Userhat and his wife

Userhat and his wife have taken a seat and are gazing eastward. They are wearing their most attractive outfits and a huge necklace that adorns their breast. Userhat also wears the pendant from the north wall around his neck. Mutneferet affectionately embraces her husband by the shoulder, and the image, while formal, is not offensive. This embrace is more than a mere display of affection: Mutneferet must assist her husband in regenerating in the hereafter. She must excite his sexuality in order for him to become “Khamutef,” “his mother’s bull,” and to survive only on his own efforts. As a result, what we see here is part of a symbolic blend of sexuality and procreation, portrayed modestly as always by the Egyptians.
The ointment cones on top of their lovely wigs are indicative of a festive setting. The exact nature of these cones lends itself to further dispute, as witnessed in the descriptions of other tombs: are they genuine mounds created from fragrant fat, intended to melt and drip on the head and clothes? Maybe a representation of the scents with which the person was anointed? Or is it merely symbolic, with no real foundation?
An Hathoric mirror can be located beneath Mutneferet’s chair.

It represents an object that was not picked at random; Hathor was the great goddess of physical love, and her principal instrument of seduction, aside from the sistrum, is the mirror, which reflects beauty.

As is true throughout the tomb, the case for the mirror, which sits next to it, is an example of the wonderful quality as a fine illustration of basket-work. Is it possible that the artist sought to add a touch of humour to this classic picture by including a small monkey eating a fruit — might it be a domestic pet?

This cercophitec monkey is also known to elicit an amorous response, similar to perfumes and, in particular, the ointment cone. Because the wish to “create a happy day” is commonly mentioned in tombs, not just in the context of festival or banqueting, but also in the context of having sexual intercourse.

Note the existence of a very lovely wicker case carrying the deceased’s scribal supplies under Userhat’s chair.

The couple’s three children paid tribute to their father. They are standing in front of a lovely table of offerings, which includes golden vases that are attractively displayed. They don’t have an ointment cone on their heads because they’re officiants.

The couple’s two daughters stand side by side. One of them hands her parents a badly represented goblet of wine, while the other prepares to put a huge necklace around their necks, the open clasp of which can be seen. Because these offerings are intended for the Kas of the deceased, the artist depicted the interlaced arms in such a way that they make the Ka sign, and the text is clear: “In honour of your Ka! Make today a wonderful day in your lovely eternal home “..
There is an odd and unexplained discrepancy in the text where the two daughters are named: Nebettawy is referred to as “his daughter, his dear,” but Henutneferet is referred to as “their daughter, their loving.”

It’s worth noting that both of these girls have been severely harmed by vandalism. It’s probably important to see the work of the Copts who live in the tomb here: if Henutneferet and Nebettawy were really attractively painted, then seeing them in this light might tempt the monks.

Finally, towards the back, stands the son, holding a gigantic composite bouquet similar (in colour) to the one seen on the side of the entry. A pedestal, on which a vase stands, separates him from his sisters.(Because) you are commended by Amon-Ra who resides in peace in Ab-Akhet (at the time of) his festival in the valley of the west, by your son, whom you love, the wab-priest of Ptah,” continues the text above him. Amenhotep II’s temple of millions of years (incorrectly dubbed the funerary) is known as Ab-Akhet.
The final column of this text, which would have contained his name and was just to the back of his head, has either been deleted or was never completed.

Object Details

Userhat and his wife

New Kingdom

Dynasty 18, Reigns of Amenhotep II

1427 to 1401 BC

Egypt, Luxor, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna

Tomb of Userhat, TT56