Relief from the tomb of Nekhebu; architrave over doorway and facades

Old Kingdom, Dynasty 6
2323–2291 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Giza, G 2381/2382


Overall: 36.7 x 12.3 x 21.1 cm (14 7/16 x 4 13/16 x 8 5/16 in.) Other (Decorated Surface): 21.8 x 12.3 x 21.1 cm (8 9/16 x 4 13/16 x 8 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This fragment in slightly raised relief depicts partial hieroglyphs of “hetep, di” and “maa” sign below a decorative border composed of two incised parallel horizontal lines forming a wide band. The background is dark gray. The two parallel horizontal bands contain traces of light green pigment. There are red, blue, and black alternating squares in the decorative border. It joins 13.5831.5, 13.5831.6, and 13.5831.18.

This architrave is preserved in two fragmentary horizontal registers of hieroglyphs separated by a decorative border bordered by two horizontal green bands. In some area there are squares of color in the border of alternating blue, green and black. The hieroglyphs above the border are larger in scale and in sunk relief. Those below the border are smaller in scale and in slightly raised relief, there is almost no depth to the relief. The architrave extends over the doorway and the facades of the ship procession scene and the scene of the ceremonial dance with men carrying chests.


From Giza. Found on shelves marked "G2381/G 2382 Nekhebu." From tomb of Nekhebu G 2382 [(originally thought to be a tomb, but now known to be a jumbled deposit of limestone blocks from other nearby tombs)], court, originally from G 2381. Excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt.
(Accession date: April 28, 2005)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition