Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Report of Thebes in First Millennium BC conference Part 2

Day 1 continued

The funerary caches (tombs) of the Third Intermediate Period in Thebes

Erhart Graefe put out an appeal to anyone and everyone.  There is a missing photograph of E Breugsch in the burial chamber, do you know where there is a copy. In KMT 20.4.2009 E. Wilson shows a photograph outside and says it is part of a pair offered for sale. Does anyone have a copy of this second photograph?

His lecture talked about the various caches around and at Deir el Bahri, There are 9 shafts at the site itself, some locations have been lost like Maunier and Mariette’s. Some contents have been scattered for example at the coronation of the Khedive some 80 objects were offered as presents and have disappeared into private collections. He believes the box of Hatshepsut could be an heirloom from a royal storehouse and it was reused. Also the tombs were cut in 21st Dynasty.

Royal Tombs at Thebes in the First Millennium BC

David Ashton examined the tombs and equipment of the ‘royal families’ of Thebes.

Tombs of the Third Intermediate Period Royal Members in the Deir el Bahri Necropolis

Zbigniew Szafranski detailed all the burial shafts at Deir el Bahri; these were located in the vaulted Amun chamber or just outside. The location was under the offering bearers so the deceased could virtually benefit from the offering scenes. The use of the vaulted chamber was significant.

Day 2

The second day was opened by Dr Mohammed Abd el-Aziz director of the west bank.

The Coming of Kushites: 25th Dynasty Origins and the 23rd/25th Dynasty transition in Thebes.

Aidan Dobson told us of the origins of the 25th dynasty kings. The regime reigned in Kush and developed into the 25th dynasty kings. He disputed the findings of Reisner that the tombs/tumuli/pyramids at El Kurra represented doubled up burials and the generations ascribed. He feels that the pyramids and mastabas alone form Piye at 750 would give 7 generations at 20 years a generation that takes you to 894 and at 25 years to 929 which takes you back to Osorkon which was the last time the title Viceroy of Kush was used. His talk was very interesting, if you can’t wait until the paper is published then his book After Glow of the Empire has some details.

Between South and North Assasif: the tomb of Harwa (TT 37) as a transitional monument.

Silvia Einaudi went into some detail about which tomb came first and why she believes that, the problem is that not all identify whose reign the person lived under.  She believes Karakhamun is older than Harwa. She also gave the reasons why the site was chosen. Harwa set the standard for later tombs and elaborated the plan of Karakhamun.

The “Funerary Palace” of Padiamenope: Tomb, place of pilgrimage and library. Current Research

Claude Traunecker gave an excellent presentation in English, which was much appreciated. He was the most amusing lecture of the conference with some well chosen slides and comments about bats. I personally find this tomb one of the most interesting and this talk confirmed my feeling. He explained why he thought various chapters of the book of the dead were duplicated, how the hidden burial chamber operated, the clever use of the design to allow books of different lengths to be put on opposing walls. He thought the owner was a scholar of the old ritual and had gone to considerable trouble to research the various texts. He came from a very important maternal family but his father or his father’s family don’t get a mention. He also demonstrated the relative importance of Padiamenope and Montuemhat with pictures of their statues.

The Amduat and the Book of the Gates in the tomb of Padiamenope (TT33)

Isabelle Regen’s presentation went into some detail about the texts in this tomb which are the last known complete copies. The rationale behind the extensive texts was that knowledge gets you through to the afterlife, so more knowledge the better chance. He got his texts from the OSIREION and Ramses VI and used Old Kingdom signs in New Kingdom texts to go back the oldest version. Later in the 30th dynasty they updated and changed texts but at this time it was the accuracy that mattered.

The tomb of Montuemhat (TT 34) – A new approach

Louise Gestermann explained that the tomb needed cleaning and now electricity was installed. She is working on rooms 44 to 53. They are using a digital image technique to record the tomb. Drawings are made from these digital photo photographs

The forgotten tomb of Ramose at Sheik ‘Abd-el-Qurna: TT 132’

Christian Greco started his talk by admitting the tomb isn’t that forgotten! He gave the history of the tomb from 1843-2006. The funerary cones identify that Taharqa was Ramose’s king.

Kushite and Saite Period Burials on el-Khokha

Gabor Schreiber detailed the work of the Hungarian mission and the reused tombs and intrusive burials at this time.

The so called ‘Lichthof’ once more. On the transmission of concept between the tomb and the temple.

Filip Coppens include aspects such as the open court being a place of regeneration and renewal. The resemblance to the Osireion cult place. Texts of the solar hymns and the cycle of Osiris.

Some observations about the representation of the neck sash in 26th Dynasty Thebes

Aleksandra Hallmann gave a detailed talk about the various sashes in use (over the shoulder, round the neck, round the waist), their significance and their relationship to other objects of the elite (e.g. fans). This sash is seen when accompanying the God’s Wives of Amun.

The inner coffin of Tameramon, a unique masterpiece of Kushite iconography from Thebes. A work in progress.

Simone Musso gave preliminary findings of the coffin of Tameramon, rather fascinating is that the various gods have been feminised in the vignettes, unheard of. This coffin MIGHT be a match with outer coffins half in Cairo. They have no idea how it got in to the collection!

Sokar-Osiris and the Goddesses: Some Twenty-fifth-Twenty-sixth Dynasty Coffins from the Theban Necropolis.

Cynthia Sheikholeslami gave a good talk on various coffins with the Sokar-Osiris style of coffin. These seem to be lower status individuals. The bottom of the coffin has the god, sometimes with a tree goddess above and on the side panels Isis and Nephthys (although not always). Someone with the subject ingrained under her finger tips!

This is the end of day 2, as always I appreciate corrections but do remember the abstracts are available and proper papers will be published, this is just to encourage you to read those.

Day 3 was site visits on the west bank TT223 TT391 TT33 TT414 TT279 TT312 to quote one visitor these were 'sublime'.

Day 4 is Karnak, site visit in the morning and lectures in the afternoon which I will write up after the event.

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