Sunday, 17 February 2013

Mummification Museum Lecture José Galán – Update from the Spanish Mission

José Galán – Update from the Spanish Mission

Fantastic Lecture from Jose, the project has expanded beyond the courtyard of TT11 hence the title. The slides he chose were not only from the actual dig but also corresponding artefacts in museums worldwide.

First the team’s website lots of images and information. Also if you search this blog on the label TT11 you will find loads and loads of past lectures and news announcements.

The team have been working on the tomb of Djehuty TT11 for 12 years and he showed a slide of a hillside with an entrance to the tomb set into the hillside. He showed the same view in 2007 with this huge courtyard.  The tomb is located in the centre of Dra Abu Naga; Djehuty was the overseer of the treasury and overseer of the cattle. A very important official. The tomb was in a line of tombs, a sort of necropolis street. Next door is the tomb of Baki also an Overseer of Cattle. Djehuty wanted to be remembered as a great master of writing who was well acquainted with the funerary texts.  The facade was unusually decorated with texts, one side a hymn to Re and the other a biographical text. Also inside the tomb there are numerous texts that make the tomb a monument of writing.

The tomb needed lots work. The ceiling had holes that let debris in, the chambers were filled with debris, and the reliefs had mud covering parts of them. At the end of the tomb was a statue of Djehuty and his parents. It took until 2007 to remove all the debris and then they could start the conservation.

They have installed special lightening brought from Spain, because they had to install a false ceiling of iron beams so instead of having lights on the floor shining up, they have lights in the ceiling shining down. The burial chamber is down 2 levels and is inscribed with the book of dead such as transformation spells that Djehuty needed to overcome the dangers of the underworld. It is a 3-d representation as passages relating to the netherworld in the lower registers and that relating to the sky on the ceiling, in the centre of the ceiling is the goddess Nut.

So why did Djehuty chose this site to be buried in?

When you look at his contemperies such as TT73, 67, 86, 39, 131, 61, 82, 71, 84, 99,125, 127 and 110 these are located around Deir el Bahri at Sheikh Abu Gurna and the Assasif.

Perhaps because it was across the river from Karnak, he was not convinced that was the answer.

In that area are the pyramid of Nebkheperure Intef and the tombs of Kamoses, Ahotep and Hery. He dismissed Hery as being relevant Djehuty is older. Then looking at the architecture of the courtyard they noted the left hand (or south wall) had a twist inwards as though it was avoiding something special. Excavating in that area revealed a mud brick structure but they could only investigate so far as their concession only extended so far. Other similar chapels had been found by the Met and Poltz who have excavated in that area. They consisted of a chapel, a burial shaft with a surrounding wall.

Then after the village was removed at Dra Abu Naga their concession was extended to the south and included this structure. Excavations revealed wrapped wooden coffins and ushabtis wrapped in linen very similar to those in the Met, he showed a slide and I am fairly sure it was this one these are called stick ushabtis for Ahmose and Ahmose-sa-pa-ir. Other pieces that bear his name UC40212 UC40213 E15682 JE 36347 BMEA360 and 1455 in Turin (there were more but I missed them) so he was a very important person.

There was textiles marked daiu-linen for Ahmose-sa-pa-ir and his son Ahmose (the linen breaks here). There are lists of important people (king/ancestor lists) that include him in TT2 TT359 and a coffin in Turin. Papyrus Abbott, a 21st dynasty document mentions his tomb and says it was untouched. A plan was made using the papyrus narrative (can anyone give me details as I missed enough info to find it online). They have found an alabaster jar with the name of Ahmose, it could be a relative. Also found is a huge deposit of cultic vases which indicate there was a monument in the area. So far they have found 4 17 dynasty vases, wooden shanties, linen all bearing the name so they have a good feeling the tomb in their concession.

Other finds have been a 90 cm child’s wooden coffin containing a child aged 3-4 years old. The coffin was lying on one side because the body didn’t fit in so they had tried to lie it face up and failed.

Evidence of another prince of the 17th dynasty was found on a door lintel. Nebkheperure Intef and, by implication, his brother Sekhemre Wepmaat Intef, were probably the sons of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf

More finds an obelisk from the early 17th, a sandal, some little coffins and shabities of Ahotep. This is normally a female name although instances of it being used by males, a fragment of a statue similar to the one in the Louvre.  In a connecting burial shaft yet another coffined shabities. A shabity wrapped in 9 linen tissues that were actually made that size. These were also inscribed with the name Ahotep and use of ultra violet on the inscription enabled them to read it clearly and identify this as a male name who was an official mouth piece of Nehen.

There was so much it was amazing and I encourage you to explore the website and look out for the publications as they come out.

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