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: 49.5 x 60.5 x 28 cm (19 1/2 x 23 13/16 x 11 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This fragment depicts sections of two horizontal registers of hieroglyphs separated by a decorative border composed of two incised parallel horizontal lines forming a wide band. Above the decorative border in sunk relief are four partial hieroglyphs, ‘p’, tail of ‘f’ and bottom of ‘nefer’ and body of ‘m’. Below the decorative border in slightly raised relief are four complete hieroglyphs, and three partial hieroglyphs. Facing left is ‘wsir’ and parts of ‘hetep’ and di’. Facing right are ‘neswt’ and ‘t’. The background is black faded to dark gray. There are traces of red pigment.

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