The Living Ba

This is situated at the contact with the east wall. The deceased looks toward the rear of the chamber. Standing, he pays homage to his own Ba-bird perched on his tomb, which returns his salutation. This falcon with a human head is very finely drawn, especially the face. This “bird”, the “living Ba”, represents the being’s spiritual form which is usually referred to as the “soul”, for want of a better understanding of the concept. Its role is extremely important since it is that which moves between the world of the living and the underworld. It is able to see again the house in which he lived, to feel the soft breath of the breeze from the north, …, and to return these sensations to the mummy in its chamber. Inerkhau specifies in the text his desires : “Words for transforming into a living Ba, to be able to enter and leave, and to remain at those places which he desires, for the Ka of the Osiris, Foreman in the Place of Truth, Inerkhau, justified and (for) his sister (= here, his wife) , the mistress of house, chantress of Amon, Wab (et).”.

Object Details

The Living Ba

New Kingdom

Dynasty 20, reigns of Ramesses III and Ramesses IV

1186 to 1155 BC

Egypt, Luxor, Deir el-Medina

Tomb of Inherkau, TT359