Most interesting finds from Tia & Tia's tomb


Hieratic docket
Fifteen large pottery amphoras were found in the area between the staircase of the tomb of Tia and the north wall of Horemheb's tomb. It is unknown whether these belonged with Tia's burial or rather with the Ramesside interments in a shaft on Horemheb's first courtyard. The type of amphora dates certainly to Dynasty XIX. Two of these amphoras bore hieratic dockets in black ink, stating that they contained ‘water of the flood brought from Patjuf' and ‘water of the Xoite nome brought from the Xoite nome, from the western river'. These inscriptions indicate that inundation water brought from specific areas in the Delta played some part in the offering-rituals in New Kingdom tombs, presumably because it was attributed with special revivifying effects. Similar water jars have been found in the adjacent tomb of Maya.

Sarcophagus fragments Sarcophagus fragments
The granodiorite sarcophagus of Tia is known to us from a total of twenty-five fragments. Most of these were found in a dump left by tomb robbers on the forecourt of the tomb of Horemheb, Tia's neighbour in the cemetery. Several other fragments were found dispersed over the superstructure of Tia's own tomb, the nearby tomb of Pay, or inside Tia's burial-chambers. One part has been in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek in Copenhagen since the 1890s. Quite a lot of the sarcophagus is still missing. Obviously this once beautiful object was smashed by robbers who were hoping to find treasures on the mummy of the tomb-owner. The sarcophagus depicted Tia as a mummy with striated wig and ornamental collar. Long columns of incised hieroglyphs ran over the full length and width of the lid and down the sides. These bands framed compartments occupied by representations of the usual funerary deities protecting the deceased.

 

 

Pet-monkey coffin
An unexpected find in the robbers' dump on the forecourt of the tomb of Horemheb consisted of this lid of a wooden sarcophagus for a monkey. Although monkeys are often represented as pets, actual finds of their remains are not common at all. The Tia dump contained skeletal parts of at least nine  monkeys: two of these are baboons, two others have been identified as a green monkey and possibly a Diana monkey, and the others are immature and cannot be identified with any certainty. These monkeys were imported from Central Africa to serve as pets. Their bones show traces of disease and malnutrition. Tia seems to have been a man of unusual tastes, and the care with which he interred his favourite pets in his own tomb is an example of that. Earlier excavations in his tomb have uncovered the remains of a cat in a wooden box.

Canopic coffinettes
A robbers' dump on the forecourt of the tomb of Horemheb contained a great number of broken objects inscribed for Tia, the overseer of the treasury who was buried next to him.  Among the finest objects from the dump were the parts of two containers in the shape of a mummy or coffin. These are made from a single piece of semi-translucent alabaster, with expressive facial features and transverse and longitudinal bands of inscription. Such ‘coffinettes' are a rare alternative for the more common vase-shaped canopic jars used to preserve the embalmed intestines of the deceased. Such jars come in sets of four and have stoppers shaped like human or animal heads. It is rather problematical, therefore, that the same dump comprised parts of at least three alabaster canopic jars of Tia. If he already had a set of four jars, what purpose did the coffinettes serve in his burial outfit?