Tomb chapel of Raemkai: South wall of the entrance corridor
ca. 2446–2389 B.C.
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Saqqara, North of the Djoser pyramid complex, Mariette D3, Egyptian Antiquities Service/Quibell excavations, 1907–08
Rogers Fund, 1908
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 102
THE ENTRANCE CORRIDOR
Scenes decorating the entrance thicknesses of Old Kingdom tombs often included a movement of people and objects into the interior. The entrance corridor here is decorated on both sides with scenes in several registers. At the very top, parts of two ships can be seen. Only the hulls of ships are preserved, but the absence of rowing oars and the position of the steering oars show that both boats are sailing westward into the tomb, and thus into the realm of the dead. In the registers below, an enshrined statue of the deceased is dragged on a sled over ground moistened by a man pouring water from a jar. The inscription reads: "accompanying the statue to its chamber." In the third register offering bearers march into the tomb. Even the slaughter of oxen in the bottom register is a fitting theme for an entrance corridor, as butchering usually took place outside the tomb. Note that on the right wall the backs of the oxen are shown, while on the left their bound legs face the viewer.
Discovered by Mariette between 1858 and 1863; recleared in 1907-08 by Quibell on behalf of the Egyptian Antiquities Service and sold to the Museum in 1908.