The ceilings

Three longitudinal and five transverse bands with Egyptian inscriptions split and surround the arch into eight panels. The artist intended for this mechanism, as well as the designs that fill the rectangular panels, to replicate the carpets or mats that served as roofs and cabin canopies that shielded high-ranking persons on Nile-traveling boats.

A red and white ribbon runs along the edge of each panel. They are encircled on the inside by a frieze of blue and green primitive khekeru, with a short group of yellow and red khakeru in the centre of each line.

Images of yellow/gold scrolls frame the heads of cattle sporting a solar disc between the horns, among other patterns. It’s worth noting that similar bovine depictions were already present in several Old Kingdom mastabas. This scroll theme is presented differently here, with a Cretian inspiration that portrays the shape of surging waves, rather than Hathoric beginnings, as one might expect.
Other themes combine rosettes and waves with a streamer on which the names of the departed are engraved. Others create a vine with leaves and clusters, alternating rosettes and scrolls, or arrange little flowers in a rectangle of multicoloured rows to resemble a vine.
An invocation to the god Ra in his Amon-Ra form, Ra-Horakhty or Harmakis, appears in all writings (the Greek form of the Egyptian Hor-em-akhet, Horus-of-the-Horizon; in memory of the most famous representation of this last one is the great sphinx of Giza). The centre band performs a traditional offering formula called “hetep-di-nesu” (“an offering given by the King”), in which the deceased calls Amon-Ra. The east side of the first transverse band is a formula of praise to Ra for his daily rising in the Duplicate Horizon, while the west side of the band is a formula of worship to Ra for his daily descent into the Duplicate Horizon.

Object Details

The ceilings

New Kingdom

Dynasty 20, reigns of Ramesses III and Ramesses IV

1186 to 1155 BC

Egypt, Luxor, Deir el-Medina

Tomb of Inherkau, TT359