Inscriptions carved into the walls of an ancient Egyptian’s tomb were intended to describe and record the life and deeds of the tomb’s owner. These inscriptions often sound as if they are being spoken by a still-living person! What might Maya say about himself if he were still alive to speak to us now?
Since my youth I have been favored by the gods; they have watched over and cared for me. I was born of noble blood, and as a child I lived and grew up in the royal palace. There I studied for years to be a scribe, learning the secrets of the sacred hieroglyphic writing that only the gods and the priests of their temples are allowed to read.
I was a nobleman, awarded the title of Count, and appointed Royal Sealbearer to the king. My other titles prove my close relationship to the king: Sole Companion, and Fanbearer on the Right of the King. His Majesty appointed me to lead the great Festival in honor of the god Amun, one of the most important festivals of the year. I served in the royal court as a trusted scribe and Chief Treasurer to the king, in charge of the welfare of all of Egypt.
I was sent throughout the whole land of Egypt by His Majesty King Tutankhamun, to carry out the king’s wishes and plans for restoring the temples of the gods. I traveled throughout the land to raise taxes, making the temples splendid again with new statues made from precious gold and silver. The king trusted me to honor the gods in his name with offerings and rituals.
I reached the end of my life in happiness, having earned the king’s favor countless times. As my father’s eldest son, I honored him by succeeding in all that I did, living in prosperity and health, and deserving of a perfect burial in Memphis, the great city of the King.
I say to you, the living, who come and walk about in the district of eternity, west of the great Nile: see my tomb, read my words, and rejoice that you stand here. By reading my name upon my monument, you ensure that my name and the greatness of my deeds live on.
I was one who in the beginning was good; in the end, I was brilliant. Think well and be generous in offerings for Maya, who speaks the truth from the blessed afterlife.
ASL interpretation of Maya's Story
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