Ancient Egyptian Chief Brewer's Beautiful Tomb Discovered

Well-preserved tomb depicts scenes of daily life and ritual devotion.

Khonso Im-Heb, bare-headed, and his wife are shown in ritual scenes with two gods associated with the underworld and death: Osiris (top left) and Anubis (top right).


The stunning tomb of an ancient Egyptian brewer has been found on the west bank of the Nile. Paintings on the walls depict scenes of worship and daily life from 3,000 years ago, reports a Japanese archaeology team.  (See "Tombs of Ancient Egypt.")

The tomb belonged to Khonso Im-Heb, who was head of granaries and beer-brewing for the worship of the Egyptian mother goddess, Mut.

In December 2007, the Japanese researchers, led by Jiro Kondo of Waseda University in Tokyo, began excavating in El Khokha, near the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

The area had recently been cleared of modern houses during the removal of Qurna village, just to the north, and was already known as a locale for tombs of ancient nobles.

This detail of a ritual scene shows Khonso Im-Heb and his wife (both center) receiving an offering from his son (right).


While clearing the forecourt to a tomb numbered TT47, which had belonged to an 18th-dynasty royal official, the team discovered the entrance to Khonso Im-Heb's T-shaped tomb.

The walls of the brewer's tomb are decorated with rare, beautifully preserved scenes of daily life, such as interactions between the brewer and his wife and children, and depictions of their ritual practices.

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim, has ordered the site to be secured during the remaining excavations and would like to restore the location for eventual tourism.