“... farther inwards, close to the wall, was a statue in limestone, two feet high, of a pair of figures seated lovingly together, as was the Egyptian fashion of conjugal portraiture....” - Henry Rhind, 1857.
160 years ago a 24-year-old Scotsman named Henry Rhind was in Luxor for a spot of digging when he hit the jackpot: an intact, well-stocked tomb. Rhind had discovered a Roman-era family burial, undisturbed for almost 2,000 years. And there was more. As he explored deeper inside, Rhind discovered burial after burial, of increasingly distant date. This tomb had been used and reused for over a thousand years.
This yellow sandstone statue is the only surviving object from the tomb’s original tenants: the Theban Chief of Police and his wife. They appear as they wished to spend eternity; youthful and fit, draped in their finest pleated linen robes and sporting elaborate wigs.
The back of the statue bears the police chief’s titles as well as offerings shared with them by the Theban divine triad (Amun-Ra, Mut, and their child Khonsu), as well as the gods of the afterlife, “Osiris and Isis”. Unfortunately, the bottom of the inscription which would have contained the noble couple’s names is damaged, and the couple remains anonymous.
This year, the tomb's fabulous contents have been brought together in an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.
Discover more of the tomb's amazing history in the current issue of Nile Magazine. Subscribe today and have Nile delivered to your door!