Melinda Hartwig

  • Fellowship Dates 2012-2013
  • Research Topic The Artistic and Cultural Landscape in the Tomb of Neferrenpet (TT43)
  • Fellow or Grant Type National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Affiliation Post-doctoral candidate Georgia State University
The painted tomb of the noble Neferrenpet, Theban Tomb 43 (TT43) on the west bank of modern Luxor, Egypt, remains one of the most intriguing tombs in the Theban necropolis. This T-shaped tomb, measuring 11 feet and three-quarters of an inch by four feet and one-third of an inch, was cleared by Sir Robert Mond in 1905. Its decoration was summarily published by Marcel Baud in 1935 and in slightly more depth by Wolfgang Helck in 1961. The only title that remains in the tomb chapel is “overseer of the kitchen (ist) of the Lord of Two Lands,” indicating Neferrenpet oversaw the food production for the court. His place in court is referenced by a painted image of two seated kings who appear within a kiosk on the northern small wall. While the dominant king seated to the rear is identified by cartouche as Amenhotep II, the two cartouches of the other king are unfinished. Most scholars identify the unnamed king as Thutmosis III, although the style of the painting has been dated to the reigns of Amenhotep II, Thutmosis IV or Amenhotep III. This research asks: Who is the anonymous king and why is he represented with Amenhotep II? Who is Neferrenpet and in whose court did he serve? How long did it take to decorate the tomb? To answer these questions the study uses a combination of interdisciplinary techniques and examines every component of TT43 employing archaeometry, archaeology, conservation, digital epigraphy, photography and art historical analysis to understand the underlying artistic and cultural influences of the tomb decoration and burials.

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