Sunday, April 24, 2016

Some Interesting Things from the Theban Tombs of Dynasty 18

Fig. 1 - The Litany of Re from the Tomb of Tuthmose III
     A lecture  by Emily Russo at the annual ARCE meetings highlighted some interesting facts relating to Theban tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty.  TT61 contained a copy of the Litany of Re and had the same “unrolled Papyrus” decoration as the tomb of Tuthmose III (see Figure 1 for an example of what this type of decoration looks like).

     Some of these tombs also had copies of some “spells” from the Pyramid Texts in them, including: TT82, TT87and TT85 (Pyramid Text #32).

          What is most interesting about this is two fold: the Pyramid Texts are still in use centuries after the end of the Old Kingdom and some religious texts used by royalty in the early New Kingdom were also in use in the tombs of the nobles (the Litany of Re for instance). Many scholars have claimed that certain texts were "reserved for royalty" and only came into use by non-royalty over many years. But the Litany of Re is clearly used in both the tombs of 18th Dynasty kings as well as nearly contemporary noble men. These texts may not have been as "reserved for royalty" as we thought.

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