GLBT & GBLTI History

Ancient Tomb of Two Lovers ?

Compiled by Joe Wright

In 1964 a tomb was found in the necropolis of Saqqara. When archaeologists were exploring the tomb they found that the tomb was constructed for two men to share their final resting place. The archaeologists discovered that the two men were Niankhknum and Khnumhotep and that they shared the same title in the palace of King Niusere of the Fifth Dynasty: "Overseer of The Manicurists in the Palace of the King"

At the entrance of the tomb there is a hieroglyphic inscription. The inscription is addressed to each of the men and includes the tittles: "Manicurist and Overseer of the Manicurist in the Palace, King's Acquaintance and Royal Confidant" Just inside the entrance to the tomb there is a picture of the two men sitting in chairs , embracing each other, overseeing the offerings being brought into their "House of Eternity."

As you go through the tomb you can see a picture of Niankhkhnum holding his friend's hand , leading Khnumhotep on a tour of their last resting place. At the next section of the tomb there is an inscription where the names of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep are inscribed as one name. The name Niankhkhnum may be translated as 'joined in life.' The name Khnumhotep means "joined to 'hotep'" a word meaning peace or satisfaction and is often used to describe the blessed state of the dead. In other words "Joined in life and joined in death", a reference to their desire to remain together in life and in the afterlife.

The most elaborate scene is 'The Banquet'. Khnumhotep sits on the right, holding a Lotus flower and Niankhkhnum is on the left. There are traces of his wife behind him. The Archaeologists believe that she was removed from the scene so that the two men were the only guests of honor at the banquet.

For more info and a cyber tour of the tomb ,with pictures go to -

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