EGYPTIAN INTERNATIONAL ART

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RELIEF FROM THE TOMB OF NEBAMUN

CATTLE BROUGHT FOR INSPECTION


The cattle are shown in two groups in two registers, and a record is made by scribes. In the upper register the herdsmen bow down before a scribe who is taking notes or counting the cattle. A herdsman stands in the middle of the lower register, holding a coil of rope in one hand, and raises the other. His speech is recorded in the hieroglyphs above: 'Come on! Get away! Do not speak in the presence of the praised one! He detests people talking. He does what is right. He will not ignore any complaint. Pass on in quiet and in order. He won't take anyone's side. he knows all the affairs, does the scribe and counter of grain of [Amun], Neb...'. The section of painting to the left, where the figure of Nebamun would have been dominant, has not survived. The cattle are shown in five layers, one behind the other; the alternating colour of their hides helps to visually separate one animal from another. Note also the variety of pattern: piebald, mottled and spotted.

 

 

 

Fragment of wall painting from the tomb of Nebamun
Thebes, Egypt
18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC.

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


T.G.H. James, Egyptian painting and drawing in the British Museum (London, The British Museum Press, 1985), pp. 26-33


M. Hooper, The Tomb of Nebamun, Cambridge reading (Cambridge University Press, 1997)