The 4,300-year-old Tomb of Mehu in Egypt has opened to visitors for the very first time since its discovery, 78 years ago.Found in the Saqqara necropolis, south of Cairo by Egyptologist Zaki Saad in 1940, the tomb has remained an archaeological site for many years.Mehu was the chief of the royal palace and the chief of judges who lived during the sixth dynasty.Archaeologists have learned a lot from the scriptures at the entrance to the tomb."It clarifies the important status of this person," says archaeologist Zahi Hawas. "He was very respected in the royal family, and that tomb was dedicated to him, his son and grandson."The Mehu Tomb is part of a renovation project of the Djoser Pyramid, where restorers are working hard to complete renovations in the pyramid and the southern tomb.
Mehu’s administration appears to have spanned the reigns of two Pharaohs: Teti I (2323-2291 BCE) and his son Pepi I (2289-2255 BCE). These 6th Dynasty rulers seized the throne when the 5th Dynasty ruler died without a direct heir. These Pharaohs were focused on consolidating the power and reach of their centralized government — a task that would have preoccupied much of Mehu’s time and focus. Their success is reflected in the many public works erected, particularly in Pepi I’s reign, and in the splendor of Mehu’s own tomb.
Discovered in 1940, Mehu’s richly-decorated 4-room tomb offers visitors a keen insight into what life in Egypt was like four millennia ago. The walls of the tomb are decorated with detailed scenes, painted in vibrant colors, their colors still intact and today expertly illuminated. One mural depicts Mehu’s 48 different titles as illustrations of him with the attributes of his office. He is also portrayed taking part in a lively dance. The wall paintings not only depict traditional scenes of Mehu as a faithful servant of both Pharaoh and the Gods, but also show us views of Egyptians cooking, hunting, engaging in agricultural work such as planting and harvesting, and fishing in the bountiful Nile River with nets.
Mehu’s tomb consists of four rooms leading into a wide courtyard. The Vizier is buried with his son, Meren Ra and his grandson, Hetab Kha. This new tomb with its lively and insightful decorations is a welcome addition to the already-impressive list of tombs at Saqqara, once the bustling capital of Ancient Egypt.
Mehu’s Tomb is a reminder that Ancient Egypt guards her many secrets well, and that she still has the capacity to surprise and enthrall us.Visit Saqqara and Mehu’s Tomb on Alexander + Roberts Visions of Egypt, as well as its new itinerary Between the Paws of the Sphinx. This land and cruise combination tour includes a private field talk by renowned Egyptologist, Ashraf Mohie El-Din, as well as the usually off-limits opportunity to stand between the paws of one of Ancient Egypt’s most iconic and enigmatic monuments: The Sphinx. Contact one of our knowledgeable reservation agents to discuss this and other itineraries.