The Griffith Institute
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Bersha Watercolours

Griffith Institute w&d 163 | Butchering an ox

Griffith Institute Watercolour 163
Griffith Institute w&d 163
© Griffith Institute Watercolours & Drawings Project

Artist Howard Carter.

Date 1893.

Deir el-Bersha.
Tomb of Djehutihotep. Temp. Sesostris II and Sesostris III.
Hall (Inner Room). Shrine. West wall.

Group of three men butchering an ox.
From scene: Funerary ritual and offering bearers before Djehutihotep.

Technical data
531 mm x 367 mm.
Mount, recto,
'Howard Carter 1893.' [signature and date];
'El Bersheh I. Pl: XXXII.'; 'cf. El Bersheh I. Pl XXXII 3rd register'.
Mount, verso,
'[El Bers]heh 1893 Mr Carter'; 'No. 52. El Bersheh'; '[lost] x 22'; '26? [encircled]'.

Griffith Institute w&d

See PM iv.181(22) | TopBib 409-060-010-020; GI w&d Deir el-Bersha Project; Newberry, P. E. El Bersheh i [1894], 40 pl. xxxii.

At the back of the tomb of Djehutihotep at Deir el-Bersha is the rock-cut Shrine. The scenes and texts within the Shrine are dedicated to the tomb owner and his father Kay. In identical scenes on the side-walls, each man is seated before an offering table and in front of this are five rows of scenes including priests performing funerary rites and offering bearers bringing even more food and drink destined for the table.

On the left (west) wall dedicated to Djehutihotep, in the fourth row of scenes, is one showing a ritual sacrifice. Three butchers have overthrown an ox whose throat has been cut; the blood is shown still sprurting from the ox's neck. The chest of the ox has been cut open and the inside of the ribcage has been exposed. The butcher in the centre is cutting away choice pieces of meat which are being collected in a bowl held by the man on the right. The man on the left holds the back leg of the ox to steady the carcass during the butchering process. The inscriptions above the scene read; "offering to his ka" and "giving a nenshem joint". The nenshem being the spleen.

Cataloguing John Wyatt & Lee Young | Commentary Elizabeth Fleming
Photography Jenni Navratil, assisted by Hana Navratilova
Editing and web pages Elizabeth Fleming, assisted by Francisco Bosch-Puche & Cat Warsi.