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Userhat (Sheikh Abd El-Qurna - TT56)

Who Was Userhat?


Userhat lived during the eighteenth dynasty in Egypt and belonged to the upper middle class and held the position of a civil servant. He held many titles during his life which were provided on his funerary monument, these include "royal scribe", Overseer and Scribe of the Cattle of Amun", "Bread counting scribe in Upper and Lower Egypt", and "deputy Herald". His tomb TT56 is different from the tomb of Userhat TT 51, a different Userhat. Userhat also had to his name the title of a child of the royal nursery. This indicates that he was brought up in the royal court just like other royal kids and shared close companionship with the king when he grew up. The most prominent title he held was 'Scribe who counts bread in Upper and Lower Egypt'. His wife was named Mutnefret and she had the title "Royal Ornament."



Userhat's Tomb


Referred as TT56, the tomb of Userhat is located in the village Sheikh Abd el-Qurna part of this area and lies towards the bottom of the hill depicting his social status in the society. The tomb lies south to the tomb of Ramose, TT55. The tomb has remained open for tourists for a long time, but only from time to time.


Tomb Design


The shape and decoration of tomb TT56 are illustrated to be classic and done remarkably by artisans. The monument depicts great work of the funeral craftsmanship from this era. The tomb represents the usual shape as seen in most other tombs of the nobles. This has an open courtyard, followed by two chambers and has been made in the shape of an inverted T. providing a broad entrance hall and a corridor leading to an inner chapel. The burial chambers are reachable by one or more well shafts.


Famous among tourists, the tomb of Userhat is among the better known non-royal tombs located on the west bank of Luxor.


Decorations Inside The Tomb


The decoration of the tomb TT56 was never completed. The paintings, however, are well preserved and include unusual scenes of many subjects. Two scenes which are particularly famous include one of the barbers and other of the chariot hunt. However this is not the only interesting feature and the tomb was built when the transition was taking place, this transition is easily depicted in the stylistic modifications in terms of tradition.


The walls of the passage have text from offerings to Amun-Re, Re-Horakhty, and Osiris. Also, other scenes show Osiris, Anubis, and Hathor. Other scenes include the common funereal feast scenes in which friends and relatives of Userhat are shown. Userhat is seen sitting at a table that is filled with bread and other food.


Finally, there are scenes of the funeral procession of Userhat. The coffin is shown carried to the tomb in the funeral procession, the journey across the Nile in boats, and the carrying of the funerary equipment to the tomb is also depicted. Userhat's tomb originally had seated statues of the owner and his wife, but presently only the feet of one of the statues is remaining here.

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