Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tombs of Ankhtifi and Sobekhotep at El-Moalla

Tombs of Ankhtifi and Sobekhotep at El-Moalla

The province of El Moalla cemetery is located on the cliff of the Eastern Desert of the Bank of the Nile, about 32 km south of Luxor. The site seems desolate and windswept , but two important tombs of several belonging to provincial governors and officials of the Old Kingdom to the First Intermediate Period can be found here .

Tombs in El - Moalla

The tomb of Ankhtifi
A small shrine , first located by French archaeologists in the 1920s , is known to be the tomb of the provincial governor and warlord Ankhtifi , who held power in the region during the dynasty IX. As " Great Overlord of the nomes of Edfu and Hierakonpolis ", " supervisor priests " Ankhtifi was the governor , or " nomarch ' several neighborhoods between Edfu and Armant . Its decorated tomb shows many interesting and important painted scenes that give us insights into the complex political events in the First Intermediate Period obscure .

The tomb of Ankhtifi
One rock-cut tomb chapel is all that remains today the monument Ankhtifi . The entrance leads to a rectangular room that once contained many columns, but most of them are now gone. The irregular plaster walls are not well preserved, but the remaining painted decor is beautiful and much more flexible than the style of Old Kingdom more formal. Inside the door, a fishing and gun scene on the right wall is particularly interesting for its varieties of fish, including the deceased harpoon and reeling in , while his wife holds a bird by the beak . Ankhtifi also supervises butchers while its fleet of boats waiting beyond. The colors are interesting and unusual , with great use of light green paint and patterns of alternating colors. The absence of the papyrus thicket is another type of old conventions of the Kingdom of art .

Fish in the Nile
The opposite wall (east ) shows rows of cattle and other animals in agricultural scenes . Note the braided hair of some cattle and donkeys carrying grain . The wall opposite the entrance probably once contained a false door , and Ankhtifi and his wife are seen sitting at a table with remains poorly preserved banquet scenes beyond. At the end of this wall are depicted men go hunting with bows and arrows and hunting . The tree landfill is located in the center of the tomb at the foot of the false door .
Agricultural and Ankhtifi scenes with his wife
The few remaining columns are decorated illustrating industries, including carpentry, farming, food preparation and brewing . Two square pillars can be seen at the entrance and Ankhtifi is shown in the right column opposite the tomb, with three of his dogs at his side . Two columns in the southern half of the tomb show images and conventional tillage and a chorus of women holding hands .

Industries in the tomb of Ankhtifi
The biographical text is considered the most important inscription in the tomb, and describes a famine at the time in which the deceased Ankhtifi proclaims his own glory in saving his people. " . . dying on the sandbank Apothis . " The text mentions the cities of Hefat and Hor -mer , whose location is not currently known. Ankhtifi tells the food and clothing of the people in the neighboring districts and states. " . . I was like a sheltering mountain. . . the country became like grasshoppers go in search of food, but I never allow anyone in need out of this nome to another. I am the hero without equal . Modest chap ! Famine seems to have haunted the Egyptians periodically and there are many reliefs monuments across the country that show scenes of hunger and misery. Archaeologists suggest that the turbulence and uncertainty surrounding the end of the Old Kingdom was largely due to a prolonged drought when the Nile floods were low and the fields do not produce enough food.

British archaeologists Mark Collier and Bill Manley have recently returned from an exploratory trip to El Moalla to study inscriptions in the tomb of Ankhtifi . The humble tomb carved into the rock , they went on record was found not to be cut into the cliff at all, but turned out to be a burial pyramid (normally reserved for royalty ) . The chapel of the tomb is in a courtyard and has a floor , which could be seen from the mountain top, with a massive necropolis stretches some 5 km away. Interment now appears to be a mountain -shaped autonomous pyramid, which is surrounded by hundreds of other graves , raising hopes that the city lost Hefat Ankhtifi could be located nearby. French archaeologists in the early 20th century had not searched the entrance to the tomb - chapel itself , while Collier and Manley state that the monument seems to have all the characteristics of a good pyramid, even if a natural .
The tomb of Sobekhotep
A few meters north of the tomb is the smallest Ankhtifi tomb-chapel of Sobekhotep , another first official through the period and this is the second tomb decorated el- Moalla . It is rough-hewn and not so well preserved that its neighbor, but there are some interesting scenes .
Septic and scenes in the tomb of Sobekhotep
The tomb is similar to that of Ankhtifi form, but has three burial shafts instead of one . On the walls to the right of the entrance, there are scenes of mourners damaged , with scenes below men taking grain store - house. Sobekhotep is pictured here with his wife and son . On the eastern wall there are the remains of industrial scenes at the bottom with more traditional hunting desert above. Parts of agricultural scenes , showing animals and products can be seen on the back wall , with two rows of men and women at the west end . Sobekhotep and his wife are again represented on the wall left of the entrance, reception offering bearers .How to get there
El- Moalla is only about half an hour by taxi from Luxor and Esna or from the convoy stopped in 2009 , the site is now much easier to visit independently by taxi. On reaching the village , cross the railway line and to seek custody of the graves which the key. There is a strong rise of the hill tombs, but you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view of cultivated land to the Nile .

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