During the Old and Middle Kingdoms, Elephantine Island’s rulers, priests, and other grandees were buried in these complex of rock tombs carved out of the West Bank’s cliffs. A set of steep steps immediately to the left of Gharb Aswan’s boat dock leads to them.
The first tombs you explore are Tombs 25 and 26, which contain the tombs of 6th-dynasty rulers Mekhu and Sabni. In both cases, the creativity is basic and haphazardly executed. Tomb 31 belongs to Prince Sarenput II, a contemporary of King Amenemhet II of the 12th dynasty, and is located up the route to the right. This is one of the necropolis’ biggest and best-preserved tombs.
A short passage leads from the burial chamber to three niches on either side. A depiction of the deceased father and his son with well-maintained colors may be found to the left of the first niche. Inscriptions from Nubia’s successful commercial trips may be seen in Tomb 34 (Harhuf’s tomb).
A flight of steps leads up to the Tomb of Setka (First Intermediate Period), which has badly damaged wall murals with stunningly bright colors and is one of the rare remaining examples of this period’s ornamental art.