illustration from photograph 1999 Greg Reeder

In 1964 in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, Egyptian archaeologist Ahmed Moussa discovered
a series of  tombs with rock-cut passages in the escarpment facing
the causeway that lead to the pyramid of Unas.

Soon after the Chief Inspector Mounir Basta reported crawling on his hands and knees through the passages, entering one of the Old Kingdom tombs.

He was impressed with its unique scenes of two men in intimate embrace, something he had never seen before in all the Saqqara tombs.

Meanwhile archaeologists working on the restoration of the causeway of Unas discovered that some of the stone blocks that had been used to build the causeway had been appropriated in ancient times from the mastaba that had originally served as the entrance to this newly discovered tomb. The archaeologists reconstructed the mastaba using the inscribed blocks found in the substructure of the causeway.

It was revealed that this unique tomb had been built for two men to cohabit and that both shared identical titles in the palace of King Niuserre of the Fifth Dynasty: "OVERSEER OF THE MANICURISTS IN THE PALACE OF THE KING."

To take a tour of the tomb and to see some of the remarkable representations of these two men click below on the icon of the manicurists.



Comments and/or questions may be sent to Greg Reeder at (