’Papyrus swamp in Menna's tomb at Luxor.’
This papyrus swamp is part of a hunting scene in the tomb of Menna. Ducks and other birds are nesting in the swamp and at least five nests with eggs are depicted. The latter are about to be plundered by a striped cat and a rodent. On the left Menna (only partly visible here) is standing on a papyrus boat and is holding two white birds which are possible used to lure other birds. He is hunting the fowl in the swamp with black throwing sticks, five of which are depicted among the startled birds. On the right a second representation of Menna (only his arm is visible) on a boat is spearing fish. Standing before both representations of Menna are his sons, holding the caught birds and a lotus flower.
The papyrus swamp was seen as a mythological place of regeneration and fertility. One of the wishes for the afterlife was phrased as follows: "May you pluck papyrus plants, rushes, lotuses and lotus buds. There shall come to you waterfowl in thousands, lying on your path; you cast your throwstick at them, and it means that a thousand are fallen at the sound of its wind . . . ."
Menna was an 18th dynasty inspector of estates and overseer of harvests. His tomb (TT 69) can be found in the Sheikh Abd el Qurnah Necropolis on the Westbank at Luxor. It is one of the socalled "Tombs of the Nobles" and dates to the end of the reign of Thutmosis IV and the beginning of the reign of Amenhotep III. Photo Mick Palarczyk and Paul Smit.