Most interesting finds from Khay's tomb


During the New Kingdom, the formal royal privilege to build pyramids was extended to private persons. Such private pyramids were part of a tomb-chapel or temple-tomb. Usually, they stood behind or around the central offering-chapel, or on the flat roof of these structures. Needless to say, their size was much smaller than that of their royal precursors. In Saqqara, the 18th-Dynasty tombs had mud-brick pyramids and only the tombs of the 19th Dynasty sometimes had limestone ones. The mud-brick examples usually possessed an apex made of limestone or an even more durable kind of stone. Parts of such pyramidions have often been found by the expedition, but is was rare to find this almost intact one. It is inscribed for 'the chief gardener of the garden of Pharaoh in Memphis', Khay son of Hadad. The father's name is interesting because it betrays his Syrian origins, Hadad being the local designation for the god Baal. In spite of the differing title, Khay was probably identical to the owner of the chapel found in 2009, because the pyramidion was picked up from the area right next to his tomb.