Tomb Y at Umm el-Qa'ab


An impressive tomb was dug out into the ground for Merneith right next to her probable husband’s tomb at Umm el-Qa’ab. It was labeled Tomb Y by Petrie, one of the main archaeologists who worked on the site and is the most lavish Early Dynastic queen’s tomb at Umm el-Qa’ab.

Interactive plan of Tomb Y. Click the little circles to learn more.

The tomb itself measures 8.9 by 6.3 metres internally. Its walls vary in thickness between 1.3 and 1.6 metres. Eight storage rooms were built against all four walls and were found filled with pottery. The actual burial chamber was dug deeper than the storage rooms.
A stela with the name of Merneith was found in the burial chamber. 

The queen’s tomb is surrounded by 41 subsidiary graves. This is significantly less than was the case with her husband or her son, indicating that she may have had less servants or that she shared some with her husband and son.

A seal impression listing kings buried at Umm el-Qa’ab from Narmer to Den, ends with the name of Merneith, commemorating her role as regent during her son’s childhood.

Reconstruction drawing of the tomb of Merneith showing that the tomb had a superstructure.

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017