The Mastabas of Qar and Idu G 7101 and 7102 - Digitally Revised and Enhanced Edition

Part II - Idu G 7102

Section 3.4 - Offering Chamber - South Wall
Feb 8, 2019

South Wall of the Offering Chamber in relation with area north of G7110-7120; Qar(G7101) and Idu (G7102) (click to enlarge)


Figure 38. Idu (G7102). South wall with games and music in honor of Hathor. (Click to enlarge)

Length 1.30 m. Scenes and inscriptions covering the full length of the wall, complete in upper part: lower part partly scaled off and missing. Idu views the singing, music making, and games in honor of the goddess Hathor. Hickman, ASAE 54 (1957), 213-39, pls. III—IX.

Pl. XXIV a. Idu, south wall, left part, registers 1 and 2

Pl. XXIV b. Idu, south wall, left part, registers 2, 3, 4

Pl. XXV b. Idu, south wall, registers 5, 6, 7 (right)

Pl. XXVI a. Idu, south wall, left, registers 4, 5, 6, 7

Pl. XXVI b. Idu, south wall, right, registers 4 5, 6, 7

Panel (1) At the right (west) above: Idu seated in a chair with extension for his feet, and a seven column-inscription (a-g).

Panel (2) To the left of Panel (1) scenes of boys' games in top register, dancers in second register, game-players in third register, and musicians in fourth register, with accompanying captions. 

Panel (3) Below (1) and (2) running the full length of the wall: parts of fifth and sixth registers with scenes showing preparation of food and drink, and seventh register with a procession of women carrying supplies on their heads, with accompanying captions. Lower part mainly lost.

Pl. XXV a. Idu, south wall, top right section (left), and Figure 38. Idu (G7102). South wall with games and music in honor of Hathor (detail) (right)

  Idu facing left seated with knees drawn up in a chair with arms and a low forward extension for the feet. 

Panel (1). (Click to enlarge)

He wears a short curled wig and a broad collar. His right arm is extended with open hand in which he holds a short stick. His left arm with elbow bent hands over the arm of his seat. Both arms, hands, and legs have been re-drawn and their position altered at least once and are somewhat confused.  In front and above is an inscription in seven columns and a horizontal line left to right:

On alterations, cf. Brunner-Traut, MDIK 15 (1957) 18-32.


(1) Mꜣꜣ ḥst sḳ m bnt ḥbꜥ in imy-r sš mrt Idw, (2) ẖry tp nswt mdw rḫyt imy-r ḥwt-wrt, (3) ẖry tp nswt imy-r wpt ḥtpt-nṯr, (4) sš ꜥ nswt ḫft ḥr imꜣḫw, (5) imy-r sš mrt smꜣꜥ wḏꜥ mdw, (6) imꜣḫw ḫr Inpw nb tꜣ-ḏsr, (7) imꜣḫw ḫr Wsir nb tꜣ-wr Idw. “(1) Viewing the singing, plucking the harp, and playing by the overseer of the scribes of the meret-serfs Idu, (2) he who is at the head the king, staff of the rekhyt-people, overseer of the great chapel, (3) he who is at the head of the king, overseer of the distribution of divine offerings, (4) king’s letter scribe in the presence, the well-provided one, (5) overseer of the scribes of the meret-serfs, who makes right the judgments, (6) one well- provided before Anubis, lord of the necropolis, (7) one well-provided before Osiris, lord of Ta-wer, Idu.”

Panel (2)


(a) Top register. (Click to enlarge)

Boys’ games, reading from left to right. Touny and Wenig, Sport in Ancient Egypt, 50-59.

(a1) A naked boy facing right gestures with his left arm toward an enclosure or holds the rope which forms the enclosure. The latter contains four naked boys facing left, the first prone on the ground while the second leans over him and thrusts his raised head back down. The last two boys are standing with their right arms gesturing forward. This is evidently a version of the game of prisoners. The label above the enclosure reads right to left in the same direction as the boys: šd wꜥ.k nt(y) ḥnꜥ(.i), “rescue your one among them, O (my) comrade,” to which the boy outside the enclosure with the text in the opposite direction replies: šd wꜥ.k nt(y) ḥnꜥ(.i), “I shall rescue you.” Parallels and variants are cited by Smith, who illustrates the scene from Idu with those from Ptahhotpe, Mereruka, Ikhekhy, and a block with similar text in the British Museum. 

Smith, History of Egyptian Sculpture, 209-211, figs. 81 a, b, c, 82, 83; James, Khentika, pl. 11; Wreszinski, Atlas III, 27.


(a2) Two boys with intertwined arms and wearing only long pigtails stand facing each other as if in the first stages of wrestling, the text reading: ꜣbḫ in ꜣbḫw, “linking by the linkers.”  Cf. Davies, Ptahhotep Ipl. 23 b.

Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, 138: “Arms are linked for you, feet dance for you, hands are waved for you.”


(a3) The third set of games consists of two boys wearing only lotus fillets in their hair confronting each other in combat fashion. Their rear arms raised behind them and their lowered arms in front hold short sticks or daggers. The one on the left is labelled: sꜣ.f Ḥmi and the one on the right sꜣ.f Ḳꜣr, “his son Hemi,” and “his son Qar.” Their threats are not entirely intelligible and the readings should be improved. On the right: stt.(i) m mwt stw r.k, “I thrust to the death(?) a thrusting against you.” To which the other brother replies(?): is r(m)ṯ iṯ.f n.(i), “Is there a man who can seize (it) for me?” Both renderings are obviously uncertain.


(b) Second register. (Click to enlarge)

Seven women facing right toward the seated Idu. Right to left, four women dancing, each labelled ibꜣ, “dancing.” All wear pointed male skirts, broad collars and bracelets, and have varying crossbands over the torso and streamers down the back. The second also wears a long pigtail. In front of the feet of the first is her name: sꜣt.f Bnḏt, “his daughter Bendjet.” On the east wall of the chamber of G 7215 D 1 a text in black ink gives the title and name: ẖkrt wꜥtt imꜣḫt Bnḏt

Also in the tomb of Qar (G 7101) his sister Bndyt is shown under his chair in Room D, central pillar (pl. X b: fig. 26 b). 

If the lady is the same, Idu of G 7102 may be the father of Qar of G 7101, although by a different wife. Following the four dancers are three women clapping their hands. They lean slightly forward, wear long dresses, pendant necklaces, and streamers down the back. Each bears the label: mꜣḥt, “clapping," or perhaps “clapper-bearer,” although they do not carry sticks or implements: men as well as women bear the caption mꜣḥt. The horizontal text above them reads: Inḏ ḥr.ṯ m ꜥnḫ Ḥwt-Ḥr swt kꜣ.ṯ ḥt pti nbi.ṯ imrt nfrw, possibly, “Hail, to you in life, O Hathor, the places of your ka are propitiated, that you should glow is what the nfrw desire.” 

See Schafik Allam, Beiträge zum Hathorkult. I am indebted to Miss Virginia L. Davis for this reading.


The cult of Hathor is celebrated by games and dancers in the Middle Kingdom tombs at Meir. 

Wente, in Studies in Honor of John A. Wilson, 83-91.



(c) Third register. (Click to enlarge)

Men playing at draughts. Three scenes, left to right.

(c1) Two men seated on the ground face each other across a game of draughts, probably the 30-square senet-game. 

W. Needler, in JEA 35 (1953) 60-75; Junker, Giza IV, 36; Piankoff, The Wanderings of the Soul, 116-120, with list of references on p. 116; Drioton, Bull. Soc. Arch. Copte 6 (1940) 177-206.


Each prepares his move. The text reads: rdi(.i) sšm ḏbꜥ(.i) r pr hb, “I cause my finger to be led to the house of the ibis (?).” For pr hb, “house of the plough,” perhaps read thus, “house of the ibis = Thot.” In a New Kingdom text the first square is apparently designated as the “House of Thot.” 

Piankoff, op. cit.; 119; Pieper, ZÄS 66 (1931) 16-33.


(c2) The center pair of men face each other across a serpent game, the Mehen board. 

Ranke, “Das altägyptischen Schlangenspiel,” Sitzb. Heidelberger Akad. der Wiss., Phil.-hist. Kl., Abh. 4, 1920; Junker, Giza IV, 36-38; Montet, “Le jeu du Serpent,” CdE 30 (1955) 189-197.


The trapezoidal element below the circular board is thought by Montet to be the storage place or “garage” for the playing pieces not in action.  The text reads: ḥbꜥ.k(i) mḥn r.k, “I am playing the Mehen game against you.”

Montet, Scènes, 374-375.


(c3) The third pair of men again confront each other across the senet-board, the man on the right making his move. The text is difficult: wꜥw sn n.i ; nn ꜥ.k r s, “the one and the two belong to me; you have no right to them.” For the second part an alternative may be: nn grḥ.k r. s, “you will not win at it,” or “will you not finish with it ?” 

This translation suggested by Miss Virginia L. Davis. For the game in the Old Kingdom, see Klebs, Die Reliefs des alten Reiches, 112-113.


The man on the left is identified as Ḳꜣr, “Qar,” and his opponent on the right as the sš Isi, “the scribe Isi,” although the name may be Ḥsi; the first sign in the photograph looks like šn (Sign List V 7) and is rendered by the artist as a reed leaf.


(d) Fourth register. (Click to enlarge)

Musicians.  Seven figures, reading from right to left as follows.

For the scene, see Montet, Scènes, 357-365; Klebs, op. cit., 107-109.


(d1) A man seated on the ground facing left, right hand gesturing, left hand to ear. Caption: mꜣḥt, “clapping.”

(d2) Man seated on the ground facing right, playing a long wind-instrument. Caption: sꜣb, “flute.” 

Junker, Giza IV, 38-39.


(d3) Woman seated on the ground facing right playing a harp. Caption: sḳ sꜣt.f lry, “his daughter Iry, plucking.”

(d4) Similar figure playing the harp. Caption: sḳ sꜣt.s Nbt, “her daughter Nebet plucking.”

(d5) A similar figure playing a harp. Caption: ḥst Nfr-mnḫt, “the singer Nefer-menkhet.” Erased.

(d6) A similar figure playing the harp. Caption: ḥst, “singing”.

(d7) A similar figure but with pigtail, playing the harp. The artist changed his mind and erased the name. Caption: ḥst sḳ, “singing and plucking.”

Panel (3)


(e) Fifth register. (Click to enlarge)

Preparation of food and drink. Somewhat narrower than registers (a) to (d), but running full length of the wall. Reading from right to left:

(e1) Man seated on the ground facing right fanning a fire on which a rib-roast is cooking. Caption: facing right to left, ꜣšr ḏrww, “roasting a flank.”

(e2) Man seated on the ground facing right tending food in a pot. Caption: pst iwf wdpw Tidwi, “cooking meat, the butler Tidui.” The reading of the name is uncertain.

(e3) Standing man leaning forward over pot in a basin. Caption: wdpw Kꜣr, “the butler Qar.”

(e4) A stand with four tall jars and lotus flowers and buds.

(e5) A man facing right leaning over a low table on which are a variety of items of food and vessels.

(e6) A low table on which are several vessels, a trussed duck, and lotuses.

(e7) A man seated on the ground facing left with arms extended toward a double row of tall jars. Caption: mḥ ḳrḥt, “filling the pots.”

(e8) Two standing men facing right leaning forward toward the jars shown in (e7). The first man is holding out ajar to fill the others.


(f) Sixth register. (Click to enlarge)

Men preparing food. The left end of the register partly lost. Reading right to left: (f1) to (f7).

(f1) Man seated on the ground facing right holding a fan in his right hand; his left holds a missing object. Caption: ꜣšr ꜣpd, “roasting a fowl.”

(f2) Man seated on the ground facing right holding a bird by the wings.

(f3) Man seated on the ground facing right holding a bird by the neck and wings with both hands. Caption: wdpw Ny-ẖti, “the butler Ny-kheti.” Or read Nḫti.

(f4) Man kneeling facing left before a stone on which he is working with both hands. Caption: ṯst t imy-r pr Ny-ẖti, “raising bread (by) the steward Ny-kheti.”

(f5) Man squatting on the ground facing left but turning his head to the right. His right arm is raised as he looks back at his fellow, while his left pokes with a stick at a large pile of moulds. Caption: ḳri ꜥprt “firing moulds.” 

Montet, Scènes, 245.


(f6) Man facing left leaning over a vat. Caption: dnt sṯt, “kneading sṯt-bread." 

Montet, Scènes, 247; James, Khentika, 70.


(f7) Man seated on the ground facing left but looking back at his companion, right arm raised and left lowered, tending a pile of small vessels being fired. Caption: ḳri bḏꜣ, “firing bḏꜣ-vessels.” 

Montet, Scènes, 237; James, Khentika, 45.


The rest of the register is largely missing.


(g) Seventh register. (Click to enlarge)

Offering bearers.

Very incomplete and without captions: a procession of female offering-bearers facing right. Originally about ten, of which only the first three are preserved down to just above the ankles. Each figure bears on her head various offerings and carries also flowers, birds, etc. This is the lowest register on the wall, and appears to have been the lowest part decorated.

Photos from the Archive

G 7102, Idu, chapel, S wall, E half, raised relief, lower registers (board games, musicians and other activities), looking S

G 7102, Idu, chapel, S wall, registers of relief, looking S

G 7102, Idu, chapel, S wall, W half, relief, lower registers, looking S

G 7102, Idu, chapel, South wall, registers of relief, looking S

0 comment(s)

Leave a comment(We'll keep your email address private)

Want to stay in the loop and hear first-hand about digital EPIGRAPHY's latest articles and future plans?