Plumb Level of Sennedjem

This wooden plumb level from the tomb of Sennedjem consists of two short pieces projecting at right angles from a longer slab. A limestone bob is strung from the top of the long slab and the upper short projecting wooden piece.

The string would touch the lower projecting piece when the long slab was held against a vertical surface. This tool bears the name of its owner, Sennedjem, who was a chief artisan during the reigns of Seti I and Ramesses II.

Plumb Level of Sennedjem
Plumb Level of Sennedjem

Plumb bob

A plumb bob, or plummet, is a weight, usually with a pointed tip on the bottom, suspended from a string and used as a vertical reference line, or plumb-line. It is essentially the vertical equivalent of a “water level”.

The instrument has been used since at least the time of ancient Egypt to ensure that constructions are “plumb”, or vertical. It is also used in surveying, to establish the nadir with respect to gravity of a point in space.


The Ancient Egyptian artisan Sennedjem lived in Set Maat (translated as “The Place of Truth”), contemporary Deir el-Medina, on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes, during the reigns of Seti I and Ramesses II.

Sennedjem had the title “Servant in the Place of Truth”. He was buried along with his wife, Iyneferti, and family in a tomb in the village necropolis. His tomb was discovered January 31, 1886.

When Sennedjem’s tomb was found, in it there was regular furniture from his home, including a stool and a bed, which he actually used when he was alive.

Tomb of Sennedjem

The Theban Tomb TT1 is located in Deir el-Medina, part of the Theban Necropolis, on the west bank of the Nile, opposite to Luxor. It is the burial place of the Ancient Egyptian official, Sennedjem and his family.

The tomb was found in 1886 and was undisturbed. It contained over 20 burials, most of them certainly belonging to family members of Sennedjem.

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1250 BC. From the tomb of Sennedjem (TT1), Deir el-Medina, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 27260