Nebamun Hunting In The Marshes, Nebamun’s tomb-chapel, c. 1350 BC
Paint on plaster
98 (height) x 115 (width) x 22 (thickness) cm
Thebes (modern Luxor), Egypt


Originally part of the richly decorated tomb-chapel of Nebamun, this is one of eleven well-preserved fragments from the site in the British Museum collection. Nebamun was an administrator who oversaw grain collection for the ancient city of Thebes. Here, he stands on a small papyrus boat holding a throwing stick and three decoy herons as he hunts for birds in the lush and fertile papyrus marshes of the Nile. Nebamun is aided by his cat who catches the startled birds, as his wife Hatshepsut and young daughter watch the scene unfold. According to custom, Nebamun probably approved the construction and decoration of his own tomb before his death, requesting scenes of daily activities that also depicted his aspirations for the afterlife. In this hunting scene, Nebamun is eternally youthful and strong in his domination of nature in the afterlife. Due to their associations with rebirth and renewal, such scenes of wildlife and nature were common for tomb decorations of the period, but this fragment is particularly magnificent due to its fine draftsmanship, skillful composition, and brilliant colors.


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