Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Painting from the tomb chapel of Nebamen: fragment of polychrome tomb-painting divided into two registers. In the upper register a herd of cattle is brought to Nebamen; in front of the cattle the herdsmen bow down to a standing scribe who records the produce. The vertical hieroglyphic caption is damaged, and only a few-phrases can be read. In the lower register a man drives cattle towards some seated scribes. Two horizontal registers of hieroglyphs survive above.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1350BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 58.5 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 97 centimetres (painting only)
    • Width: 106 centimetres (whole fragment)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        lower register
      • Inscription Translation

        Come on! Move off! Don't speak in front of this favoured one (Nebamen). People who talk are his horror! He does what is true; he will not pass over any complaint. Pass on (?) quietly, truly! He will not just do the bidding of people - he knows everything, does the Scribe and Counter of Grain of [Amun] Neb[amen]!
      • Inscription Comment

        Painted. Said by a cattle driver to his colleague in front who is bowing to Nebamen's scribe.
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        upper register
      • Inscription Translation

        ...] boasting of
        ...] an instance of what people say
      • Inscription Comment

  • Curator's comments

    It probably occupied the lower half of the same wall as the goose count (.37978), although the hieroglyphs in the two fragments are painted in different colours (black and blue). The texts are not quite written in classical Middle Egyptian like the formal texts in the tomb chapel, but they are still very remote from what such workers would actually have spoken.

    In the lower register inscription, the name of the god Amun/Amen has been removed, presumably as part of Akhenaten's reforms when monuments had the divine names of the old regime erased.The tomb chapel must thus have been accessible during his reign.

    B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' I (Part 2) (Oxford: Clarendon Press), 817-18;
    L. Manniche, 'Lost Tombs: A Study of Certain Eighteenth Dynasty Monuments in the Theban Necropolis', Studies in Egyptology (London and New York, 1988), 136-57, esp. 144-5.
    A. P. Kozloff, B. M. Bryan & L. M. Berman, 'Aménophis III, le pharaon-soleil' (Paris 1993), p. 237 [Fig.IX.22] = 'Egypt's Dazzling Sun' (Cleveland, 1992), p. 298 [Pl.30] ; Johnson in M. L .Bierbrier (ed.) 'Portraits and masks : burial customs in Roman Egypt' (London, 1997), p. 102, [pl.14.1];
    N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 174-5.
    Full publication: R. Parkinson, The Painted Tomb-Chapel of Nebamun: Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art in the British Museum (London: British Museum Press 2008).
    A. Middleton and K. Uprichard (ed.), The Nebamun Wall paintings: Conservation, Scientific Analysis and Display at the British Museum (London: Archetype 2008).


  • Bibliography

    • Parkinson 1999 38 bibliographic details
    • Strudwick 2006 pp.170-175 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G61/dc2/sB

  • Exhibition history


    Hotung II, Art And Memory, 26 Mar 2003 to Sept 03

  • Condition

    good (incomplete)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • ES.169


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Object reference number: YCA67998

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