Tombs of the Nobles is a very interesting site on Luxor's west bank, but often neglected. The reason
is of course that no kings or queens had their
tomb or temple built here. It is all devoted to
persons now only remembered by the most detailed
historical works. There are 400 tombs here, of
which 7 is of high interest, all presented on the
But what you can see here is a great change from
the almost repetitive images in the temples and
the great tombs. The noblemen who had their tombs
built here used a different artwork and were
concerned with other matters than the royalty.
There is quite little of scenes depicting judgment
and resurrection, and more imagery of earthly life
and its continuation in the afterlife. You will
see next to nothing of carved reliefs here. This
is not really because of its higher cost, but
mainly because of the limestone of the area was
too loose and soft.
Moreover, while the royal tombs were closed for
good following the funeral, the tombs of the
nobles often served as family shrines to which
often lavish rituals were performed. On several
occasions were they used over again by family
members. But the fact that theses tombs were not
sealed, many of them have deteriorated over time.
Visitors who have already been to Beni Hassan,
with its 300-600 years older tombs, should note
the increased complexity in the layout. Several of
the tombs at Luxor have a transverse hall before
entering the burial shrine. In the case of
Rekhmire a narrow hall, in the case of Ramose a
large columned hall.
Although the tomb structures can easily be
accessed, the graves were put at the bottom of
deep shafts. In most cases these are inaccessible.