TT2 of Khabekhnet at Deir el-Medina

Khabekhnet was the eldest son of Sennedjem (TT1). He lived during the 19th dynasty when Ramesses II (1279-1212 BC) was on the throne. His title was "Servant in the Place of Truth". He lived in Deir el-Medina and worked in the royal tombs at the
Valley of the Kings. Khabekhnet's house was located in the southwestern part of the village. It stood next to the house of his father Sennedjem (Théby,2007,276).
Photography © 2007 Andy Peacock
Khabekhnet was buried along with his wife, Sahte, and their family in a tomb in the above and slightly to the south of his father's tomb. Khabekhnet's family was as extensive as Sennedjem's family. A stela found in the courtyard of the tomb contains the names of Khabekhnet, his brother Khons and several children: Mose, Anhotep, Amenemheb, Isis and Henutweret. Benedict Davies suggests they all were Khabekhnet's offspring (Davis,1999,45).
Photography © 1964 Helmut Satzinger

Another group of children of Khabeknet is listed in a register on the north wall of the hall of his tomb:

sons Sennedjem (ii), Piay, Bakenanuy and Kha and the daughters Webkhet, Mutemopet and Nofretkhau (Davis,1999,45).

Inscriptions on a statue of Khabekhnet and Sahte preserved the names of their three more daughters:
Roy, Nodjemmut and Wabet as well as the names of the grandchildren Mose, Khaemseba and Mutkhati (Davies,1999,46).

The substructure of the tomb contains decorations and scenes of the gods Ra, Osiris, Hathor and the king, also of Hapi and offerings and scenes of various other deities.

Photography © 1964 Helmut Satzinger

The goddess Isis spreads her protective wings above the bed, where the mummy of the deceased is laid out on the bed and the priest with the mask of Anubis cares for it. It represents Chapter 151 from the Book of the Dead. The goddess Isis and goddess Nepthys both kneel beside the bed.

Photography © 1964 Helmut Satzinger

Another wall shows a similar scene in slightly modified form: Anubis, the jackal-headed embalmer, is attending to the dead Khabekhnet, who is depicted here as a mighty fish, rather than the usual human mummy, lying on a lion-legged couch. The following words accompany the scene: “Anubis, the imy-wt, says: I come and I am your protector of eternity, oh abdw-fish from true lapis lazuli”. The four sons of Horus (Imset, a human headed deity responsible for the liver, Hapi, a baboon headed deity responsible for the lungs, Duamutef, a jackal headed deity responsible for the stomach and Kebechsenef with a head of a falcon responsible for the viscera of the lower body) flank the fish at the head and foot of the bed. The whole scene is framed by a tent, by the sides of which Isis and Nepthys kneel on clumps of lilies and papyrus plants. This large “abdw” fish is unidentifiable. The painting remains so far unparalleled.

The fish has been identified as the Nile perch (Lates niloticus) and was explained as a symbol of the deceased awaiting rebirth (Germond,2001,143). Patrick Houlihan admits that the precise meaning of this fish mummy is uncertain, but he thinks that it
probably represents the deceased, who associates himself with the god Osiris (Houlihan,1996,132). Ingrid Gamer-Wallert (Gamer-Wallert,1970,131-132) suggests that the abdw-fish is related to tilapia, a fish that in ancient Egyptian art symbolises rebirth. She argues that in this painting, the fish represents the followers of Re and his boat or is even a manifestation of the sun god himself. Could it be that the dead man, regarding his continued existence to be secured by the presence of the solar
bark and the tilapia and abdw-fish, might also have felt the desire to transform himself into one of these fish, and thus into one of the manifestations of Re? Why Khabekhnet chose the abdw-fish in this case and not the usual tilapia, we will probably never know.

Photography © 1964 Helmut Satzinger
Shabti for Khabekhnet
From TT2, the Western cemetery at Deir el-Medina
Limestone, painted
19th dynasty, reign of Ramesses II
Height: 20.8 cm
The Náprstek Museum collection, Prague, Czech Republic, P6125
The shabti has a black tripartite wig and a wide collar around his neck.
There are five lines of hieroglyphic inscription from a chapter of the Book of the Dead.

"Sehedj, Osiris, servant in the Place of Truth, Khabekhnet, is
counted, when people are called to all works that should be done in the necropolis..."
Photographs © Náprstek Museum
Photographed by Lenka Peacock
To view and browse the digitised version of The Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings, (also known as Porter & Moss or TopBib) for this tomb, go to
Material for the Bibliography is gathered from an ever-expanding range of multi-lingual sources, encompassing both specialist and semi-popular Egyptological and Near Eastern publications, periodicals, museum guides, exhibition and auction catalogues, together with the growing wealth of web resources.
The Bibliography also analyses a range of unpublished manuscripts, including those housed in the Griffith Institute Archive. Published in May 2014 by the Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, the volumes are constantly revised and augmented.
1. Théby : město bohů a faraónů = Thebes : city of gods and pharaohs / Jana Mynářová & Pavel Onderka (eds.)
Praha : Národní Museum, 2007.
2. Davies, Benedict G.: Who's who at Deir el-Medina : a prosopographic study of the royal workmen's community
Leiden : Nederlands Instituut voor Her Nabije Oosten, 1999
3. Gamer-Wallert, Ingrid: Fische und Fischkulte
Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1970.
4. Dodson, Aidan - Ikram, Salima: The tomb in ancient Egypt : royal and private sepulchres from the early dynastic period to the Romans
London : Thames & Hudson, 2008.
5. Brewer, Douglas J. - Friedman, Renée F.: Fish and fishing in ancient Egypt
Warminster : Aris & Phillips, 1989.
6. Houlihan, Patrick F.: The animal world of the pharaohs
London : Thames and Hudson, 1996.
7. Germond, Philippe and Livet, Jacques: An Egyptian bestiary : animals in life and religion in the land of the Pharaohs.
London : Thames and Hudson, 2001.