Tomb of Djari (TT 366)

The tomb of Djari (TT 366, MMA 820) lies at the edge of the Asasif plain. It was discovered by Herbert Winlock at the end of his 1929-30 excavation season in the Theban Necropolis. Djari is mentioned (in an unpublished fragment from the temple of Mentuhotep II) as “overseer of the king’s harem”. Because of this reference and due to the location of his tomb in the south side of the causeway of the temple of Mentuhotep II, Djari is dated to the reign of this king. Two other stela (Cairo 12/22 + 4/9 and Brussels E. 4985) –from Flinders Petrie’s excavations in Qurnah– also mention a man named Djari. Since the titles do not conform to those observed in the Mentuhotep’s temple fragment, the identification with the owner of TT 366 is not assured.


The tomb of Djari consisted of a large forecourt that was enclosed by mud-brick walls. In front of the facade lies a small mud-brick structure discovered by Winlock and identified by him as a mortuary garden. Such a structure has remained uncovered for many years until MKTP members cleaned, covered, and protected it in 2017, hoping for further work in the area. The portico of the tomb is divided by eight pillars and two pilasters, and leads to an axial corridor. A small niche at the end of this corridor may have been the place for a funerary stela. This room is identified by Winlock as the chapel of the tomb. North of this stela niche, which was destroyed in a later phase when two chambers were added to this part of the tomb, the room widens and leads to two corridors. The western corridor descends into the burial chamber where the base of a slab-built sarcophagus was found. The eastern corridor ends in a chamber full of human remains, of unknown function.


About halfway down the axial corridor one gets access to a small chamber to the south, which may have contained wooden models like those found in the tomb of Meketre (TT 280). In Djari’s tomb the pillars as well as portico and corridor were decorated with paintings. The decoration program included hunting-scenes in the desert, different stages of Djari’s funeral procession, preparation of food and drink, the deceased with his family, offering scenes, hunting birds in the marsh, boat-building, and fishing scenes. Experts on the artistic production of the period have distinguished two different styles of paintings. Catharine Röehrig distinguishes “formal, ceremonial scenes” (e.g., offering scenes) that show “a more regimented style resembling that found in other early Middle Kingdom tombs at Thebes”, and “less formal scenes” (e.g., food production), which were painted “much freer with elongated human proportions one expects to find during the First Intermediate Period”, often referred to as provincial style of decoration. No findings in the inner chambers of the tomb of Djari were documented by Winlock.