© Francis Dzikowski

SLAVING AWAY. Nubian and Semitic slaves mix water and mud to create mudbricks while a seated Egyptian official (upper right) oversees their work. This painting comes from Rekhmire’s tomb in Thebes and depicts the process of manufacturing mudbricks. After the mud compound has been thoroughly mixed, it is poured into molds and then dried. Another slave is pictured measuring a wall (bottom, second figure from right). Rekhmire was vizier, the highest-ranking official, to Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II in the 15th century B.C.E.; his tomb is filled with scenes of daily life and of the various kinds of work that he would have supervised. A hieroglyphic text states that these mudbricks are for rebuilding the workshops of Amun at the Karnak Temple.