Hunting In The Marshes

This takes up over a quarter of the wall’s width, with its right edge running roughly halfway down the wall (see b/w image above). It occupies the highest three-quarters of the area’s ornamented height. The scene’s topic is classical, and it may be found in a number of tombs dating back to the Old Kingdom. However, in the New Kingdom, it always consists of two hunting activities: catching birds with a throwing stick and fishing with a harpoon. There is no accompanying text; instead, columns surround Menna’s head on the right-hand side. As a result, none of the participants can be named with confidence; however, their identity can be deduced from the many other graves where texts exist.
Despite the fact that the two actions are not identical, they are depicted as practically mirror images. Menna is on a papyrus boat in both, but the prow is different in each: the right-hand one is shaped like a lotus button, the left-hand one is an open bloom, and the stern of both is also an open bloom. His wife, Henuttawi, is standing behind him in both, despite the lack of descriptive language,

Because this is the person who should be present. Who else is with him will be described below, but only on the assumption that they are. Fishing scene on the right. Menna leans forward slightly, both hands clutching a long harpoon that he has speared two enormous fish with. He’s dressed in a pleated white kilt with a long semi-transparent over-garment that overlaps at the front. His wrists are adorned with a multicoloured necklace and bracelets. His left foot (in the back) is up on its toes as he stands astride, emphasising his motion. His face has been intentionally obliterated.

His wife, whose body has been harmed (but not her face), is dressed in her customary long white gown. Her large necklace and arm jewellery can still be seen on her.

Her gold earring peek out from beneath her black wig, which is held in place by a decorative band with a lotus button in the front. Her right arm, which passes behind him, physically supports her husband. She has three lotus flowers, a bloom, and two buttons in her left hand.

A young woman, most likely one of Menna’s kids, kneels between his knees. Her face has been obliterated as well. She is dressed and ornamented in the same manner as her mother. She clutches her father’s right leg in her right hand, while holding a single lotus bloom in her left.

A young man, most likely one of his sons, stands in front of the craft. His head is shaved and he wears only a short white kilt. He has a duck in his left hand and a lotus flower in his right. Bird hunting is depicted on the left. The arrangement here differs slightly from the one on the right. Menna is standing in the same position as before, with his back foot raised onto his toes. He dresses in the same clothes and wears the same jewellery. His face has vanished yet again. He has a throwing stick in his elevated right hand, positioned behind him, for striking the birds. He has the legs of two water fowl in his right hand, which he raises in front of him; Maybe they’re being utilised as bait.
His wife stands behind him, her arms lifted in a pose of reverence, her face complete. She’s dressed similarly to before, with the exception that she’s wearing a perfume cone on top of her black wig this time. A bouquet of lotus flowers hangs from her left elbow joint.
Another young man, slightly taller than the previous one, stands at the front of the vessel. His attention is drawn to Menna. He clutches the wings of three water fowl in his left hand and looks to point into the tall reeds with his right, presumably indicating the location of more birds. Another female is caught between Menna’s knees, but this time she is completely naked, save for a colourful belt around her waist and a slew of bangles on her arms. She bends over the side of the ship towards the lake, pulling a bud of a lotus flower from the water with both hands.
On the craft in this picture, there is another passenger, a girl, who is probably certainly a daughter. She stands behind Menna’s wife, her feet pointing in the direction of the wife, but her head turned away. She is dressed in a slim white gown with large round earrings, armlets, and bracelets.

Her black wig is braided at the bottom and secured with a white headband. She holds three ducks by their wings in her right hand and lotus blossoms in her left, several of which are hanging over her left arm. Another young woman is depicted above this last young woman, at the top left of the image. Kneeling on a reed mat, this one holds lotus blossoms in each hand. She, too, is dressed similarly to the one below her and has braided hair.

The real water level in the core area. Between the two ships, a tiny stretch of the papyrus wetlands is revealed. Several nests with eggs may be spotted on the umbels at the top.

Several birds, including an ibis, are also present, both standing and flying. A striped cat and a brown weasel are on their way to the birds’ nests. Two butterflies may be observed among the birds. Menna’s throwing sticks (which may be seen) have already struck several of the birds.

The life is abundant in the marsh water at the bottom of the landscape. Perch, mullet, and tilapia are among the fish that swim among the leaves and lotus flowers that float on the water.

Some birds can also be found here, looking for food. There’s even a crocodile with its jaws open, preparing to eat a fish. The water is depicted as rising into a bulge, protruding from the core area (which is also typical of this scene in other tombs). The two wonderfully depicted fish speared by Menna from the ship on the right are included in this bulge. As is customary, these fish are depicted standing erect.

Object Details

Hunting In The Marshes

New Kingdom

Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III

1386 to 1349 B.C.

Egypt, Luxor, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, part of the Theban Necropolis on the west bank of the Nile

Tomb of Menna, TT69