Wooden door from the tomb of Khonsuhotep

From Thebes, Egypt
19th Dynasty, around 1285 BC

A high priest of Amun

Egyptian doors very rarely survive down to modern times, partly because wood was rare, and often re-used. The most common tree in Egypt is the palm, which does not consist of wood as such; their trunks consists of coarse fibres, which are unsuitable for carpentry. Doors in Egypt were usually made of a single leaf, although larger doors were probably made of two leaves and secured shut with bolts. Protrusions at the top and bottom of the door fitted into holes in the doorway on which the door pivoted. Very similar doors are still used in modern Egyptian villages.

Tomb doors are particularly rare, and few architectural traces (such as the holes in the floor) have survived. This example is made of sycomore fig (Ficus sycomorus) wood. It was decorated with a figure of the owner, a high priest of Amun, adoring Osiris. Depicting him on the door was a clear way of establishing his ownership of the tomb. The white infill is modern.

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More information


S. Quirke, Ancient Egyptian religion (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


Height: 204.000 cm

Museum number

EA 705



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