Mummification Museum Lecture - TT39 Puimra - Dr Gabirela Arrache
Dr Gabirela is from the Mexico mission and brought so much excitement and enthusiasm to the lecture. Puimra was a second prophet of Amun and his tomb is located in the Assasif area. Theirs is the first mission from Mexico in Egypt and she felt there was a lot of similarity in cultures.
The team started by using Goggle Earth to view the area of the Assasif and they also had a 1923 publication to compare with. They are using the very latest technology in their work,
Puimra had a lot of titles Inspector of the Cattle of Amun, Inspector of the Fields of Amun, One who the king has confidence in. Howard Carter found some statues of his and from these we know he was involved in the construction of Deir el Bahri and also served under Thothmosis III. He shows an obelisk with cartouches. Puimra had two wives; his principle wife was Senseneb a daughter of the 1st prophet of Amun and divine Adorotrix. His son Smenkephrera was also another import priest of Amun.
Dr Gabirela showed a slide of the tomb with the Gurna houses above it and commented that she was glad these houses had now gone as they had lost objects to tomb robbers while they were there.
There was a 17 sqm courtyard in front of the tomb and they are still excavating looking for the edges of this courtyard. There are 3 walls, the original one, one from 1920’s and lastly their own wall. There was graffiti from Norman Davies 1920.
There were 18 shafts in the area and a big 26th dynasty sarcophagus. The outside of the tomb had a complex exterior of a false door, Steele, entrance, Steele, false door with palace façade niches. Subsequent reuse of the tomb had changed these and one was cut out. The carving is of high quality into limestone. In front of the façade there was a 4 column porch in sandstone with relief’s coloured in yellow.
Inside there was a pillared hall with 3 chapels. There is good colour on the reliefs. Relief’s are usually plaster on limestone but in this tomb the painting is direct on to the limestone which is poor quality with a lot of cracks. There is evidence of different artists at work. The depiction of foreign people is the most popular relief from this tomb; it also shows gold being counted. The three chapels are the 1south pr-wr, 2 centre sh-ntr and 3 north pr-nsr/pw.
They found pieces of the door jamb. Scenes show a funerary procession, travel to Abydos, lots of offerings and a barrel vaulted ceiling. The false door from this chapel is in the Cairo museum and Dr Gabirela hopes that the restoration of the tomb will include putting this back in situ. They are extremely concerned about the cracks in the tomb, they are trying to consolidate them and also hope the removal of the houses will help.
They found 400 stones, perhaps put there by Davies, that are not documented. Lots have colour and hieroglyphics. These pieces are now safe in a storage area. There are lots of poor people in the area and these stones mean money so they have to be stored carefully. The team is planning to publish the graffiti and exterior hieroglyphics. They also did some tests to see what cleaning would do. This season the first thing to do was to safe guard the roof as the fallen houses had put weight on the chambers. Previously they found that the iron beams supporting the roof had moved by 7cm in 2005. They tried to support them. The quality of the concrete on the roof was awful with no structural steel inside. They were able to put a boot through so had to remove and replace. While this work was going on the protected the walls with wood. They also raised the height of the protective wall. They have found more parts of the courtyard and expect to take another 5 – 6 years to complete their work.
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May 4th, 2007