Thursday, 5 February 2009

Mummfication Museum lecture - TT11 TT12

Spanish Egyptian Mission TT11 TT12 at Dra Abu el Naga – Dr Jose Galan

This was an excellent lecture but my notes were done under challenging conditions. They turned off ALL the lights so I was trying to right by the light of the slides. Dr Jose gave an excellent lecture and it was really interesting. They have got a website

They have been at the site for 8 years and have 2 goals TT11 the tomb of Djehuty in the time of Hatshepsut and TT12 the tomb of Hery from the time of Ahmose. In between these two tombs is TT399 and to the north there is a new tomb Baki. All these tombs are interconnected by a transverse series of holes. At first these are thought to be created in the Ptolemaic period when there was a large burial of mummified Ibis and Flacons with demotic graffiti. However it is now believed these were done 100 years after the burials.

There is a central pillar and the inner chamber was filled with debris so initially they were not sure whether the decoration had been damaged. It is one of the few early 18th dynasty tombs and has parallels with Teti and Ahmose at El Kab. There are few tombs of this period in Thebes. The NE wall has hunting scenes with greyhounds like 12th dynasty figures with stiff figures and well defined muscles. There is a funerary procession and the owner died under Amenhotep I. The quality is outstanding. The owner was an overseer of the granaries of kings with Ahotep but the tomb is of such high quality. His wife is Herunesu and she has connections with the royal family. The artist used mortar on the scenes and these are ancient repairs and it was then moulded. Ahmose was the elder son and this was a popular name given to two brothers and mother. It has demotic graffiti. There is a depiction of Tahenet the evil one an amulet against potential damage

TT11 is from the early part of Hatshepsut and has unique features as do lots of other courtiers of hers and there might have been competition between them to have the most unusual feature. It has a decorated façade which is unusual at this period. One side has a long biographical text and the other side a hymn to Amun. He was overseer of the treasury and workmen and recounts the marvels of Punt and deals with tax collection in year 9. It might be his figure at Deir el Bahri. He was in charge of covering the obelisks with gold. There are lots of other events at Thebes mentioned. His tomb suffered the “second death” and his face and name and his father and mother were all erased.

The team faced technical problems as debris kept filling from a shaft so this had to cleared before they went further in. But the team were hopeful the debris would have protected the reliefs of the inner chamber. Reliefs showed strangling the enemy which is a very unusual scene, within the inner chamber they unexpectedly found a shaft 8 ½ meters. They have started excavating this, this season. The tomb was reused in the Third Intermediate and Saite Period judging by the pottery and the results of this shaft will be the subject of next year’s lecture!

In their first season they excavated 5m of debris and found objects such including linen cloth dated Year 2 Amenhotep II and the most important object the apprentice board. This showed a frontal view of a pharaoh which is most unusual and must have been for a sculpture. The shoulder width is 5 squares not the 6 which is usual for a man which probably indicates it is Hatshepsut.

The courtyard is 34 meters which is the longest but few courtyards have been excavated for example Rekhmire. It is half limestone and half painted white. In one corner they found a wooden coffin 1m down, it was not decorated. Also a vase and some pottery from 11th dynasty. The debris was stratified and various flood levels could be identified, there were 4 big floods between 11 dynasty and Hatshepsut. The coffin contained a body they nicknamed Valentino, she had a necklace of finance beads and was 50 years old

In 2007 they found XII and XI coffin similar to that in the Metropolitan Museum and the back of the façade. A trench was dug in the court yard and their Reis Ali found a bowl 11th Dynasty and 5 untouched pottery vessels which probably contained the last offering. The was a clay offering tray found 2 meters higher so there were different burials.

It was an excavation challenge as they were digging under the courtyard wall. They found the burial associated with the clay tray and it was a painted wooden coffin that was just pushed inside and sand was pushed in on top. Near the head of the coffin they found 5 broken arrows. The arrows were rude made of reeds with ebony points. Normally weighted with a piece of limestone or copper but this is missing. It was a rude mediocre burial. The other side of the coffin was broken, there was a XI pot made of marl clay which is a good quality.

The name seems to be Iker which means the excellent one and they are not sure if it is a real name or an epitaph as there is no determinative. The coffin needed consolidating as it had been affected by floods and termites. There were also 2 bows and 4 sticks that resemble weapons similar to those found at Deir el Bahri which are now in the Met. The cartonage mask was badly damaged it had a painted beard. Salim Ikram investigated the body; it was a male in 40’s who had a damaged cheekbone in his youth. He was possible a Nubian mercenary like those shown in the Mekhet Ra models. The coffin inscription had a style of hieroglyphics whose only parallel is a coffin in Boston museum 013 163 which was bought so has no provenance. It has Hathor as a deity in a funeral context which is very unusual. Anubis was shown normally on the lid and Wes t face had a royal determative rather than a God determative. The horned viper glyph was cut. When two of the same glyphs are next to each other the colour changes e.g. the plural for Gods shows different colours on each identical glyph

I really would welcome any corrections on this as my notes are poor due to lighting so please do email or put up a comment.

1 comment:

Geoff Carter said...

The defacing/second death is interesting, and Parallels what happened to Hatshepsut's monuments like the Deir el-Bahri Temple