tomb of nebamun


Detail of a Mural from the tomb of Nebamun, New Kingdom, ca. 1500 BCE (no exact source location or date of the painting available)
today at British Museum, London

Photo:  Hans Ollermann

Culture/period: 18th Dynasty
Date: ca. 1350 B.C.
Findspot Found/Acquired: Tomb of Nebamun(Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Tomb of Nebamun (Thebes))plaster.

Description: Fragment (one of three) of a polychrome tomb-painting divided into two registers: upper - six women seated at a banquet; lower - five musicians seated on the ground with remains of nine vertical registers of hieroglyphic text above.

“I got interested in anthropology at a young age because of the naked women in pictures I saw of Egyptian tomb paintings.  And because of naked people in National Geographic.”

mod note: this is a famous mural from the Tomb of Nebamun which is currently on display in the British Museum, London.


Nebamun Supervising Estate Activities, Tomb of Nebamun
Artist: Charles K. Wilkinson ca. 1928–1930
Period: New Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 18
Reign: reign of Thutmose IV–Amenhotep III
Date: ca. A.D. 1928; original ca. 1400–1352 B.C.
Geography: Original from Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes
Medium: Tempera on paper

Label: This facsimile copies a wall painting from the tomb of a man named Nebamun who lived in the middle of Egypt’s Dynasty 18 (about 1475 B.C.). The scene probably depicts various activities that were part of Nebamun’s personal life.

The Met

Fragment of a Hunting Scene, Tomb of Nebamun, Egypt, New Kingdom, c. 1380 BC (pigment on plaster)

The action of a raised arm throwing a stick is symbolic of fertility (specifically: ejaculation), while his daughter sitting between his legs is a reminder of how she is the fruit of his loin. Then the setting, a marsh, was commonly thought of as the place where life begins, so the overall image is symbolic of overcoming death, recreation and reproduction. 

Purifying and Mourning the Dead, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky
Artist: Charles K. Wilkinson ca. 1930
Period: New Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 18
Reign: reign of Amenhotep III–Akhenaten
Date: ca. 1390–1349 B.C.
Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes
Medium: Tempera on paper

The Met