Comparative Guts

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Wall scene from tomb of King Ramesses III (KV11)

Photo: Matjaz Kacicnik, Theban Mapping Project

The fragmentary wall decoration of this chamber depicts butchery and cooking activities connected to the funeral or mortuary cult of the tomb’s royal owner. On the right wall a man is seen butchering a bound ox, while the back wall of the niche shows several men engaged in preparation of meat. To the right of the triangular cuts of meat hung for drying are seen long, thin strips similarly suspended, offering a relatively rare depiction of the intestines of a butchered animal. The rarity of such depictions contrasts with the information coming from other sources, that intestines were used for a variety of purposes; their near-omission from the pictorial record is likely due to the intestines not being counted amongst the most prized and prestigious parts of the animal