Neferu was the first wife of Montuhotep II (who reunited Egypt at the start of the Middle Kingdom), and these relief fragments come from her tomb (TT319) in Montuhotep II’s temple complex at Deir el-Bahri. They are now in the Met Museum, acc. no. 26.3.353a.

These fragments are part of a scene that graphically lists various ritual items used in the funerary rites. They don’t show actual rituals, and the people and items are not drawn to the same scale (nor are the different items drawn at the same scale).

To the top left of this scene there are four men carrying what I thought was a shrine or some sort of roof until I read the museum information – that is, in fact, a bracelet! As I said, not to scale. To the right of that bracelet is a single man holding up a funerary boat.

You can also spot some graffiti to the left of that man’s head. This is ancient – the tomb was open to visitors during Hatshepsut’s reign & afterwards, and many of those visitors left their mark on the walls. This was not regarded as destructive like we would think today.

Relief Fragments from the Tomb of Neferu. From temple of Montuhotep II, Deir el Bahri, Thebes. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 11, reign of Montuhotep II, c.2051-2010 BCE. Acc. No.: 26.3.353a

See it on my photo site:

I’ve written about Montuhotep on the blog before:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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