)British Museum

The purpose of such scenes is thought to emphasize the personality of the dead man, and thus to commemorate it through eternity into the Afterlife.  

Craftsmen, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky Craftsmen, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky (ca. 1390–1349 B.C.) by Norman de Garis DaviesThe Metropolitan Museum of Art

Nebamun is shown as a well-dressed man of wealth and authority, supervising lively crowds. 

Nebamun’s garden, fragment of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun (-1350/-1350)British Museum

Nebamun’s garden in the afterlife is not unlike the earthly gardens of wealthy Egyptians. The pool is full of birds and fish, and surrounded by borders of flowers and shady rows of trees. 

Purifying and Mourning the Dead, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky Purifying and Mourning the Dead, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky (ca. 1390–1349 B.C.) by Charles K. WilkinsonThe Metropolitan Museum of Art

A fragment of scene showing the mourning and purifying of the dead.

Offerings, Tomb of Nebamun (ca. 1479–1458 B.C.) by Charles K. WilkinsonThe Metropolitan Museum of Art

Eight Ceiling Patterns, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky (ca. 1390–1349 B.C.) by Nina de Garis DaviesThe Metropolitan Museum of Art

The tomb of Nebamun was so colourful, it exhibited different kinds of pattern combinations.

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