Dating the tomb of Hetepet from Giza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


The fragments belonging to the tomb of Hetepet are now housed in the
Berlin Museum and the Liebieghaus Museum, however according to
PORTER and MOSS the tomb was originally located at Giza, probably in
the West Field. The limestone blocks are carved in raised relief and
include: two false doors (both of which belong to Hetepet); the tomb
owner on a pleasure cruise in the marshlands; Hetepet seated on a chair
supervising a flax harvest; and two fragments of female figures, one group bearing offerings and the other carrying necklaces. The dating of
the tomb of Hetepet has been frequently addressed in the literature, with
scholars placing the tomb from the Fifth Dynasty to the First Intermediate
Period. To refine the date for Hetepet’s tomb, this paper examines
the surviving reliefs and will compare the scenes and inscriptions with
other examples from the Memphite and provincial cemeteries dating to
the Old Kingdom.
The tomb of Hetepet is an exceptional instance of a tomb belonging
to a woman who appears to be of non-royal descent. The inscriptions do
not mention Hetepet’s husband and the second false door represents the
figures of her parents, confirming the tomb belonged exclusively to
Hetepet. There is very little known about the tomb owner herself and her
offices include ‘Acquaintance of the king’, ‘Priestess of Hathor’ and
‘Land tenant holder’. To propose a date for the tomb, a number of features
will be analysed and include: the type and design of the false door;
the offering list; the names of the figures represented; the jewellery
worn by Hetepet; the type of chair depicted in the offering table scene;
as well as several significant details in the pleasure cruise and flax harvesting
scenes. It is important to re-examine the evidence available and
re-assess the accuracy and reliability of established interpretations, as
the issue of dating Old Kingdom tombs is essential to the understanding
of general developments in many aspects of Egyptian culture, including
the language, scene content, architectural design, and funerary beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAncient Memphis, 'Enduring is the Perfection'
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the international conference held at Macquarie University, Sydney, on August 14-15, 2008
EditorsLinda Evans
Place of PublicationLeuven
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9789042925465
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational Conference on Ancient Memphis - Sydney
Duration: 14 Aug 200815 Aug 2008

Publication series

NameOrientalia Lovaniensia Analecta


ConferenceInternational Conference on Ancient Memphis


  • Egypt
  • Ancient Egyptian Art
  • Tombs--Decoration--Egypt
  • Iconography


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