Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tomb of the Parents of Senenmut

Figure 1 - Coffin of Ramose
     Senenmut was the famous official who rose to high position during the reign of Hatshepsut, in Egypt's Eighteenth Dynasty. Some archaeologists have even speculated that Senenmut and Hatshepsut may have been lovers.

Figure 2 - Canopic chest of Hatnofer
     While Senenmut's mother, Hatnofer, lived to a ripe old age (possibly about sixty), her husband, Ramose, died young (in his thirties). Senenmut provided a tomb for his parents on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes and Ramoses' body was re-buried there (along with six other unidentified women and children) after Hatnofer passed away.

     The couple's final resting place was found intact by excavators from the Metropolitan Museum and the artifacts found there have been divided between the Cairo Museum and the Met. Hatnofer's grave goods are more expensive than her husband's. This is probably due to Senenmut being a young man when his father passed away, but his being a major figure at court when his mother died.

     The coffin of Ramose is a fairly simple painted wood coffin likely deigned to represent Ramose's mummy with a painted "death mask" over its head and gold bands running vertically and horizontally on the lower part of the mummy. The yellow bands, somewhat unusually, do not have inscriptions on them.

     Figure two shows the wooden canonic chest of Hatnofer. Its shape is fairly common at this time period, but it is rather simply decorated with only a coat of white paint.

Photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

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