When the museum is crowded, we often find visitors lining up to see the tomb chapel of a man called Perneb, which is at the entrance to the galleries of ancient Egyptian art. Less known is the tomb chapel of Raemkai, which, in my opinion, is much more beautiful. However, because its entrance is not impressive and the surrounding galleries are full of so many eye-catching objects, most people just walk by without entering to see the truly amazing reliefs, which have many wonderful details.
My favorite part is the bird-catching scene. You need to take a moment to understand what is going on here. On the right is a dense depiction of birds swimming in the Nile’s marshes with their feet paddling in the water. If you look closely, you can see that there are overlapping diagonal and horizontal lines. These are ropes and sticks of a clapnet, which is about to be pulled shut by five men on the left. All of this action would have happened in the marshes surrounded by tall plants, making it difficult to see. Between the men pulling the rope and the trap is thus a signal-man, who is close to the net, but cannot shout, as the birds would escape. When his colleagues see him raise a piece of cloth above his head, they know to pull. This is exactly the crucial moment of the hunt depicted here. — Isabel Stünkel, Associate Curator, Egyptian Art