Mummification Museum Lecture - TT34 Monthemhat - Dr Farouk Goman
I was lucky enough to be given Dr Farouk’s notes at the end of the lecture and ditched my own reporting
Report on the work down at the tomb Monthemhat No 34 is Assasif Necropolis by Dr Farouk Goman
The tomb of Monthemhat no TT34, is one of the great tombs in the part of the necropolis of Thebes, which is known under the name el-Assasif near the temple of the Queen Hatshepsut at el Deir el Bahri
Monthemhat, the owner of the tomb, belonged to a well known family in the region of Thebes. Its members were known since the 22nd dynasty, between 946 and 720 BC. Some of these were viziers, priests or prophets of the God Amun and month, also mayor of Thebes.
The father of Monthemhat, named New-Ptah, was the prophet of the God Month and also the mayor of Thebes.
Monthemhat himself has many titles, the most important one of them are; “the fourth prophet of Amun”, “the mayor of Thebes” and “the governor of Upper Egypt from Hermopolis in the north to Elephantine in the south”.
He lived during a period of the Egyptian history, which is known as the ‘Third intermediate Period”. He also played a very important game in the politics of the time, for example during the reign of the Nubian king Taharqa of the 25th Dynasty (690-664 BC) and also during the invasion of Egypt by the King Assurbanipal about 664/663 BC. In the so called Razam Cylinder he is mentioned as king of Thebes. He is still alive during the reign of King Psametik I of the 26th Dynasty (664-610 BC). He died about 648 BC after 30 years as a very important person of his time; one can say he was the real ruler of Upper Egypt.
As I said before, the tomb of Monthemhat is one of the great tombs in the West Bank of Luxor. It has more than 55 rooms, 2 open courts and 2 pylons one to the East and one to the North. It also has an enclosure wall of more than 177 m long
There is a ramp from the North pylon to an entrance hall with 2 pillars is about 70m long. To the south of it is a hall with 4 pillars and 3 side rooms. Every room has a shaft which ended in a burial chamber. From the west of the hall one can reach the first open court and also the other parts of the tomb.
The excavation works done at the tomb
The tomb has been known about for 200 years and has been seen and visited by many people.
The excavation works at the tomb were started by Eisenlohr in the year 1855. In 1888 Krall had written some subscriptions from the underground rooms. In 1890 Scheil had published some chapels at the south side of the first open court. Also it may be Lepsius and Champollian have visited the tomb.
The real work at the tomb began between 1949 and 1951 by Mohammed Zakaria Gomen, the chief inspector of the Antiquities department.
He excavated parts of the first hall and may be the side rooms off it and may be also parts of the first open court but I can not say exactly what he did because he died before the publication of the tomb, together with Leclant and Bargeut.
The Antiquities Department started its work again at the tomb between 1984 and 1986 with excavation and restoration of some parts of the tomb. In 1988 the sarcophagus of Nes ptah, the oldest son of Monthemhat was found.
Till now I can not get any information about the works of the antiquities department done between 1984 and 1988 and what things were found there. I know only that many mummies were found in the found in the tomb. They are now in one of magazines. Also there are no reports on the works done at that time, only one register volume about some objects like funerary cones, ushabities and offering tables.
On 3rd Jan 2006 the German – Spanish – Egyptian mission started work on the first season at the tomb. During the campaign the work was limited to the entrance of the tomb to the end of the first court with its 10 side chapels. All the fragments found in this part have been documented and photographed.
Also all the wall inscriptions were documented and photographed. Most of them are in a bad condition but there are some exceptions.
Most inscriptions are biographically ones. Some of them mention the name of king Psametik I 26th dynasty. On the south wall of the first hall we can also read the name of King Tanwatamun, the last king of 25th dynasty. The text mentions the name of Harsiese, the brother of Monthemhat and other members of the family.
One fragment found this year gives us more information about the family of Monthemhat and his Nubian wife Wda-rn.s
Three shafts with their burial chambers were cleared from the debris still inside. Some parts of the walls of the rooms and the open court are restored and cleaned.
At the same time we have removed the debris beside a great part of the enclosure wall. This part was also restored; some places of the wall had been rebuilt again.
During the second campaign, which started 5th Dec 2006 we continued to remove the debris around the other inside walls between the enclosure wall.
Also during the work of this season we have till now made the same thing in the part of the tomb from the first open court to end of the last room at the same level of this court. This means that we have finished a great part of the tomb. This part is now excavated, documented and photographed, all fragments and the inscriptions, including the Karishe ones have been documented and photographed.
The only thing that has not been completed in these 2 seasons is the restoration.
In the two seasons of the work five shafts of the tomb were also cleared from the debris still inside. In this debris we found some small objects.
Also during this season we cleared the tomb between rooms 40 and 43. The burial chamber no 42 unknown until now is completely decorated.
The last thing to be mentioned is the documentation of some important objects found by the inspectors of the Antiquities Department between 1984 and 1988, which left by them at one side chamber of the tomb used as a magazine
There is a fragment of a wooden sarcophagus with the name of Monthemhat II, the grandson of Monthemhat and his Nubian wife and the son of Pa hrd n Mut
At the end of the lecture Dr Richard Fanzzini commented that the work being done by Dr Farouq was the most inportant in Egyptology at this time. Mr Mansour Boraik agrreed with this statement
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January 18th, 2007