Tia (overseer of treasury)

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Column with the depiction of Tia and his wife Tia Tia and tia1.JPG
Column with the depiction of Tia and his wife Tia

Tia was an ancient Egyptian high official under king Ramses II. His main title was that of an overseer of the treasuries. [1] Tia was married to a woman with the same name, the princess Tia who was sister of Ramses II.


Career and Family

Not much is known about the early years. One of the earliest mentions of Tia is on a block now in the University of Chicago Oriental Institute (no. 10507). Tia and a man named Amenwashu are shown before King Seti I and the then crown-prince Ramesses II. Habachi conjectured that Amenwashu was Tia's father, but there is no evidence to support this idea. The identification of the man Tia on the Chicago stela with the official Tia is based on the rarity of the name. It is not known when Tia married Ramesses's sister Tia. [2]

Tia had several honorific titles including hereditary prince and governor, seal-bearer of the King, sole companion, overseer of the secrets of the royal palace, favorite of the Horus in his palace, eyes of the King, and ears of the King. Tia's executive titles include, King's scribe, fanbearer on the right of the King and his most common title: overseer of the treasury in the Temple of Usermaatre Setepenre in the Domain of Amun. [2]

A limestone block shows Tia and Tia in the presence of Queen Tuya. This scene likely comes from the tomb in Saqqara is now in the Royal Ontario Museum (no. 955-79-2). Tuya is said to be a God's Wife and a King's Mother. [3] Tia is clearly stated to be the King's sister and this scene shows that she was indeed the sister of Ramesses II.

Tomb at Saqqara

Pyramidion of the two Tias Pyramidion of the two Tias 2 (lower).png
Pyramidion of the two Tias

Tia and Tia are best known from their tomb at Saqqara [2] which was placed between the tomb of the 18th Dynasty general Horemhab (the later king) and the overseer of the treasuries Maya, the latter had the same title as Tia. The tomb is not very well preserved. The main entrance was on the east side. There was a first courtyard and a second one that was adorned with columns. At the back there were chapels and at the very back a small pyramid. [4]

The outer courtyard of the tomb contained two smaller tomb-chapels. One of the chapels belonged to Iurudef, while the name of the owner of the second chapel is not known. A stela of an official belonging to the household of Tia, named Panakhtenniut, was found nearby. There is, however, no evidence that he was the owner of the chapel. [2]

Tia was already known from several objects before his tomb was discovered. A pyramidion reached England in 1722 and was brought there from Alexandria. It is only known from old drawings, but they are good enough to read the name and titles. [5]

Tia was once buried in a set of three coffins. There was a wooden inner, anthropoid coffin, a middle granite, anthropoid coffin and an outer, wooden, rectangular coffin. The coffins were only found in small fragments. [6]

Chapel at Kafr el-Gebel

Not all materials mentioning Tia and Tia come from the tomb in Saqqara. Ahmed Mahmoud Moussa discovered a funerary chapel at Kafr el-Gebel which is located to the south of the Giza Pyramid Plateau at the edge of the desert. [2] In Chapel G a stela showing Ramesses II before Osiris and the deified Seti I. A lower register of the stela depicts Queen Tuya followed by Tia and Tia before the goddess Isis and Ahmose (or a statue of the King). [7]


The 1997 excavation report contains a list of known inscriptions associated with Tia and Tia. [2] Below is a small sample of those inscriptions. These inscriptions are also mentioned in Kenneth Kitchen's Ramesside Inscriptions or are otherwise notable: [3]

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  1. Wolfgang Helck: Zur Verwaltung des Mittleren und Neuen Reichs, 1958, p. 408, 516.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Geoffrey Thorndike Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Royal Monument of the Ramesside Period in the Memphite Necropolis, London 1993, ISBN   9780856981210
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Kitchen, Kenneth A. Ramesside Inscriptions, Translated and Annotated Translations: Ramesses II, His Contemporaries (Ramesside Inscriptions Translations) (Volume III), Wiley-Blackwell. 2001, pp 264-270 ISBN   978-0631184287
  4. T. G. Martin: The Hidden Tombs of Memphis, London 1991, ISBN   0500390266, p. 102
  5. Jaromir Malek: Two Monuments of the Tias, in: Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 60 (1974), pp. 165-167, pl. XXXV
  6. Maarten J. Raven, Vincent Verschoor, Marije Vugts, Rene van Walsem: The Memphite Tomb of Horemhab, Commander in Chief of Tutankhamun, V, the Forecourt and the Area South of the Tomb with Some Notes on the Tomb of Tia, Turnhout 2011, ISBN   978-2503531106, pp. 166-176
  7. T. Bacs, Ahmose at Rosetau: A curious Early Ramesside Attestation, Cultus deorum. Studia religionum ad historiam. in: In memoriam István Tóth. Vol. 1, 2008, pp 111-122, Editors: Á. Szabó; P. Vargyas
  8. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Relief 333, pages 47-48 and Plate 98
  9. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Relief 331, pages 46-47 and Plates 59-7
  10. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Relief 330, pages 46 and Plate 95
  11. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia:: Relief 40, pages 22 and Plate 27, 139-140
  12. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Relief 332, pages 47 and Plate 165
  13. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Relief 109, page 37 and Plates 57, 165
  14. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Relief 101, page 7-9, 34-35 and Plates 57, 162-163
  15. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Cat. 7, page 66-67 (including fig 4 showing the location of the fragments on the sarcophagus) and Plates 103, 170-171
  16. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Relief 335, pages 48
  17. Martin: The Tomb of Tia and Tia: Relief 107, pages 36-37 and Plates 58, 164

Further reading