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Edition #10
Rio de Janeiro, 2007


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Discovered in 1964 in the necropolis of Saqqara, the tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep reveals through its iconography the intimacy that two Egyptians shared during the reign of Niuserre of the Fifth Dynasty. Although archaeologists and researchers have not yet reached a consensus on the homosexuality of the couple, at least two papers have already been presented by Greg Reeder in favor of this thesis.

TAGS: culture, lgbt, egypt, videos

Homosexuality in ancient Egypt was not unknown, but it does not appear to have been prevalent at any time. As seen in some of the earliest documents related to the myth of Seth and Horus, it is clear that homosexual tendencies were known. These tendencies were not viewed with total disdain.

In the myth, Seth desires to lie with Horus, which Horus freely consents to in most versions. In some versions, he consults his mother, Isis, before lying with Seth. It is not the homosexual desires that the other gods reprimand, but the idea that Horus voluntarily allowed Seth to use him in what was believed to be the role of a woman. Because the gods believed Horus took the role of a woman, being dominated by Seth, they thought he was unfit to be a ruler, a position held by a male. It is only through Isis's cunning that Horus defends his honor and shows, through trickery, that it was actually he who dominated Seth.

In the Book of the Dead, there are sections of negative confession that show dishonor in homosexual relationships. These negative confessions, however, have many different translations, depending on the translator. This inconsistency makes it difficult to say whether homosexual relationships were generally disapproved of, or if they were only taboo in certain places, times, and situations.

A set of papyri from the Sixth Dynasty speaks about Pharaoh Pepi II and his general, Sasenet. The two are seen having nightly escapades. A commoner follows the pharaoh on one of his nocturnal outings and sees him secretly entering the house of his general, Sasenet. The tone of the papyrus is neutral in its judgment of the pharaoh and his nocturnal amorous encounters. This may be because the pharaoh was considered a deity and, therefore, was already dominant over Sasenet. This shows that homosexuality was not popularly viewed favorably, as Pepi was forced to continue his affair clandestinely.

The entrance to the tomb and the inscriptions with the names: on the right for Niankhkhnum and on the left for Khnumhotep. At the top, the titles: "Manicurist and Overseer of the Manicurists of the Palace and Confidant of the King."

Niankhkhnum guiding Khnumhotep through their domains. Alongside them are their children.

The Banquet is the most elaborate scene in the tomb, with Khnumhotep on the right holding a lotus flower and Niankhkhnum on the left. Between them are guests, dancers, and musicians.

The Banquet is the most elaborate scene in the tomb, with Khnumhotep on the right holding a lotus flower and Niankhkhnum on the left. Between them are guests, dancers, and musicians.

The two embraced just after the entrance, welcoming visitors to their "House of Eternity."

At the entrance to the hall where the crypts are located, their names in communion can be translated as "united in life and united in death", although it is not known to what extent they adopted these names in their lives.

In the sanctuary, the first intimate scene: a tight embrace, nose to nose. Their children surround them. There are several children around who do not appear in the highlight of the photo. But of the wives (yes, they were married), there is no trace.

The Eternal Embrace

In a rare display of intimacy depicted in Egyptian art, the final embrace. In the burial chamber, the two men unite in the hope of reuniting beyond death.

So, do you still think they were just friends? Leave your comment below


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