Understanding the news: Tomb of Mehu, Old Kingdom open to the public

Understanding the news: Tomb of Mehu, Old Kingdom open to the public
Great news this week as the 6th Dynasty tomb of an official identified as Mehu was opened to the public.
Dr Zahi Hawass (former Minister of Antiquities) identified Mehu's roles as including vizier, chief of the judges and director of the palace.
Ancient Egyptians loved their titles.
In the preview image I've selected for this post, you can see the narrow corridor of the tomb. The gentleman taking the selfie is standing in front of the false door. This ceremonial doorway provided access in and out of the tomb for the spirit of the deceased and provided a focal point for family and friends to bring offerings to the tomb.
These doors are often painted a reddish colour, possibly to emulate pink granite from Aswan. The door is inscribed with Offering Texts: magical formulae to ensure the deceased received sustenance in the Afterlife. In the middle upper area of the door, is a relief of the deceased sitting before an offering table. This image is echoed on the side walls where the tomb owner is again shown seated before a table laden with offerings. Underneath, servants are shown bringing 'every good and pure thing upon which a god lives' to the tomb owner, so even if the living forgot their duties, the magical images on the tomb walls would fulfill this role for all eternity.
Part of the funeral ceremony involved the magical empowerment of these images.
Like many ancient Egyptian tombs, this example was a family affair and contained burials for 3 generations of Mehu's family.

Further reading (and viewing!)
Wikipedia: The Offering Formula
A selection of images of false doors I collected into a gallery from various institutions. The images are zoomable. (see individual images for object details and image accreditation)

Edit: Updated for Blogger


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