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Khonsu (Sheikh Abd El-Qurna - TT31)


Who Was Khonsu?


Khonsu, also known as To, was the priest in the cult of Thutmose III and served during the reign of Rameses II. He also held the title of First Prophet of Menkheperre.


Tomb TT 31


The Tomb of Khonsu is designated at Tomb TT 31. It is located in the village area of Sheikh’ Abd el-Qurna. The site is adorned with many beautiful paintings of the cult of Thutmose III and the god Montu. The entrance to the tomb has two steles. Next is a hall that leads to the passage and a shrine at the rear niche. In the entryway are paintings of the family worshipping Re.


To the left of the entrance the wall shows scenes from the Festival of Montu and some relatives of Khonsu. The temple of Montu at Armant was constructed by Thutmose III; as depicted in a part of the pillar. On the right side of the hall, there are judgment scenes portraying Khonsu, his wife and Usermonty, led by Harsiesi to Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys.


The ceilings of the passage are very beautifully decorated and the entrance has a grape arbor and geometric textile patterns and natural paintings of fledgling birds, ducks, locusts, and nests. The scenes at the rear end show deceased making offerings to the many deities.


Khonsu's Tomb Today


The courtyard in which the tomb TT 31 was cut is now spoilt, but broken fragments from the door jambs were reassembled some eight decades ago. They show Khonsu followed by his mother Tausert, his son, and one of his two wives, walking out of the tomb into the daylight in “adoration of Ra when he arises on the eastern horizon.” Khonsu is shown in these illustrations wearing a panther skin, the women hold sistra, and his son carrying birds. A frieze of alternating Anubis jackals and khekerornaments runs across the top of the jamb.


The other side of the door is even more badly damaged, but it displays Khonsu, his mother and son walking into the tomb, i.e. toward the western horizon, in “adoration of Ra when he sets on the western horizon.” Mother and son in the pictures are shown in similar costumes on both reveals, but Khonsu is illustrated as bald on the north reveal and with a wig on the south. On the ceiling of the doorway, birds in flight are drawn in a very formal style, laid out in rank and file. The ceiling of the third doorway shows a very pleasing scene of the birds.


Entrance To The Tomb


The tomb of Khonsu is open for tourists from 6 am to 4pm in the winter season. Tickets for the three tombs which are the Tombs of Khonsu, Userhet, and Benia can be bought at the ticket office.


The Bottom Line


The western bank of Luxor is among the most important archeological sites on the planet and it is amazing to visit. The place is a home to many beautifully crafted monuments which depict the rich history and architecture of Egypt. Khonsu's tomb is definitely worth your time and attention and will be very interesting for anyone who goes to visit it.

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