Tomb Relief with a Messenger on Horseback

This relief illustrates Horemheb’s military encampment: above, two soldiers watch horses teamed to war chariots as an officer hurries off; below, another officer escorts two water bearers, a messenger on horseback is arriving or departing, and a group of soldiers is carrying a heavy load on their shoulders, a beam or perhaps Horemheb’s rolled-up tent.

The entire scene, which is far removed from the typical rigidity of the models of classical Egyptian art because of its dynamism and the naturalistic rendering of many details, demonstrates that the artistic precepts that had emerged during the reign of Akhenaten survived under his successor Tutankhamun.

Tomb Relief with a Messenger on Horseback
Tomb Relief with a Messenger on Horseback

Horemheb as a King

After Horemheb acceded to the throne, as a king, official action was taken against the preceding Amarna rulers. He reformed the Egyptian state and restabilized his country after the divisive Amarna Period.

Horemheb demolished monuments of Akhenaten, reusing their remains in his building projects, and usurped monuments of Tutankhamun and Ay. He is considered to have established traditional religion after the Amarna Period. He ruled for 14 years and was not related to the preceding royal family.

Horemheb usurped Tutankhamun monuments and maybe the key reason that Tutankhamun was not as well-known before the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Horemheb presumably remained childless since he appointed his vizier Paramessu as his successor, who would assume the throne as Ramesses I.

New Kingdom, late 18th Dynasty, reign of Tutankhamun, ca. 1332-1323 BC. Limestone, from the Memphite tomb of Horemheb at Saqqara. Now in the Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna. EG 1889