Nebamun hunting and fishing in the swamps …

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Nebamun was a middle-ranking official “scribe and grain accountant” during the period of the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt. He is thought to have lived c. 1350 BCE and worked at the vast temple complex near Thebes where the state-god Amun was worshipped. Wikipedia

Now let’s have another look at this endless fascination of the magic land Egypt; Our history. With forever thanks to dear Lady; Marie Grillot http://Marie Grillot for her brilliant description. 🙏💖

via https://egyptophile.blogspot.com/ ( http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/gyptophile/~3/DJyctbHIaNc/nebamon-chassant-et-pechant-dans-les.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email ) translated from French.

Fragment of a polychrome painting of Nebamon, standing in a boat,f
hunting and fishing in the swamps
Provenance: Tomb of Nebamon – Theban Necropolis (location lost today)
Discovered in 1820 by Giovanni d´Anastasi on behalf of Consul Henry Salt
Salt collection acquired by the British Museum in 1821 – Reference EA37977

On the frail skiff made of bundles of tied reeds, with the bow and the stern slightly raised, are three characters evolving in the luxuriant universe of a marsh, rich in vegetation, birds, birds, butterflies, and fish … Their presence – and that of the cat that accompanies them – seems to have stirred up this colourful and variegated fauna which cheers up with a rustle of wings.

Center is Nebamon, scribe and accountant of the grain in the attic of divine offerings at the temple of Amun at Karnak in the 18th Dynasty. He is shown standing in a position ensuring the balance necessary to launch the boomerang which he holds in his left hand. With his right fist, he grips the legs of several birds he has just captured and which are struggling to regain their freedom.

Fragment of a polychrome painting of Nebamon, standing in a boat, hunting and fishing in the marshes
Provenance: Tomb of Nebamon – Theban Necropolis (location lost today)
Discovered in 1820 by Giovanni d´Anastasi on behalf of Consul Henry Salt
Salt collection acquired by the British Museum in 1821 – Reference EA37977

His face is lit by a stretched eye, surrounded by kohol. He wears a beautiful curly wig. Dressed in a white linen loincloth, nicely tied at the front, he wears an ousekh necklace in shades of green, white and red, as well as large bracelets. Three long lotus stems – a central one, the flower of which is open, the other two in the bud – fall from his shoulder.

Between her spread legs, occupying the centre of the skiff, a young girl – probably a child of the couple – is kneeling. She is depicted naked and wears the lock of childhood, composed of tight braids that reveal a tiny part of a large earring. This is not the only jewel that adorns her: she has multiple gold rings around her arms, an ousekh necklace that partially covers her shoulders, and another set with the golden pendant reaching her height. bellybutton …

Fragment of a polychrome painting of Nebamon, standing in a boat, hunting and fishing in the marshes
Provenance: Tomb of Nebamon – Theban Necropolis (location lost today)
Discovered in 1820 by Giovanni d´Anastasi on behalf of Consul Henry Salt
Salt collection acquired by the British Museum in 1821 – Reference EA37977

Her attitude is curious: her face, lit by a stretched almond-shaped eye, is turned backwards, while the action unfolds in front of her … Charming details are to be noted, such as her right hand which encloses his father’s calf as if to cling to him; her little fan-shaped toes, and this bouquet of lotuses, one open and three in buttons, which she is holding in her left hand …

Fragment of a polychrome painting of Nebamon, standing in a boat, hunting and fishing in the marshes
Provenance: Tomb of Nebamon – Theban Necropolis (location lost today)
Discovered in 1820 by Giovanni d´Anastasi on behalf of Consul Henry Salt
Salt collection acquired by the British Museum in 1821 – Reference EA37977

Standing at the stern is Hatshepsut, the wife of Nebamon and presumably the mother of the child. She is wearing an elegant long pleated dress and a shawl, also pleated, in yellow. Her pretty wig with fine braids, adorned with a headband and lotus stems, is topped with a cone of ointment. His left arm is stretched along the body while his hand encircles one or two partly damaged “accessories”: a Menat, a Sistrum? Her right arm is bent and, in her hand, brought to her chest, she holds a magnificent bouquet of lotus. These flowers – symbols of rebirth – are extremely present throughout the “painting”.

Fragment of a polychrome painting of Nebamon, standing in a boat, hunting and fishing in the marshes
Provenance: Tomb of Nebamon – Theban Necropolis (location lost today)
Discovered in 1820 by Giovanni d´Anastasi on behalf of Consul Henry Salt
Salt collection acquired by the British Museum in 1821 – Reference EA37977

The environment is magnificent. On a white background, multiple species of birds, with colourful plumages, fly away. One, no doubt more reckless, landed at the bow of the boat, while three others, less fortunate, fell prey to the tawny tabby cat… The cats were family pets, but he is shown here because a cat could also represent the Sun God driving out enemies of light and order. His unusual golden eye alludes to the religious meanings of this scene, says the British Museum.

Fragment of a polychrome painting of Nebamon, standing in a boat, hunting and fishing in the marshes
Provenance: Tomb of Nebamon – Theban Necropolis (location lost today)
Discovered in 1820 by Giovanni d´Anastasi on behalf of Consul Henry Salt

Salt collection acquired by the British Museum in 1821 – Reference EA37977

Eggs, oval and white, are in a nest which seems to be placed on the magnificent bouquet of papyrus which blooms in infinite grace… To this is added the presence of a few butterflies with outstretched wings that we seem to see fluttering…
The aquatic life appears just as dense … In the blue river, whose waves are nicely rendered, large fish swim between the lotuses …

We have to understand that the size differences in the treatment of subjects are voluntary: thus, Nebamon appears very imposing compared to his wife; the same goes for birds or fish that seem “larger than life” …

This scene is of a freshness that is part of accomplished art. There is no doubt that it is the work of an artist (or several?) Of great talent: a naturalist as gifted as a portrait painter, and marvellously tracing the hieroglyphics as the eight vertical registers of great quality also prove …

Detail of the hunting and fishing scene in the marshes in the tomb of Nakht and his wife Taouy (TT 52)
Theban Necropolis – Sheikh Abd el-Qurna
TT52 la tombe de Nakht et de son épouse Taouy nécropole thébaine, vers le bas de la partie nord de la colline de Sheikh Abd el-Gournah,

This hunting and fishing in the marshes can be found in the iconography of many tombs. We cannot help but compare this scene to those that can be admired in particular in the tombs of Nakht (TT 52) and Menna (TT 69). The style, just like the spirit and the composition, are really similar, Even if everything here seems more “finished”.

The British Museum takes a deeper look at this “painting”: “It is more than just an image of recreation. The fertile marshes were seen as a place of rebirth and eroticism. The hunt for animals could represent the triumph of Nebamun on the forces of nature as he was reborn. The huge ‘striding’ figure of Nebamun dominates, ever happy and ever young, surrounded by the rich and varied life of the swamp. “

As for Thierry Benderitter, in his excellent site: Osirisnet.net, he analyzes the identical scene of the TT 52: “The swamp and its high papyri (which can only be found in the Delta) represent the same thing for the deceased as the marshes of Chemmis for the child Horus, a place away, where he can grow up, and which must be protected from the Isfet. We find all this: the forces of evil (the Isfet), represented by the birds (which do not belong to an organized world) must be fought, as they threaten the reborn deceased as Seth threatened Horus “.

Henry Salt (Lichfield, UK – 14-6-1780 – Alexandria, Egypt – 30-10-1827)
diplomat, the British consul in Egypt from 1816 to 1835, collector of antiques

Nebamon’s tomb was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century by Giovanni d’Athanasi. His real name: Demetrio Papandriopulos, a son of a Greek merchant living in Alexandria than in Cairo, entered the service of the distinguished and elegant British Consul General, Henry Salt when he was barely 20 years old. For nearly a decade, this keen collector of antiques, and his main “agent” Giovanni Battista Belzoni, took “Yanni” on their travels. The travellers, communicated to him about their passion for excavations and antiques. Then with general permission, granted by Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt, Belzoni led campaigns mainly in the Theban region, and in the years 1817-19, he built up a remarkable collection of large and important sculptures from the eastern and western shores of Thebes “(N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006).

When the collaboration of Salt and Belzoni ended in 1819 Athanasi quite naturally replaced him in the field. Salt trusted him completely, he appreciated his ability to estimate the quality and value of antiques, as well as his sense of commerce. Thus, he supplied the Salt collections while building his own personal collection.

The house was built by Consul Henry Salt in Gournah in the years 1815-1820
and in which, settled in particular Yanni – Giovanni d’Athanasi

The consul had built a house in Qurna, a small fortress in which, Athanasi settled among the villagers. He integrated very well, benefits from their good knowledge of the Theban mountains, offers them work in excavation sites, and got informed of all traffic. He was also the neighbour of John Gardner Wilkinson with whom he seemed to have a good relationship.

Is it thanks to this positive “relational environment” that he discovered, in 1820, the tomb of Nebamon?

Map of the west bank of Luxor (source narmer.info): the necropolis of Dra Abu el-Naga is located at the top right)

Its location is unfortunately lost today, but it might be located in the necropolis of Dra Abu el-Naga and it dates from a period of flourishing arts: “Stylistically, the magnificent murals can be dated either to the last years of the reign of Amenhotep III (1390-1352 before our era), i.e. the first years of his successor “.

Eleven panels painted on plaster were taken from the chapel and sold by Consul Salt to the British Museum in 1821. This hunting scene in the marshes, 83 x 98 cm, was recorded under the reference EA37977. The Museum also specifies that “other fragments were found in Berlin and perhaps even in Cairo” …

Marie Grillot

Sources:

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/Y_EA37977 The conservation and redisplay of the Nebamun Wall paintings https://m.britishmuseum.org/research/research_projects/complete_projects/nebamun_wall_paintings.aspx?fbclid=IwAR3M-6gXA5if6zUMMnTkx3KpnVVinf1U4ctMZVReNWFczJrWsW8lfLEsnTE Project team RB Parkinson, project leader

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/galleries/ancient_egypt/room_61_tomb-chapel_nebamun/nebamun_animation.aspx

THE BRITISH MUSEUM DICTIONARY OF ANCIENT EGYPT BY IAN SHAW PAUL NICHOLSONby IAN SHAW-PAUL NICHOLSON, 1995

https://archive.org/stream/THEBRITISHMUSEUMDICTIONARYOFANCIENTEGYPTBYIANSHAWPAULNICHOLSON/THE%20BRITISH%20MUSEUM-DICTIONARY%20OF%20ANCIENT%20EGYPT-%20BY%20IAN%20SHAW-PAUL%20NICHOLSON_djvu.txt N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 170-3.

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/egypt-art/new-kingdom/a/paintings-from-the-tomb-chapel-of-nebamun

Paintings from the Tomb-chapel of NebamunP. Kozloff, B. Bryan, and M. Berman, Egypt’s Dazzling Sun, Cleveland 1992, p. 299 [Pl.31] = Le Pharaon-Soleil, Paris 1993, p.238 [Fig.IX.23].At the dawn of Hellenic Egyptology and the constitution of Egyptian collections: New discoveries on Giovanni d’Anastasi and Tassos Neroutsos, Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists, Vassilis Chrysikopouloshttps://www.academia.edu/2000910/A_l_aube_de_l_hellenic_égyptologie_and_de_la_constitution_des_collections_égyptiennes_Des_nouvelles_découvertes_sur_Giovanni_d_Anastasi_et_Tassos_Neroutsos_Egyptologists_Tongenthress_

http://osirisnet.net/ Osirisnet.net https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/nobles/nakht52/nakht_05.htm https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/nobles/menna69/menna_08.htm

http://Nebamon hunting and fishing in the swamps …

8 thoughts on “Nebamun hunting and fishing in the swamps …

  1. Thank you Aladin for sharing more of Marie’s rich Egyptian tapestry. I agree with Chris, the ancient artwork remains so vivid and beautiful … the attention to detail is exquisite in both image and word, with each brush stroke, line, necessary and part of the whole. Tiny fragments that bring such joy to us all! Warm winter blessings, love and light, Deborah.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Elaine Mansfield

    I love these ancient paintings and reliefs and their history. They show the sacred quality of daily life. Your focus goes well with my mythology class where we read and discuss each week, but the first part of every class is focusing on an image of Osiris each time we meet–which also means seeing Isis, Nephyths, and Horus with many animals, birds, and other beings. Maat is fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

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