The unfinished picture on this wall seems to reflect the troubles which gathered round the new capital in the later years of the reign or upon the death of Akhenaten.
Hastily executed, or left in the rough ink-sketch, the figures of the King and Queen, with the familiar cartouches of Akhenaten and Nefertiti replaced by those of Merytaten their daughter and her husband, Ankh-kheperu-ra, the interrupted project speaks of events, actual or menacing, in which leisured art could have no place.
It is somewhat difficult to decide whether the design as well as the cartouches belong to Se-aa-ka-ra's reign, and whether, therefore, these figures represent Akhenaten and his wife or their successors on the throne.
In the absence of sufficient grounds of suspicion, we must assume that the whole belongs to the reign, or at least to a co-regency of the new King. Yet it is not obvious why not even one small design should be completed by him, or why the sun and the royal pair should be left untouched.
The cartouches seem somewhat large and clumsy in comparison with the rest of the inscription, but the execution of the whole also is very different from that of the other walls. (We cannot object to there being two scenes of the rewarding of Meryra; because that occurs in the neighbouring tomb, and there is, therefore, even a presumption in favour of it.)
It might be put forward as a plausible theory that the King's sculptors were called away to work in the tomb of Meketaten, and returned later to complete the scenes.
But the execution of the work coincided with an illness of the King, which threatened to prove fatal, and under the circumstances the royal cartouches and figures were not proceeded with; then, when the apprehension concerning the King was justified, the cartouches of his successor were hastily inserted as a date; though events, or the disinclination of the new King, stopped any further progress with the tomb.
The burial shafts were never made, and Meryra's hopes of a splendid interment here shared the general ruin. The roughly sketched figures of the King and Queen, the ink of which is now almost invisible, stand under the radiating sun in the centre of the picture.
Behind them is the palace and before them their faithful palace official, with his friends and attendants. A part of the group has been removed by the formation of a recess here at a later date. Meryra is standing on a stool, or upborne by his friends with officious care, to receive the guerdon of golden necklaces from the king. His breast is already covered with these marks of royal favour; and it was no doubt a wise proceeding on the part of the new monarch to make sure of the devotion of an official so influential in the royal harem.
(THE ROCK TOMBS OF EL AMARNA, PART II., S.43-44)