Nebamun Hunting in the Marshes
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.
Nebamun was a middle-ranking official “scribe and grain accountant” during the period of the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt. He is thought to have lived ca. 1350 BC and worked at the vast temple complex near Thebes where the state-god Amun was worshiped.
His name was translated as “My Lord is Amun”, and his association with the temple, coupled with the importance of grain supplies to Egypt, meant that he was a person of considerable practical importance, though not of the highest rank.
Fragment of a polychrome painting from the tomb chapel of Nebamun, West Thebes. Now in the British Museum, London. EA 37977