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Room 1 is a small ante-chamber decorated with typical scenes of trapping birds with nets and hunting and fishing (see page 30). In this context, wild birds can be interpreted as agents of chaos so, by trapping them, the deceased is imposing order onto chaos.

Room 2 (opposite, top right) is a long narrow corridor. Perhaps the architect chose to make this corridor so narrow to allow short roofing slabs to be used, which were less likely to break. His plan succeeded: nearly all the roofing slabs in the tomb are original. The walls contain scenes of daily life activities such as cooking, harvesting and metalwork.

In the right-hand wall of the corridor a door opens into a large courtyard (opposite, bottom) with two square pillars at the western end depicting Mehu on each face. On the left of the western wall of the courtyard a false door is carved for Hetepka (above), possibly Mehu’s grandson. The quality of the carving here in this final construction phase is of poorer quality than the beautiful carving and painting inside the tomb. On the right of this wall is an aperture through which the closed serdab area (Room 6) can be glimpsed. The main burial chamber is accessed via a sloping passage from the floor of this courtyard (as in Ti), but this is not currently open to visitors.

Room 3 is a small chamber giving access to the two offering chapels in the tomb (Rooms 4 and 5). The decorations in Room 3 show offerings to the deceased, together with scenes of musicians including harpists, clappers and dancers.

ABOVE The false door of Hetepka, possibly the grandson of Mehu. The quality of the carving is poor compared to the false door of Mehu himself (see page 33).

ANCIENT EGYPT April/May 2019

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