Friday, 25 December 2009

Mummification Museum Lecture - TT33 Padiamenope ala Petamenophis – Pr Claude Traunecker.Petame

TT33 Padiamenope ala Petamenophis – Pr Claude Traunecker.

Sadly this lecture was in French so my notes are from the occasional English slide title

The tomb is situated in the Assasif next to Pabasa. It is the largest tomb in Egypt. In 1737 Richard Pocoke thought it was the subterranean palace of a king. It is described in Description de la Egypt and comprises a succession of rooms with an underground burial area. The opening of the tomb was mentioned in a novel by Paul Ivory

In 1881 W Johannes Dumuchen from the University of Strasbourg commented about the architecture, it is a very atypical layout and mentioned his family mother NamenKhetuset and wife Tudit

The tomb was used as storage for many years and many rooms were inaccessible. The tomb was reopened 5th December 2005. here he showed a photo of the reopening and yours truly was in shot!! I wrote some notes at that time which you may wish to look at the end.

The main areas they are working in is
1) Epigraphic
2) Excavating and clearing
3) Restoration of the mudbrick
He shows 2 uncles, 3 aunts, 5 male cousins and 2 female cousins on his mother’s side

He is described as Royal Scribe, Priest of Montu, chief lecture priest of Nekhbet, overseer of the secrets of the 2 royal cobra and house of morning, who takes care of the great of magic (crown).

There is a massive amount of inscriptions from a number of books of the dead it is like a stone subterranean library, an Osirian temple with him as a priest. All the texts hidden in the burial area are also available at the public levels.

My notes from the opening of the tomb
Today was the official opening of the tomb of Petamenophis (Padiamenope, Xry.y-Hb Hrj-tp) (TT33) by Dr Sabry Abd El Aziz, the deputy of Dr Zahi Hawass. It is located next to the tomb of Harwa (TT39). The tomb is hugely significant, being, well huge. At this point, it is the largest tomb in Egypt and yet we really do not know why the owner of it was so blessed, but perhaps future work may reveal this secret.

Indeed, he was a high official, describing himself as "Seal bearer and Sole Beloved Friend, Lector and Scribe of the Records in the Sight of the King". In this inscription the king is not named, but there is an inscription in the northern part of the great outer courtyard, discovered by Lepidus, with a Plan of the Tomb of Petamenophis, a cartouche containing the name of a King Haremhab (Horemheb?), next to the name of Petamenophis. However, stylistically, many scholars believe that Petamenophis' tomb could not be dated as early as the 18th or early 19th dynasty. In this regard, the tomb appears to date no earlier than the Ethiopian Period (when Nubians ruled Egypt). Some scholars believe that Petamenophis may have lived during the rule of Psammetichus I, the first king of the 26th Dynasty. In any event, Petamenophis must have been, to judge from his titles, a learned man and theologian. It should be noted that there is a statue of Petamenophis in the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo.

The tomb of Petamenophis, located in the Assasif section of tombs on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes), was first described in detail by Lepidus in his pioneering work, Officials examining the reliefs within the tomb Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien. The tomb was later visited and described separately by Wilkinson, by Duemichen and others, before Maspero, seeing its deteriorating condition and realizing the necessity of protecting it from despoliation, had it sealed at the end of the last century. It remained closed until 1936 when W. F. von Bissing obtained permission to reopen it with the purpose of performing a definitive survey and publication. Braving the “billions of bats” infesting the place and the thick air (the ventilation shafts “left much to be desired”) he persevered, and within two years (1938) published a detailed description of the finds.
Thereafter, for decades, the tomb was used as a storeroom with boxes, some labelled, some not. There were boxes from the tomb of Tutankhamen with biological matter (plants), statues, sarcophagi and altogether some 1,000 objects. There were registers for some of these boxes. One from 1964 was compiled by the Polish team working at Deir el-Bahri, and showed lists which accompanied black and white photos. This material has now been moved to a storage facility near the Carter House near the Valley of the Kings.

Lately, actually over the last two years, a team from the University of Strasbourg, led by M. Traurecker, has been clearing the first three chambers of this huge tomb and it has just now been opened for a first official viewing. The opening was attended by many important officials from the Supreme Council and other archaeologists working in the area, such as Francesco Tiradritti. The next stage will be the cleaning, restoration and conservation of the tomb. It has important texts such as the Book of the Dead which need to be studied. In fact it is one of the most important, if not the most important, source for sacred texts during the period of Egyptian history. For example, there is also a Late Period version of the Book of Caverns in the tomb, which has yielded otherwise missing parts of this text. But the most amazing thing about this tomb is its sheer size, with some 330 meters of corridors.
It may be some time yet before this tomb is open to the public, but perhaps now we may see an end in sight when the public will be able to explore this vast monument. Perhaps, more importantly, there may be more to learn as work progresses toward that end

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


A new KV-63 Update is now available featuring:

The latest Otto's Dig Diary on Dr. Schaden's plans for the 2010 season
The Valley of the Kings since Howard Carter Symposium - Program summary
Photos from the Howard Carter Symposium and Tea Party (under Photos ~ 2009)

We are also pleased to announce the addition of a Paypal feature on the KV-63 Donation page. This added feature will now allow the mission to except both Domestic and International Donations through a secure channel.

Temples of Millions of Years Colloquium

The program for the upcoming Temples of Millions of Years Colloquium to be held in Luxor from 3-5 January 2010, under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and of the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), is now online (in PDF) at:

The purpose of the colloquium is to engage the scientific community in discussions on the royal foundations known as Temples of Millions of Years, and to fully understand their multifaceted functions. Attention will be drawn to the most recent excavations and studies by researchers and scholars in this specific field, including the latest contributions of modern science and technologies to explore, restore and publicize these monuments.

Iman R. Abdulfattah
Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA)
3 el-Adel Abu Bakr Street
Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Mummification Museum Lectures - TT28

TT28 Amenhotep – Huy Dr Francisco Martin Valentine 12/12/9

Identified on Friederike Kampp’s catalogue Amenhotep was a vizier, Huy is a common abbreviation or nickname for someone called Amenhotep. The tomb is ahead and down from the XI dynasty tomb TT366 Dyar and next to the XVIII dynasty tomb of TT192 Kheruef. It was discovered in May 1978 by Andrew Gordon and Dieter Eigner and is from the time of Amenhotep III 1387-1348 BC.

There is other evidence about this individual

1) 2 jar inscriptions from Malkata mention Vizier Huy referring to first Heb Sed Year 30
2) Steele BM138 Decree of foundation for a funerary temple for Amenhotep son of Hapu in Year 34 of Amenhotep III
3) Chapel at Gebel Silsila year 35 Amenhotep III Le Grand discovered in 1893. It is very important as the inscriptions talk about the relationship between Amenhotep III and IV and prove that Amenhotep III was not at Amarna
4) Remains from quarries
5) TT55 Ramose tomb there is an unnamed vizier at the front of the tomb making offerings to Ramose. This successor is believed to be Amenhotep – Huy
6) The Amarna letter EA11 from Prince Rib-Hadda seem to establish that he was commissioned to make inspections in Syria/Byblos
7) Statue CG590 from Tel El Basta which has no head or hands show he was an important man in the north
8) Statue BM1068 also with head and hands destroyed has an unusual title man, the main one of Nekten
9) Relief in Sobeks temple which replaced one of Ramose as Vizier of the south

Situated in the middle of the sacred area at the front of Deir el Bahri.

The layout of both tombs is similar and conforms to Kampp’s type VIII which is the biggest and most complicated T shape. It is in poor condition and filled with debris from the XXVI dynasty.

The tomb has a corridor access to a courtyard of 528 sq metres bordered on the north side by columns of which only one remains in a state of partial construction carved into the bedrock of the plateau. In the unfinished west façade of the courtyard there are three holes a central door with two windows. This is similar to TT71 and lets the sun in. This entrance leads to the solar court of 384 sq metres.

The solar chapel used to have 30 closed papyrus columns in three rows of 10. Today only 2 remain and the floor is covered with debris. The solar chapel is bigger than TT192, Kheruef who was Queen Tiye’s steward. The entry space extends into a whole dug in the rock mass designed to be the entrance passage to columned corridor as per other tombs of this period TT192 and TT48 Amen em Hat Surer

At the back there are two niches which would have been illuminated by this sun. Amen em Hat Surer TT148, TT192 and TT28 have similar design. On both sides north and south of the entrance there are two niches probably meant to contain statues of the deceased and would have been lit by the sun coming in through the windows.

The tomb belongs to the type built in the Theban necropolis during the reigns of Amenhotep II and IV. It features a courtyard and a spacious hall chapel whose ceiling is supported by a large number of columns or pillars. These tombs have another longitudinal room, that in some cases have pillars. Down a corridor with several changes of direction leads to a tripartite shrine from which hidden access leads to the burial chamber. TT28 could also have one or two ramps situated in the lower south west corner but only future exploration will confirm this.

Clearly TT28 is unfinished and the longitudinal hall, small room for statues of the deceased and his family remains to be constructed after the solar chapel. The tomb reflects the beliefs held at that time.

TT28, 192 and 55 are very similar both in size and number of columns TT107 Nefer Sekheru, TT48 Amen em Hat Surer and Amenhotep are similar size but fewer columns. TT28 is the biggest

It is in poor condition and very fragile, the debris is 3-4 meters high so they have a lot of work. The inscriptions are fragmentary and smoke damaged. One describes him as beloved Divine Father.

They found some reliefs from the door with some good quality carvings; it is a big jigsaw puzzle 600 pieces so far. Pottery from all periods up to Coptic. These will all be looked at because priorities are different these days and everything is valuable. Also a beautiful ivory woman which drew a gasp of delight from the audience from the late to third intermediate period.

They are doing a short season and will be back in July. So far work identified
• Need to install iron door
• Clear debris
• General survey
• Clear and consolidate objects found
• Identify work needed in the chapel
The Spanish ambassador has visited the site.

Next week TT33

Monday, 14 December 2009

Cairo Memorial Service for Susan Weeks tomorrow

From: AUC President

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Ms. Susan Weeks, wife of Egyptology Professor Emeritus Kent Weeks.

Susan received a Bachelor of Arts in graphic arts from the University of Washington. She and Kent met while working on the Nubian Salvage Project in Upper Egypt. In addition to being one of the foremost archaeological illustrators of the past half-century, she has built a career as one of the best general field archaeologists in Egypt, having worked on sites all over the country, both with her husband and as a specialist called by other teams. Members of the AUC community who knew and worked with Susan will always remember her sly wit (which her quiet demeanor never succeeded in obscuring), her keen and penetrating intelligence, and most of all the immense care and concern that she devoted to her friends, colleagues and students.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her two children, Emily and Christopher, and one grandchild.

Those wishing to send condolences may do so by email care of magdiali @, Dr. Weeks's assistant.

There will be a memorial service at AUC's Oriental Hall on Tuesday, December 15th at 4:00 pm.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Susan Weeks Funeral

The funeral was tonight, in Egypt as everyone is buried immediately there are no facilities to do anything else.

It has been an incredible 24 hours, last night I came back from the lecture having had an wonderful 'welcome back' after my surgery. I had a nice dinner and was watching TV. Seconds later everything change. I got a phone call from a good friend who knows I always attend the lectures checking I was OK. Panic in her voice as she told the story of a European women who had drowned in the Nile after attending the lecture. Seconds later ex pats from all over are calling each other checking. Nobody knows who the missing lady is. I phoned out British Consul Ehab Gaddis and he had heard nothing but promised to phone me back with info.

His news was that a lady had been found and she might be American, could I help. So next thing I know police are phoning us and turn up 12:30 am. Very apologetic but can I help, they have photos, tasteful not upsetting but I don’t recognise her. There was a wedding ring inscribed SLH KRW 8/19/66. I explain this is an American format which does not mean she is American but is a definite clue. I told them husband’s name first (how wrong was I). they left and I set about contacting people. Isabella for Italians Anjte for Germans, Karin for Dutch but the American date format bugs me. I ask on forums and someone suggest Chicago House, I am big friends with the librarian so email her. It is 1am by now and I don’t expect an answer at this time.

2:50 I get a text message. I don’t pick up on it until 3:15 am. Marie thinks it is Susan Weeks. I reply immediately OMG. Then almost immediately get a phone call from Brett at Chicago House. He is with Marie. They think it is Susan. Brett volunteers to contact Kent.

Brett phones me back, Kent had not missed Susan, they had guests that night including Marie and Brett and had gone to bed separately. Brett asks gently is Susan there, Kent replies YES. Brett asks him to check. She is not on board the dahabiyya. It is confirmation we did not need. I often get requests from families for a boat and constantly say safety standards are not the same. We do not know what happened but it would be easy to slip and fall. There is a constant flurry of phones calls trying to identify police to talk to, Brett to get to Kent. It is a nightmare

Around 5 am we are sure, it is Susan, Brett is with Kent, the rest of us are praying. The call to prayer comes out and I spend an hour to praying for her and more for the living kent, the first grand child, the Luxor community. The phone continues

At 6:30 Ibrahim phones me, then call after call shock is the main emotion. Everyone is offering support, helping, wanting to help, the phone never stops, American Warden wanting info for the Embassy, shocked residents and missions. I phone as well, Melinda Hartwig answers with her chirpy reply. I bring her down to earth, I have bad news, she is gutted, Susan is truly loved and respected in the Egyptology community and as a person.

Eventually funeral plans are discussed, HamduAllah she is going to buried in Luxor, we have to wait until the authorities release the body and then with no undertakers or chapels of rest we have to bury her immediately. Mansour Boraik and Ibrahim Soliman senior SCA members spend the entire day helping with authorities, Speaking both English and Arabic and having credibility they are invaluable. The funeral is confirmed, more phone calls ... 5pm. A service that has respect and personality and with a few hours notice. Then we go to Tiba to the foreigners cemetery, a few get lost on the way as it miles away. Flowers on the grave, we honoured her. Then back to Chicago House, to see a tiny man replace the giant Kent Weeks. He starts to remember the good times and the happy life they have together.

Then I am back home, more calls from aboard ... 24 hours of pain, wonder, shock ……………………………… but let us all celebrate Susan Weeks life and remember her words

"Every morning as we walk into the Valley towards the tomb, I count my blessings. It is a privilege to be able to work here and to share it with my husband. Every day is magic still."

RIP Susan Weeks

Susan tragically drowned in the Nile last night, my deepest condolences to Kent Weeks, the Weeks family and the Luxor Egyptology community

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Postcard from Thoth Hill

Dear Jane,
On top of the world! I am glad to have done it. In fact I out-climbed the other two, who may have been younger, but were not in condition, and were the first to call halts. From Mohammed's house it took one and a quarter hours of fairly steep climbing, with some difficult bits.

Also walked round the hebsed? court. As to that, my opinion is that if Montuhotep could climb up the mountain, he didn't need to do any running to prove his virility.
Mike aka Michael on the roof

The Mohammed he talks about is my walking guide, Mohammed Ismail who knows the hills like the back of his hand should you want to do the same walk

Friday, 11 December 2009

Tomb Closures

Obviously I am not quite on top of things not being allowed out but I have heard Horemheb has closed again and Meena is definately closing tomorrow for a few days. The team are in town

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Egyptian Coins

Just had some guests who try and collect coins where ever they go on holiday so we did our best to get them one of every sort. Thought I would share with you

From left to right

1 LE (100 pt = 1LE). These and the 50pt are the ones tourist are most likely to come across. It is silver and gold with Tutankamun on it. You can get them at a bank easily but less easily at shops and exchange bureaus

large 50pt and small 50pt exactly the same design but the newer one is slightly smaller, gold with Nefertari, I think this would make a lovely pendant

25pt with the hole in the middle

20pt I had never seen one of these until today

large silver 10pt again I had never seen one till today

small gold 10pt these I have seen, lovely picture of the citadel

gold 5pt with what looks like a vase on it

Mummification Museum Lectures - Funerary Cones - Dr Kento Zenihiro

Well I wasn't there due to my surgery but Michael Campbell Smith of "Michael on the roof" fame was and took these notes, big thank you. He even took some photos seems like I am redundant.

Funerary Cones
The first of the SCA series of winter lectures was given by Dr Kento Zenihiro of Waseda University, Tokyo in the Mummification Museum Luxor on Saturday 5th December.
Funerary cones, baked clay tapered cones, bearing the titles of the owner of the tomb are found at many sites in Egypt, but the vast majority come from Thebes. The cones, taken from one mould, were inserted in the courtyard of the tomb, above the entrance door to the inner hall.

Cones can come in many shapes. 646 different types have been identified so far, with 21 discovered by Dr Zenihiro in recent years. Cones appear to have a white face for a male, and a red finish for a female. The taper can be long, or short. Different manufacturing methods were used. They appear to come mainly from the 17th and 18th Dynasties, with a revival in the practice under Seshonkh.

Many theories have been advanced for the purpose of these cones. To indicate the sealing of the tomb, as a passport, as an ornament, or perhaps symbolically as meat, bread, the position of roof beams, or as the sun. (Clearly, no-one has the first idea. ed.)

In support of his contention that the inscriptions on funerary cones allowed a methodology which would indicate the status of the owner in comparison to his contemporaries, Dr Zenihiro produced a number of arguments.

Research history on hierarchy in the New Kingdom has concentrated on literary and archaeological sources. Dr Zenihiro believes that funerary cone inscriptions offer a third and more reliable method. Because cones could only accommodate a number of titles, the most important and desirable were chosen, unlike the walls of the tombs, where, with more space, the artist could give full rein to the deceased’s titular. This presents a comparison, and, allows the owners of the cones to be placed more accurately in the hierarchy of the period. The limitations of previous methods meant that only titles from the same genre were compared, only chapels were analysed, the volume of grave goods found did not indicate rank, and sources were contaminated in respect of their dates.

Dr Zenihiro’s research allows us to determine social rank by utilising objects on which selected titles have been written. They were positioned to be read and to impress passers by, a précis of the most important part of the tomb owner’s life.

The lecture was bought to a conclusion by Ibrahim Soliman of the SCA, who voiced the appreciation of the audience for a most interesting opening to the winter lecture programme.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Chaos in Luxor

Apparently President Mubarak is coming to town. How do I know because EVERY boat is being moved out of Luxor. I mean every boat, cruise boats, motorboats, feluccas, everything. Woe betide you if you want a motorboat or felucca for the next few days. No chance.

Well the Queen thinks the worlds smells of paint, Mubarak must think there are no boats on the Nile.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

New Ticket Office and Entrance at Luxor temple

You now go in the other side of Luxor temple, the MacDonalds side. The entrance is between the exit and the mosque. You actually go down a flight of steps to the ticket office. This is still the place to buy tickets for Tod and Moalla.