Substructure of Maya & Merit's tomb
Maya's tomb-shaft opens in the inner courtyard and is about 10 m deep. From one of the six chambers at that level a second shaft and stairway give access to a lower complex, situated at a depth of almost 22 m. This comprises three chambers with beautiful wall-reliefs on limestone panelling, each with an undecorated annex. So far, such underground reliefs are unique in the Saqqara New Kingdom necropolis. They depict Maya and Merit adoring the gods of the hereafter. Both figures and texts are painted yellow, with some details in blue and black. The revetment had been smashed by robbers but could be fully reconstructed by the expedition in a new concrete basement under the outer courtyard. The robbers had taken most of the valuables, but numerous remaining fragments of coffins, furniture, jewellery etc. gave an impression of the riches of Maya's burial. Both the substructure and the superstructure held the remains of hundreds of pottery vessels, often of highly unusual form and decoration. During the Late Period, the tomb and its surroundings were re-used for the accomodation of a number of poor multiple burials.