The Tomb of Petosiris
Petosiris is the Greek name of the Ancient Egyptian name “p3 di wsir” which means “the gift of Osiris”. He was the high priest of god Thot. He built this tomb for his father Seshu or Shesu and his brother Djed Djhwty iw.f Ankh (Djhwty says: he is the life) and for himself.
This tomb was mainly built of limestone however some parts of which were built of sandstone. The façade of this tomb takes the shape of an Ancient Egyptian temple from the Graeco-Roman Period.
In front of the tomb by few meters there is a high horned Altar of Greek type. It was made of Limestone. This tomb consists of 2 rooms known as the pronaos and the naos.
The tomb is famous for its scenes which show mixed iconography between Egyptian art and Greek art. Moreover a new color appeared in this tomb it is the gay light blue color which is a Greek color.
The Façade of the Tomb
The façade of the tomb consists of 4 columns with floral capitals connected with screen walls. At either end of the façade there is a pilaster which is divided into 3 registers. The screen walls are decorated with scenes representing Petosiris while making offerings to god Thot, once as an Ibis- headed figure and once as a Baboon-headed figure.
Each pilaster is divided into 3 registers:
The western pilaster shows Petosiris while making offerings to god Sokar, Osiris and goddess Isis.
The eastern pilaster is divided into 3 registers. The upper one is damaged, the middle one shows Petosiris while making offerings to god Osiris. The lower register depicts Petosiris while making offerings to goddess Nephtys.
The entrance to the tomb is situated to the middle of the façade. On either side of the entrance there are some hieroglyphic inscriptions containing a short autobiography of Petosiris as well as his speech which is addressed to the visitors of the tomb.
In this speech, Petosiris asks the visitors of the tomb to give him thousands of bread, thousands of beer, thousands of oxen and thousands of fowl …………extra. He also asks them to pour water for him.
The 4 pillars of the Naos are decorated with scenes Shesu (left) and Djd djhwty iw.f ankh (right), while embracing different deities of Egypt and receiving blessings from them.
In the Middle of the Naos there is the burial shaft the depth of which 8 m. At the bottom of the shaft there is the burial chamber which contained the burials of 3 generations of the high priests of god Thot. The naos is decorated with religious and funerary scenes of Egyptian nature. Therefore, they kept the old traditions and they don’t show any mixed iconography.
N.B.
The coffin of Petosiris is now in the Cairo Museum. It is made out of wood and inlaid with stained glass or coloured glass and ivory.