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Photographer's Note

Harvest Scene

This is a small portion of a harvest scene from the tomb of Menna, scribe to Tuthmosis IV. A surveyor measures the crop, and tax collectors punish those who fail their quotas. Below is the threshing floor. The grain is winnowed with wooden paddles then scribes record its volume.

Menna was an Egyptian noble whose official title was “Scribe of the fields of the Lord of the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt.”

He is thought to have been the overseer for the Temple of Amun at Karnak, inspecting the work on the land, supervising and recording the yield of the harvests, and prosecuting defaulters. Being a scriber gave Menna very high prestige in the ancient Egyptian society because few people could read and write in hieroglyphs.

Menna is buried in a private tomb located on the West Bank at Luxor on the hill of Sheikh ‘Abd el-Qurna in the central part of the ancient city of Thebes. The area, known as the Tombs of the Nobles, has 146 numbered tombs. These tombs are some of the most beautiful private tombs on the West Bank. They are referred to as being T-shaped. The entrance is a corridor leading into a wide vestibule, and then a short corridor leads into a long chapel with a small niche in its rear.

Menna’s tomb (No. 69), approximately 3,400 years old, was constructed around 1400-1390 BC during the reign of Tuthmosis IV and his successor Amenhotep III. The sophisticated paintings in this tomb are among the most complete in the Theban necropolis. They depict Menna’s everyday life in agriculture and his family life including his wife, Henuttawi, their two sons and four daughters.

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Additional Photos by Betty Jones (BWJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 458 W: 0 N: 919] (3094)
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