Shrine No. 17

last update: 02.04.2010

Shrine No. Name / Transliteration Date

Distance to the Speos of Haremhab
[~ m]

17 User-amun Wsr-Jmn Thutmosis III 379  
All data according to Caminos, 1963

From right to left the shrines No.: 12 (Minnakhte), 13 (Senneferi), 14 (Nehesj), 15 (Hapuseneb), 16 (Senenmut), and - destroyed - 17 (User-amun, red arrow), all built during the reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III (photo: E. Noppes). The entrances of all shrines were set into shallow recesses formed by cutting back the face of the rock.

The shrine of Useramun, vizier under Thutmosis III, is much damaged. Already in antiquity the rock above the shrine had been quarried away leaving a thin roof which collapsed sometime. Furthermore, the statues on the rear wall had been deliberately mutilated and the decoration of the walls had been willfully defaced.
The shrine consists of one room, approx. 2 m wide and 2.35 deep. The ceiling is more or less completely lost, but according to Caminos old drawings show that the roof was still preserved, at least in part, in the 18th century. However, the old drawings are contradictory as far as the form of the ceiling is concerned. Today, only a mere vestige of its edge exists indicating that the ceiling was about 1.5 m above the floor but these remains do not give a clue regarding the form of the ceiling.
Of the facade only small parts of the lintel and the door-jamb have been preserved on the the northern (right) side of the door-way. The following photo shows the actual situation.

  The left drawing taken from Caminos shows what has been preserved on the northern (left) inner side of the east wall.

On the lower part of the panel the figure of Useramun who was depicted most likely with raised hands in a posture of adoration has been completely hacked out. The accompanying text reads:

"Giving praise [to Amun, kissing the ground ?] before the lord of the gods, lord of life, always given [praise by ?] the hereditary prince and count, overseer of the city and vizier, Useramun".

The north wall is decorated in two registers which both stretch the full length of the wall. The upper registers shows on the west (left) side 2 persons seated before piled offerings. Both figures and their chair had been carefully chiseled out. However, the accompanying text identifies the persons as the parents of Useramun, the vizier Amose (= Ametju) and his beloved wife, the lady of the house, Tj-Ametju.
Opposite to them, in the middle of the wall, a man clad in a long-skirted garment is depicted obviously raising the right hand to consecrate the offerings. The text identifies the man as the vizier User-amun the owner of the shrine whose face was deliberately destroyed. User-amun is, like a priest, performing the funeral rite for his parents.
Behind User-amun, arranged in three registers, 12 men are shown bringing various offerings. With one exception the accompanying inscriptions identifies each man with his name.
Top row, from left:
1. Steward of the vizier Amenemhat (owner of TT 82)
2. ... Amenmose
3. Herald of the vizier Bak
4. Butler Ipunufer

2nd row, from left:
5. Steward and scribe (Ahmose-)Hamashu
6. Herald 'Ahmose
7. Butler Ki
8. Butler Harwadje

3rd row, from left:
9. Nesneferhotep
10. sculptor 'Opahte
11. ..... name lost
12. draughtsman A[men]emwaskhet

The complete lower register shows several persons, in most cases relatives. In the western (left) half of the register five sons of Ametju are depicted standing and facing east, from right to left: Amenemhet, Neferhotep, Neferuben, Nakht[amun], and Hor.
Opposite and facing west the register shows a man followed by 6 women, from left to right: Tjuro (= Turj; perhaps a relative by marriage), the daughters of Amethu Ahmose, Ahhotep, Sentyhotep, his daughters-in-law [Tj]uiu, Bakt, a 2nd Bakt, and a woman named Iot whose relationship is lost due to the destruction of the shrine..

The south wall of the shrine (see drawing of Caminos above) is more destroyed than th north wall, the upper part is completely missing, and the preserved part is in a very poor state. As the north wall the south wall had been decorated in two registers and carved in low relief.
The upper register shows on its west side (right) 2 figures sitting before a table with offerings. The figures and their chair had been carefully erased but the partly preserved text above identifies them definitely as User-amun and his beloved wife [Tj]uiu.
Left of the table of offerings the upper register had been divided into three smaller registers. The upper row of scenes is completely lost, Caminos assumes that a list of offerings had been carved there. The middle row shows several priests performing different parts of the funerary rite. The lower row presents numerous offerings.
The lower register extending across the south wall presents the children of User-amun and [Tj]uiu. Five sons are standing on the west (right) side facing east to their 7 sisters. All children had been identified by their names but not all have been preserved. Only the name of the 4th son has survived: [Mery]amun. The 7 daughters were: Ahmose, [Amen]-emwaskhet, Ahmose, [Amen]emhab, Bakt, Henet, und Sensoneb.

(photo E. Noppes)

The rear wall of the shrine is fully occupied be 4 seated statues (see photo above). The statues represent two men sitting in the center and two women seated on the outer sides, all of them are badly damaged. The woman on the northern (right) is shown with her left arm bent and resting on her belly, the right arm embraces her husband. The 3rd figure is another man who is embraced by his wife seated far left. Both men are shown crossing their arms on their chests.
All four statues bear inscriptions on the lap and the legs. All inscriptions are badly damaged but enough has survived to identify the statues, from right to left: Ti-Amehtiu, her husband Amethiu, their son User-amun, and their daughter-in-law, [Tj]uiu.



Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)