The bronze doors of Rekhmire (Thebes, Upper Egypt, Eighteenth Dynasty, c.1460 BC)

Dr. Reinoud M. de Jonge

The tomb of Rekhmire, the Grand Vizier of king Thutmosis III, is located in Thebes, Egypt. On the western wall of its chapel is "the Panel with the Two Doors". This painting shows the casting of these bronze doors for the temple of Amun. However, this mural has a religious meaning related to the 'Realm of the Dead in the west' (America). It appears to show the discovery of the sailing routes to this continent in the Fourth and Fifth Dynasties, and the copper and tin trade with Upper Michigan and Bolivia, respectively. It can be shown, that the "Two Doors" encode an overall export of 18 million ingots (29 thousand ton) from Upper Michigan, and 1.8 million tin ingots (29 thousand ton) from Bolivia, until the time of Rekhmire (c.1460 BC). (Teh mass of the Standard Ingot was 16 kg.) The Phaistos Disc of Crete of the same date confirms this metal trade.