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The Tomb Chapel of Nebamun

The British Museum in London is rim-filled with treasures. Not only does its Mesopotamian section blow your mind, but you can continue and wander through time, enjoying the ancient Greeks and Romans. Almost hidden, at the back of the museum on the first floor, is the Egyptian section. It’s filled with the usual mummies and papyri, but my personal favourite of this section is the tomb chapel of Nebamun.

Nebamun was an accountant in the Temple of Amun at Thebes (modern Karnak), living around 1350 BCE. He must have been good at what he was doing, as his family was so rich that he was buried in a richly-adorned tomb. The tomb is covered with beautiful wall paintings that show many facets of ancient Egyptian life… or at least how the wealthy classes in Egypt wanted to portray their life. These murals are an idealised view of how life was like in Egypt, but seeing it you can still imagine how things might have been.

Hunting in the Egyptian Marshes

Standing on a small boat, Nebamun hunting in the marshes. His wife and their daughter have come along for the ride. Like many cultures, the Egyptians hoped to enjoy life and see beauty in the afterlife.
Standing on a small boat, Nebamun hunting in the marshes. His wife and their daughter have come along for the ride. Like many cultures, the Egyptians hoped to enjoy life and see beauty in the afterlife. Isn’t the wildlife stunning?

Desert Hares

Servants carry hunted desert hares as offerings to Nebamun.
Servants carry hunted desert hares as offerings to Nebamun.

Dancing Naked Women

Two almost naked women are dancing to music.
Two almost naked women are dancing to music.

Offerings

A naked lady brings offerings to Nebamun's wife.
A naked lady brings offerings to Nebamun’s wife.

Surveying the Fields

Nebamun is surveying the fields. In Egypt, officials carefully administered the country's agricultural output.
Nebamun is surveying the fields. In ancient Egypt, officials carefully administered the country’s agricultural output.

Counting Cattle

Nebamun is inspecting cattle and geese. Farmers bring their animals to him and his scribes record their number.
Nebamun is inspecting cattle and geese. Farmers bring their animals to him and his scribes record their number.

All photos were taken by the author.

By Jan van der Crabben

CEO & Founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia. When he's not working on AHE, he loves to spend time with his family going hiking, visiting historic places, or doing all-day BBQs in the garden with good real ale or whiskey.