Tomb U at Umm el-Qa'ab


Semerkhet had his tomb, labeled “Tomb U” by its finder, Petrie,  built to the south of Den’s at Umm el-Qa’ab, on the opposite side of the axis of the tombs of Den and Anedjib, and continuing the motion south that was started with the tomb of Djer. This could be seen as an indication that, if Anedjib built his tomb away from Den’s because he didn’t feel closely related to him, Semerkhet wanted to stress a connection with Den.

Interactive map of the tomb of Semerkhit. Click or tap on the little circles to learn more.

As was the case with the tombs of Djer, Djet, Merneith and Den, Semerkhet’s tomb consisted of a single pit dug into the ground, surrounded by walls that vary in thickness between 1.5 and 1.8 metres. This too marks a change compared to Anedjib’s tomb, that consisted of two chambers, and a return to a slightly older tradition.
The burial chamber is entered through a descending passage coming from the northeast, rather than via a staircase as was the case with the tombs of Den and Anedjib.

64 subsidiary graves were built directly against the king’s tomb. the larger graves were dug in a single row against the southeast side of the main tomb, while the slightly smaller ones were laid out in two rows against the other sides of the main tomb. That the subsidiary graves were built directly against the king’s tomb was an innovation.

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017