Sunday, 14 February 2010

Mummification Museum Lecture - Djehuty – Jose Galan

Djehuty – Jose Galan
Totally excellent lecture with 203 slides! Their website in Spanish but you can use Goggle translate to view it. I also have previous notes and (search on TT11)

The Spanish team have been working there 9 seasons at the northern end of the Theban necropolis at Dra Abu Naga. This was a special place in ancient times as it was connected to Karnak, the sun roses between the pylons across the river and set behind Dra Abu Naga. It was also the 1st landing place of the Beautiful feast of the valley, which was Luxor’s most special ancient festival.

The first excavation was done by the Marquis of Northampton with the Egyptologists Newbury and Spiegelberg but this was a very short season back in 1899. In 1909 both Gardiner and Weigall started work trying to protect tombs and around that time a number of photos were taken which are in the Griffiths Institute. The situation in 2002 was not much different from that of 1909 with TT11 only half visible and TT12 and TT399 not visible at all.

The original aim of team was to document the courtyards of the tombs and in fact TT11 has the longest recorded courtyard. The tombs of TT11, TT12, TT399 and Baki are all connected; TT11 is a t-shaped tomb. The fa├žade is quite original for the period as it is decorated with 2 steles which although they look alike are quite different texturally.

On the right the text is autobiographical there are cartouches of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III, the cartouche of Hatshepsut has suffered damage and erasure. Additionally Djehuty himself has had his name removed; however they have recovered 200 funerary cones where the name is perfectly preserved and contain the titles overseer of the treasury, workman, treasury and cattle of Amun. He lists some of the task the workmen have carried out such carving the obelisks Hatshepsut erected at Karnak, the barque of Amun, in the role of treasurer he recorded the goods from Punt.
The one on the left is a religious inscription with a hymn to Amun Re. the text shows clever use of horizontal and vertical texts and shows of his skills as a scribe. Inside the hymn to Amun Re his figure has been hacked out. There are singers making a song. The hymns are written in cryptographic form.

In the doorway Djehuty is shown with a small picture of his father both names and figure have been attacked. The transverse hall is the worst preserved, at one end there is another biographical text which expands the text outside. Reconstruction of the wall from the fragments has revealed that the father’s name ended in a T glyph. Inside the next hall it was full of debris which they hoped would mean they got some well preserved pictures and they did. There are scenes describing the funeral of Djehuty which are rare at this time. One scene shows the strangling of Nubian, one hopes this symbolic.

At the end of the room were statues of Djehuty and his parents, there is mention of a wife and children so he is thought to be single. Much to their surprise on clearing the room they found another burial shaft. There was one outside and they had thought that belonged to him but maybe it was his fathers. This interior shaft was 8 meters deep and led to chamber full of debris.
They had researched Speigall's diaries at the Griffiths Institute and found no evidence that he had been there but in the debris of the shaft they found a newspaper dating to 1898 so he must have been. Also amongst the debris they found a big jar with a sketch of the king offering and other pieces which might have been contemporary.

They also found coffin fragments some from the Third intermediate Period which were of poor quality wood, probably 21st dynasty. Others are early or mid XVIII dynasty and are black with yellow, these are burnt and there is evidence of a big fire in the antechamber which must have occurred between the 18 and 21 dynasty. Excavation of this room revealed yet another shaft which led to the burial chamber. Inside they found fragments of gold leaf and some earrings which are of gold or electrum. It depends on how you define electrum; these are 10% silver and reminiscent of the jewelry of the Thuthmosis III princesses. The rings which make up the earrings are hollow. There were also beads from a necklace carnelian, turquoise and hollow gold.

The burial chamber is decorated which although unusual is not unique. Other decorated burial chambers are
• Neferu TT101 which is like a coffin
• Khety TT508 also decorated like a coffin
• Senenmut TT353 decorated with the Book of the Dead and an astronomical ceiling
• Amenenhat TT82 dated to year 28 of Hatshepsut which is after Djehuty and has Book of the Dead and Pyramid Text
• Useramun TT131 year 33 with the Litany of Re and the Amduat
• Nakhtmin TT87 year 36

So Djehuty is one of the earliest tombs to have a decorated burial chamber. It is similar to Tuthmosis III looking like a papyrus painted on the wall with cursive hieroglyphic script. Red ink is used for emphasis and to mark the beginning. He is asked questions about the secret names of the barque of Amun. Here both his name and that of his parents is preserved. His father’s name is spelt several different ways perhaps indicating he was of foreign origin variously Ipti Ibutu and Ibo, perhaps Palestine and meaning father (Abu). It is apparent that different scribes were working here. The name of the mother is always spelt the same Dediu. There were also pictures of all three. Some scholars try and use the order chapters appear to create a canon. At the time of Hatshepsut a large number of chapters and sequences appear and Djehuty is one of the earliest , with chapters 78, 86, 81D, 88, 87 99B transformed Djehuty into various things like a papyrus and is similar to Ani papyrus in the British Museum. So Djehuty was wrapped in the book of the dead. The ceiling was also decorated and an important area is a picture of Nut and has chapters 42,114,112,133,108,109,125 the knowing of the souls. Chapter 42 each part of the body is assigned to a deity and interestingly enough there are 18 which the same as the 18 squares using in the cannon of proportions.

One of the earliest copies of chapter 125, where the picture of Nut interrupts and its surrounding yellow text is from the Coffin texts, everything else if from the Book of Dead which is often written on the top of the coffin. There are 5 registers on the ceiling but there are only 2 remaining and there is a big hole. They have had to design a collapsible iron table to protect them while they work from any further collapse. They have found over 1000 fragments. There are big cracks in the ceiling although the rock at this level is good, they have done geological column. Also a humidity recording which shows human activity is not good for tombs. The portrait was in danger of falling off so they have safely removed and conserved it.

Next week it is Ed Johnson on Khonsu; there is also another lecture Monday night.

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