Without the beautiful wall paintings in the Tombs of the Pharaohs and Nobles as well as in many Temples we would not know as much about Ancient Egypt as we do. The images tell us about their life and death, who they worshipped, what they ate, who they married and about the hierarchy in their world.
I had visited many tombs while in Egypt and had learned a lot about the meaning of these scenes before I became curious about of how they were painted. Who better to ask but our guide?
“Mohamed do you know how they painted these images.” It must have been the first time he was asked because after thinking for a moment he muttered something I didn’t understand.
On another occasion when I visited the Tombs of the Nobles I found my answer in the Tomb of Ramose. He was vizier and mayor during the time of Amenhotep III and Akhenaten in 1353 B.C and 1335 B.C. The Nobles were related to the pharaohs and served as priests, scribes, doctors, lawyers, important military personnel, or as overseers of the land worked by peasants.
Somebody had told me about his tomb as a must see and it was indeed splendid. Admiring the images on the wall my camera was itching in my pocket. Yet under the watchful eye of the guard I didn’t dare (it is not allowed to take photos in the tombs). But when suddenly the color on the wall disappeared and I stood in front of two black and white drawings, I called Tarik, who was my guide for the day and asked, “What happened here?”
“Oh that – looks like they didn’t have time to finish it. These are the first sketches so that corrections can be made before the paint is applied.”
Now my camera could not restrain itself any longer and pointing to the guard I looked at Tarik. He whispered that 100 Egyptian Pounds ($10)would make him look the other way. So thanks to the 100 EGP I can share with you how these eternal images start.
Tarik’s parting words were, “We are very happy when we find something unfinished because it shows us how it was made.”
More from Egypt soon
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