Superstructure of Meryneith/Meryre's tomb

Excavation of the tomb's superstructure could be completed during the season 2003. It has a total length of 33 m and is 10.25 m wide. The tomb is preceded by a rectangular forecourt, made by connecting the tomb proper with its eastern neighbour (the tomb of Ptahemwia). This forecourt has round-topped stela niches along two walls, an entrance from the south, and a mud floor. The tomb proper is built in mudbrick with limestone pavements and wall revetment. The eastern entrance wall has a battered face and may have looked like a pylon. The south wing is provided with a round-topped stela belonging to a ‘first prophet of the moon' Hatiay. Only the undecorated base survives of its pendant against the north wing. Both stelae stand on a 0.9 m wide strip of pavement in front of the tomb.

A rectangular vestibule provides access to the tomb proper. Its eastern entrance is flanked by two limestone panels showing the tomb owner in the act of leaving or entering the tomb. The vestibule is flanked by two narrow chapels with doorways on the west side. These still preserve part of the painted decoration on the rear (east) walls. These paintings on mud plaster depict the tomb-owner and his wife receiving food offerings.

The central part of the tomb is formed by an open courtyard with a peristyle of twelve columns. Four of these have been preserved, plus an engaged half-column against the north wall. The courtyard has limestone paving and its walls have preserved a substantial part of their limestone wall revetment. On the east wall the relief decoration was never executed, although the north wing has now secondary decoration for Hatiay. The north wall shows priests enacting the ritual of opening the mouth for Meryneith and his wife Anuy, followed by a group of gods and goddesses, and finally scenes of workshops and a royal bark. The south wall bears representations of the funeral of the deceased and of a granary, stables and a harbour. Finally, the west wall of the courtyard shows offerings for the tomb-owner and his wife.

Behind the courtyard lie three chapels for the offering cult. The central one has remains of limestone revetment (a scene of metalworkers), limestone paving slabs, and the bases of two small columns. It was originally surmounted by a mud-brick pyramid. The two flanking chapels again had barrel vaults and paintings on mud plaster (best preserved in the northwest chapel which shows a funerary meal of the deceased and his relatives). Just like the east chapels, these western rooms have simple mud floors.