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: 22.5 x 9.8 x 21 cm (8 7/8 x 3 7/8 x 8 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This fragment in slightly raised relief depicts partial hieroglyphs of the left half of a “djed” pillar, the right half of a “neb” basket, and the end of a “hetep” sign. The entire background is painted dark gray with traces of green, blue, black, and red pigment. It joins 13.5831.6, 13.5831.5, 13.5831.18.

This architrave is preserved in two fragmentary horizontal registers of hieroglyphs separated by a decorative border of two horizontal green bands. In some areas 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 over 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