Nebamun’s cattle, fragment of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun

Thebes, Egypt
Late 18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC

This fragment is part of a wall showing Nebamun inspecting flocks of geese and herds of cattle. Hieroglyphs describe the scene and record what the farmers say as they squabble in the queue.

The alternating colours and patterns of cattle create a superb sense of animal movement. The artists have left out some of the cattle’s legs to preserve the clarity of the design. The herdsman is telling the farmer in front of him in the queue:

'Come on! Get away! Don’t speak in the presence of the praised one! He detests people talking …. Pass on in quiet and in order … He knows all affairs, does the scribe and counter of grain of [Amun], Neb[amun]’.

The name of the god Amun has been hacked out in this caption where it appears in Nebamun’s name and title. Shortly after Nebamun died, King Akhenaten (1352–1336 BC) had Amun’s name erased from monuments as part of his religious reforms.

M. Hooper, The Tomb of Nebamun (London, British Museum press, 2007)

R. Parkinson, The painted Tomb-chapel of Nebamun. (London, British Museum Press, 2008)

A. Middleton and K. Uprichard, (eds.), The Nebamun Wall Paintings: Conservation, Scientific Analysis and Display at the British Museum (London, Archetype, 2008)

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Dimensions

Height: 58.500 cm (max.)
Height: 58.500 cm (max.)
Length: 10.500 cm
Length: 10.500 cm
Width: 54.000 cm

Museum number

EA 37976

YCA67998

Salt Collection

Location

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