|May's tomb no 338 at
|The owner of the tomb number 338 was called May. He was a painter employed at the Theban
Necropolis and living at Deir el-Medina during the 18th dynasty, around 1300 BC. His title was the
"outline draughtsman of Amun" (Rice,105-106). His tomb is situated in the Western Necropolis at Deir
el-Medina near the tomb of the architect Kha (TT8) and is numbered TT 338.
|This is a round topped stela of a two fold division. In the lunette - the spatial region in the upper portion
of the stela - the solar barque is carrying a solar disk above the sky, represented by the hieroglyphic
sign pt (sky). A child with a thumb in his mouth sits on the right side of the barque.
The lower register of the stela consists of an image of a man standing at the bottom of the right side of
the stela. He is facing to his right. His arms are lifted in adoration pose. Above and in front of the
figure there are 10 columns of hieroglyphic inscription. The columns are written from top to bottom and
read from left to right.
The text consists of a hymn to the setting sun:
"Praise to Re when he sets in life in the western horizon of heaven. You have appeared in the western
half as Atum who is in the evening, having come in your might, having no adversaries and having taken
possession of the sky as Re. You appear and shine upon the back of your mother, having appeared (as) king
of Divine Ennead. I have done right in your presence, and kiss the ground (for?) your crew, worshipping
(whilst) you travel the heaven, your heart glad. The Island of Flame has become peaceful, your enemies
are fallen and are no more. The evil dragon's abode is doomed. Your corpse is Atum in the Boat of the
Morning, the rightful one of the Two Lands. Beautiful is the Boat of the Evening when is has accomplished
its end. (Said) by the draughtsman May, true of voice." (Černý,1958)
This type of stela is called a lucarne stela. Altogether there have been identified 13 lucarne stelae
originating from Deir el-Medina. This stela is an early example of its type as the owner is depicted
standing rather than kneeling in adoration. Only 1 other stela - Turin 50043 - shares this feature, all
other 11 stelae depict the owner kneeling. Lucarne stelae share the following characteristics:
- a solar barque shown in the lunette, usually placed above the pt sign
- a sun disk or another sun god representation is depicted in the solar barque
- sun god is accompanied by other symbols relating to him (adoring baboons, wedjat eyes)
- the owner either stands or kneels in adoration of the barque
- although the owner's relatives can be depicted, it is seldom a case
- the hymn, written in columns, praises the rising and/or setting sun
Lucarne stelae were manufactured from late 18th dynasty until the 20th dynasty. They measure between
30 to 55 cm (Goyon,2007,1953-1954).
|To view and browse the digitised version of The Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic
Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings, (also known as Porter & Moss or TopBib) for this tomb, go to
Material for the Bibliography is gathered from an ever-expanding range of multi-lingual sources,
encompassing both specialist and semi-popular Egyptological and Near Eastern publications, periodicals,
museum guides, exhibition and auction catalogues, together with the growing wealth of web resources. The
Bibliography also analyses a range of unpublished manuscripts, including those housed in the Griffith
Institute Archive. Published in May 2014 by the Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, the volumes are
constantly revised and augmented.