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These fragments are part of at least four horizontal registers showing a banquet scene. The British Museum also has two larger fragments from the same wall (EA 37984 and 37986).
The women in the upper scene are shown with elaborate hair, probably wigs, with pointed cones of fat on their heads and lotus flowers in their hands. Some place either a lotus flower or a small fruit, thought to be a mandrake, under the nose of their companion. The lower scene shows part of a group of female musicians, who play a form of lute and also a double pipe. The hieroglyphs above them refer to Nebamun. Banquet scenes are common in tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty in the Theban necropolis, but their significance is much harder to ascertain. The whole scene might be regarded as an expression of intoxication, possibly part of a shared religious experience. Many of the sub-scenes can also be interpreted as sexual allegories, which may refer to the hoped-for rebirth which the tomb was in part designed to ensure.



L. Manniche, 'Reflections on the banquet scene' in R. Tefnin (ed.), La peinture Égyptienne ancienne: un monde de signes à préserver, Brussels (1994), pp. 29-36

L. Manniche, Lost tombs: a study of certain eighteenth dynasty monuments in the Theban Necropolis (London, Kegan Paul International, 1988), pp. 142-43, plate 45

Kent Weeks

Theban Mapping Project