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Scene of Akhenaten, Nefertiti and princesses rewarding the God's Father Ay (tomb no. 25).

South Tombs


This is the larger of the two groups of tombs, containing 19 numbered tombs (nos. 7–25). They are cut into the flanks of a low plateau in front of a major break in the cliffs. The rock is of very poor quality. It is, however, a convenient location from the main residential part of the ancient city. The tombs belonged to a broader range of officials than those in the north, from a chief of police (no. 9), to the "God's Father" Ay, who was later to become king (no. 25). The design of the tombs is also more varied, and although often not as imposing as those in the north, they possess great charm. Many of them were used for burial in later times as well. Large quantities of pot sherds litter the site, most dating from the period between the Twenty-fifth and Thirtieth Dynasties.

View southwards from in front of Tomb 14
View southwards from in front of Tomb 14

Immediately in front of the tombs traces survive of the same kind of ancient roadways visible in front of the North Tombs. Many of the South Tombs contain little or no decoration and some had barely been started before the city was abandoned.

Detailed descriptions of the most important decorated tombs, with plans, are to be found in Downloadable Resources/Guidebook.

Entrance to tomb no. 25, of the God’s Father, Ay
Entrance to tomb no. 25, of the God’s Father, Ay

Tomb no. 7. PARENNEFER, "Royal craftsman, Washer of hands of His Majesty."

Tomb no. 8. TUTU, "Chamberlain, Chief servitor of Neferkheperura-waenra (the King) in...(damaged text)... of the Temple of the Aten in Akhetaten, Overseer of all works of His Majesty, Overseer of silver and gold of the Lord of the Two Lands," etc.

Tomb no. 9. MAHU, "Chief of police of Akhetaten."

Outline artist’s sketch in tomb no. 9, of Mahu
Outline artist’s sketch in tomb no. 9, of Mahu

Scene of the royal chariot journey, with Mahu, as chief of police, leading his men in praise of the king as he rides past
Scene of the royal chariot journey, with Mahu, as chief of police, leading his men in praise of the king as he rides past

Tomb no. 10. IPY, "Royal scribe, Steward."

Tomb no. 11. RAMOSE, "Royal scribe, Commander of troops of the Lord of the Two Lands, Steward of Nebmaatra (Amenhetep III)."

Tomb no. 12. NAKHTPA-ATEN, "Prince, Chancellor, Vizier."

Tomb no. 13. NEFERKHEPERU-HER-SEKHEPER, "Mayor of Akhetaten."

Tomb no. 14. MAY, "Fan-bearer on the right hand of the King, Royal scribe, scribe of recruits, Steward of the house of Sehetep-Aten, Steward of the house of Waenra in Heliopolis, Overseer of cattle of the estate of Ra in Heliopolis, Overseer of all the works of the King, General of the Lord of the Two Lands."

Tomb no. 15. SUTI, "Standard-bearer of the guild of Neferkheperura (Akhenaten)."

Tomb no. 16. It has no decoration and thus no indication as to who owned it. Nonetheless it contains a handsome and finely carved columned hall brought almost to completion.

The interior of the anonymous tomb no. 16
The interior of the anonymous tomb no. 16

Tomb no. 17. Owner unknown.

Tomb no. 18. Owner unknown.

Tomb no. 19. SUTAU, "Overseer of the treasury of the Lord of the Two Lands."

Tomb no. 20. Owner unknown.

Tomb no. 21. Owner unknown.

Tomb no. 22. Owner unknown.

Tomb no. 23. ANY, "Royal scribe, Scribe of the offering-table of the Aten,Steward of the estate of Aakheperura (Amenhetep II)", etc.

Tomb no. 24. PA-ATENEMHEB, “Royal scribe, Overseer of soldiery of the Lord of the Two Lands, Steward of the Lord of the Two Lands.”

Tomb no. 25. AY, "God's father, Fan-bearer on the right hand of the King, Overseer of horses of His Majesty", etc. The owner of this tomb later became king, ruling for a few years in succession to Tutankhamen.

The God’s father, Ay, offers a prayer, the most frequently quoted Hymn to the Aten
The God’s father, Ay, offers a prayer, the most frequently quoted Hymn to the Aten

References

The South Tombs, together with the North tombs, are published, in line drawings supplemented with photographs, in N. de G. Davies, The Rock Tombs of El Amarna, 6 vols. (London, Egypt Exploration Fund 1903–8); reprinted in 3 parts (London, Egypt Exploration Society 2004).

 
 

Website first posted September 2000; last updated November 2010 | enquiries concerning website: email bjk2@cam.ac.uk