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Ancient Egypt: Plan of a rock tomb
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Contemporary plan of the tomb
of Ramses IV

Ancient Egypt: Groundplan of a rock tomb
-     This fragmentary papyrus was first described by Lepsius. It depicts the groundplan of the rock tomb of Ramses IV, gives measurements of the various rooms and hints at the surrounding mountains (which in reality are white limestone). The rightmost part of the papyrus showing the entrance has been lost, as has the bottom half, but assuming a symmetrical outlay of the tomb the missing parts can easily be filled in.
    The scribe used the traditional Egyptian way of including in the drawing all the aspects thought to be of importance, changing points of view: the double-winged doors and seemingly also the niches are drawn in frontal view while the rooms and corridors are drawn as in a groundplan (cf. also Ay's palace). No true scale is used: The drawing of rooms and niches etc is approximate, giving an idea of their relationships rather than their dimensions.
    These principles were also used when depicting people: the upper torso was shown en face, as was the eye, while head and legs were drawn in profile, cf Ancient Egyptian Portraiture.

Captions

Room W

a   Fitting of a bar (i.e. on the door)
b   ... fourth, of 35 cubits, the width of 6 cubits, the height of 9 cubits 4 palms.
c   Corridor of 30 cubits, width of 5 cubits 1 palm.
d   Niche .. of 2 cubits, breadth of 1 cubit 2 palms, depth of 1 cubit 2 palms.

Room X: The ante-room

a   Fitting of a bar
b   The ante-room of 9 cubits, width of 8 cubits, height of 8 cubits
c   ? corridor 3 cubits (width)

Room Y: the Golden Habitation, the tomb

a   Fitting of a ...
b   Hall of gold in which the burial takes place of 16 cubits, width of 16 cubits, height of 10 cubits
c   There are from the first corridor to the Hall of gold 136 cubits 2 palms. There are from the Hall of gold to (the hindmost room) 24 cubits 3 palms, total 160 cubits 5 palms.

Room Z

a   Fitting of a ...
b   The corridor which .... of 14 cubits 3 palms, width of 5 cubits, height of 6 cubits 2 palms.
c   The repository of offerings to the gods of 4 cubits 4 palms, height of 1 cubit 5 palms, depth of 1 cubit 3 palms 2 fingers.
d   ... of 10 cubits, width of 3 cubits, height of 3 cubits 3 palms.
e   ... of 10 cubits, width of 3 cubits 3 palms. height of 4 cubits.

 


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-Lepsius, Grundplan des Grabes König Ramses IV

 

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© August 2003

 

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