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The tomb of Perneb was constructed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art after New York bought if from the Egyptian government in 1913. The tomb took the ordinary rectangular shape for Egyptian Tombs. The tomb had a length of 54feet, width of 40feet and a height of 18feet. The Tomb also had two projecting wings, which formed a courtyard. The Tomb was opened to the public over eighty years ago, and the number coming in to view and explore the tomb has been swelling by day. Today, there is increased congestion in the tomb, as people from different walks of life visit the Museum to appreciate the historic tomb and the Egyptian cultures.
The architecture of the tomb of perneb represents a typical Egyptian tomb, where important people were buried after their death. It contains two chambers, a limestone mastaba which is above the ground, and a burial chamber, which is underground. The Mastaba has two chambers, secondary offering chamber and the ain offering chamber. The chambers were decorated attractively. There is a leading to the main offering chamber and a separate door leading to the secondary ritual chamber. The central door of the tomb leading to the offering chamber is rectangular with carvings od Perneb on both sides of the door facing the way in. The space and the architecture of the chamber help one to understand the meaning of the images. It helps one to understand the role of the different images placed in the tomb.
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The tomb's architecture had a message that represented the culture and beliefs of the Egyptians. The Egyptians were greatly superstitious and religious and respected their dead immensely. They took care of them by providing food in the tombs. The tomb was well decorated and painted to make it appealing. The pictures, painting and the decorations helped to enhance this message. The tomb had different paintings that showed pictures of people bringing offerings and to the ancestors. These pictures had messages that represented what the Egyptian people believed and held that the spirits of the dead would come to receive the offerings. The offerings comprised of food stuffs like meat and grains. They believed that tombs were everlasting dwelling place for the dead. People, therefore, brought food for the dead to ensure that they fed accordingly. They ensured that the dead did not miss anything.
The Tomb also has an offering chamber where the priests and men would come to give their offerings. The carvings show the men and priests giving their offerings to Perneb, who sits in front of the offering table. The carves of Perneb resembles an official seated in Stela of a Middle Kingdom. The pose of the Perneb represented that the spirit was still alive and continued to rule even after his death. On the extreme side of the other wall, there was a carving of a fake door, where the Egyptians believed that the spirits of the dead passed through to receive the offerings brought by men and priests. People would also stand near this door to feel the presence of the dead. They would even make a prayer for them.
The images in the tombs have a lot of significance. The tombs were decorated with reliefs that revealed the daily lives of the Egyptian people. The Egyptians believed that ones a person died their spirits did not die but continued to live. For this reason, they built tombs where the spirits would live permanently. They painted and carved images to show that the spirits were alive, and would eat and receive gifts like the ordinary people. The people would even make prayers for the dead believing that they would hear. Therefore, the images represented continuity of live for the dead.
The images also help viewers to understand how the Egyptians conducted their funerals, and how they treated the dead. The images of people giving offerings to the dead help people understand how the Egyptians valued the dead. In addition, it helps people understand the Egyptians beliefs that people's spirits never died when a person died. The spirit continued to live and needed a resting place for an eternity. This explains why they build tombs for the dead. Moreover, they believed that the spirits needed food for continuity of life. They also believed that the dead would come to receive the offerings and, therefore, they carved the fake door on the extreme wall of the offering room. These images help people to understand how religious and superstitious the Egyptians were.
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The other function of the images is that they help viewers to have a natural and original feel like what the relatives of the dead felt when they visited the dead. Through the images, people are able to understand how the relatives gave their offerings and how the dead received them. In addition, images were helpful in understanding the positions people took when visiting and giving offerings, and position the dead people were placed when such relatives and priests visited. The images also revealed the rituals Egyptian people undertook for the dead. People are, therefore, able to see how the ancient people conducted such rituals. The rituals comprised of placing real drinks and food on the offering table in front of the fake door where they believed the dead would appear through to take the offerings.
The images emphasise the structure of the tomb by providing the necessary pictures to complete how the tombs looked like in the traditional setting. They help viewers to visualise the Egyptian clothing, furnishings, foodstuffs, ceremonies and funerals. They also help viewers visualise how relatives conducted rituals for the dead. The images also provided decorations for the tomb making it more attractive and beautiful for the viewers. The images were also used as decorations for the dead. In the event that people were late to bring food and other materials wealth, then the dead would stay happy because of the decorations.
The images and decorations also help us to understand how skilful the Egyptians decorators were. Egypt is known for its skilled decorators, and images and decorations on the tomb show the same. The extraordinary quantity of colour left on the tomb today show that the people who did the decorations were really skilled. The images appear like the original appearances, and this has attracted many people to come to view the tomb. The skills applied in the tombs resemble the modern day skills.
The images painted on the walls also represent estates from where the visitors brought materials things and food to the dead. The images are drawn walking towards the offering room with baskets of meat, pots of beer, live birds and other material goods. The images had names of the estates the people represented. People from different estates were supposed to bring their offerings to the kings, and for the king to be able to identify them, names were inscribed on the images.
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The Egyptians greatly valued the dead people and thus made tombs to provide them with a dwelling place for them. They gave their offerings in the tombs and carried out some rituals in the same tombs. The Tomb of Perneb contains images that represent all these actions. Placing the images outside the tomb will have a negative impact on how people perceive the tomb. When people visit the tombs, they are able to see a complete picture of how the Egyptians buried, preserved and treated the dead. Removing the images from their architectural context would change how people perceive the tomb; they would not perceive the images as the entire part of the tomb. They would see them as separate images brought in to complement the tomb. People will perceive the images as another piece of art by people. The curiosity to view the tomb as a complete Egyptian set will reduce. Consequently, the number of people visiting the tomb would decline immensely.
The main aim of re-establishing the Tomb in the museum was to enable people to have a feel of the original Egyptian tombs and have similar experiences with the priests, people and relatives who came to visit the tomb soon after the death of Perneb. People visit the museum to appreciate the great architecture and structure of the tomb. This is the reason for the increased number of people. The tomb is constructed in the same way the ancient tombs looked like, and thus people can understand better what happened in the tombs by viewing the images placed and arranged in a way resembling the real funerals. Therefore, removing the images and displaying the images outside the tomb would have some undesirable effects. People will stop visiting since they will not have a real feel of the experiences ancient people had when they visited the tomb. The tomb will appear artificial, and people will not take time to visit the tomb. It will appear like a collection of images collected by individuals without the natural experience of the tomb. It would therefore, be advisable to devise other means of managing the ever-increasing number of people visiting the tombs.
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