Color coded greyscale drawing detail from TT 179 showing part of a large pile of offerings

Oct 20, 2021

Painted raised relief from Theban Tomb 179, the early Eighteenth dynasty tomb of Nebamun (censor scribe of grain), located on the southern slope of the el-Khokha hill. The drawing represents part of a large offering pile, depicted on the Antechamber’s west wall, portraying Nebamun presenting the so-called “great offering” to the god. ⠀ ⠀

What complicated the documentation of this particular scene was the presence of two separate decorative layers on top of each other, where carving and painting indicated radically different stylistic approaches. In Nebamun’s antechamber, the less detailed relief provides a 3D backdrop for the more elaborate painted finish.⠀ ⠀

The epigraphic process was based on the traditional facsimile method. Two separate tracings were created in situ: one on clear plastic using fine markers representing the relief and another one on mylar using pencil for the paint. Targets, marked on both versions, pinned the two layers together providing reference points for reassembling in the studio.⠀ ⠀

Both the sun-shadow outlines indicating the raised relief and the greyscale color coding representing the paint were done by freehand, inked line-by-line and dot-by-dot using various Rapidograph ink pens. Later on, the tomb’s documentation process moved towards utilizing digital documentation techniques. Nonetheless, the drawing style remained homogeneous regardless the various methods applied.⠀

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