Tuesday, 27 December 2011

15 years in the tomb of Harwa - Francisco Tiradritti

did find it tricky to take notes and have put question marks where I am not entirely clear what was said, anyone that would like to clarify for me would be my friend for life. :)

The team started work at the tomb of Harwa in 1996 although a survey had been done a year earlier. Harwa was a very important official, Great Majordomo of the God’s wife of Amun or Divine Votaress and there are 8 known statues of him (see the website http://www.harwa.it/harwa.php?action=reset also for a life of Harwa see http://www.harwa.it/vecchisiti/sito99/harwlife.htm ) and they are in different styles the ones in the Cairo Museum and Assuan are Old Kingdom, the block statues are New Kingdom and there is a shrine that is Middle Kingdom. This is because the 25th Dynasty was part of the Pharaonic Renaissance of Egypt. Although all periods had copied previous styles the Nubian Kings specialised in this by with a Nubian twist.

In the 25th dynasty Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el Bahri was still in use so Harwa built his tomb on the causeway of Mentuhotep.

The tomb decoration follows a pattern that Francesco calls the Path of Harwa, as you go from the first courtyard through the tomb you also go through Life, Death and Rebirth.

Due to the condition of the tomb plywood has been put on the pillars one so the fragments can be put in place and second so the missing decoration and text can be drawn. Helpfully the tomb of Pabasa which they also have a concession to, copied Harwa and they are able to use it as a reference and model for reconstruction. There is a large database of blocks, over 8000 and it is on the internet which means all the scholars working on the tomb are able to access it where ever they are, currently protected by a password they hope eventually to open it up.

In the 2nd pillared hall, when they started excavating it was completely covered by bats’ guano and the slide showed the enormous thickness of this which had to be cleaned off.

On the southern wall of the passage between the second pillared hall and the shrine there is a figure of Anubis, originally looking one way he was plastered over and turned to face the other way. Because part of the plaster had fallen off when the artists of Pabasa copied the scene the also copied part of the alteration.

Although Old Kingdom style identical offering bearers are on the walls the Nubian twist was to make each of them unique.

Francesco believe that the artists, judging by the style, went from Memphis to Karwa, Sudan by the 3rd cataract and then to Thebes.

Objects Found
They have found envelopes address to Howard Carter and of Eismann Semenowsky a painter; fragments papyri, fox hole, two late Roman funerary portraits, demotic papyrus, Book of the Dead papyri, pottery, mummies, seals, a vase of Isis with holes in her breast to pour libations.

They are working on publishing and hope to have it in traditional and e-book format. So you will have to wait for that for more details.

Next week Miriam Ayad of the American University of Cairo is going to talk about the Opening of the Mouth Ritual.


Anonymous said...

Imentel should be Imentet (Amentet), the Godess of the West.

Jane Akshar said...

Thank you so much, big help

Leben in Luxor said...

Hi Jane,

thanks a lot for your detailed report. Do you know on which day the next lecture will be?

Jane Akshar said...

the next lecture is 7pm Sunday 1st

Bronwyn1037 said...

The scene, which depicts the rite of the Opening of the Mouth...it was an Old Kingdom tradition,originally, to have the son of the deceased perform this rite...other than in Royal burials (in which the Sem Priest usually is depicted performing this rite, I've been told).
In the case of Harwa, who is it depicted as performing this rite? As he seems to have held a very important position. I ask because in the description of his tomb or cenotaph it sounds as if there are diverse symbolic signage from Old Kingdom to his time.
owner/mod. Egypt and Beyond

Jane Akshar said...

He did not say Bronwyn