Nebamun is shown hunting birds, in a small boat with his wife Hatshepsut and their young daughter, in the marshes of the Nile. Such scenes had already been traditional parts of tomb-chapel decoration for hundreds of years and show the dead tomb-owner ‘enjoying himself and seeing beauty’, as the hieroglyphic caption here says.

Yet this activity had another metaphoric meaning. When depicting the deceased in hunting and grasping fowls or birds in his grip it means that he has control over the chaotic powers in the afterlife.

Hunting in the Afterlife
Hunting in the Afterlife

A scene depicted on a wall painting from the Theban tomb of the 18th Dynasty high official Nebamun, who lived around 1350 BC. Now in the British Museum. EA37977

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