Life Along the Nile: Three Egyptians of Ancient Thebes

From 1906 to 1936, the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Egyptian Art conducted excavations at several sites in Egypt. During these three decades, while working in the cemeteries of western Thebes, across the Nile River from the modern city of Luxor, the Museum’s archaeologists uncovered a number of intact tombs belonging to nonroyal individuals. Three of these tombs—belonging to two men named Wah and Khonsu, and a woman named Hatnofer—provide us with invaluable information about the lives of the ancient Egyptians and are explored in this publication. Wah, Hatnofer, and Khonsu each lived at an extraordinary time in Egypt’s history. Wah was born in the early Middle Kingdom at the end of the reign of one of Egypt’s greatest kings, Nebhepetre Mantuhotep, and lived through the transitional period in which power passed from Dynasty 11 to Dynasty 12. Hatnofer was born late in the reign of Nebpehtyre Ahmose, another of Egypt’s most renowned rulers, and lived to see the great female pharaoh Hatshepsut become the principal ruler of Egypt. Khonsu, who was probably born at the very end of Dynasty 18, nearly two centuries after Hatnofer, lived most of his long life under Ramesses the Great, the most illustrious ruler of Dynasty 19. — Metropolitan Museum of Art website

Publication Date: 2002