Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Old Mummification Museum Lectures TT11 TT12

Lecture by Jose M Galan
TT11/TT12 and the Apprentice board Jose M Galan
Last Thursday’s Lecture was given by Dr Jose Galan who heads the Spanish/Egyptian team. They have been excavating TT11 the tomb of Djehuty and TT 12 the tomb of Hery. These two tombs are connected at the transverse rooms yet at the front are separated by TT399. The tomb was recorded by Champollian in 1829 and shows whippet like dogs hunting in the desert and a superb funnery scene where the mummy of the deceased is being transported across the Nile by boat.

The next person to record the tomb was Lepius in 1884 although this information comes from his diary rather than a proper publication. He mentions Djehuty for the first time.

In 1898/99 the 5th Marquise of Northampton sponsored an expedition which uncovered the tombs and exposed their facades to the light. This unfortunately resulted in the best scenes being hacked out and robbed from the tomb. The fashion of squeeze however has recorded many of these scenes and is enabling the team to reconstruct the walls using some 150 fragments they have found.

The tomb was subsequently protected but a wall and roof however when the team started work this was piled up with rubbish. Excavations have revealed a huge open courtyard in front, 40 metres and indeed when you drive past you can see it very clearly. There is a hymn to Amun Re on the left and he presents his biography on the right. This is unusual as facades are not normally decorated like this. Prof. Galan then went into some detail about the way the hieroglyphics were presented which is impossible to explain properly without the slides but involved the use of a vertical column to avoid repetition.

Djehuty talks about his role in overlaying the obelisks at Karnak with electrum and an account of the marvels brought from punt so he was a top dog in Hatshepsut’s court. The hieroglyphics were painted yellow to reflect the sun rising over Karnak to the West.

We were also shown how they resolved the problems of an 8 metre shaft that allowed debris to get into the tomb.

The second half of the lecture went on to tell of the so called ‘Apprentice Board’. Now previous excavations had totally neglected the areas around the tomb just concentrating on the tomb itself so the team was very lucky to find pieces of a wooden board overlaid with stucco. The total dimensions of the piece were 31 by 45.8 cm and there were drawings both back and front. The pieces were found above TT11 and 399. After cleaning which the slides showed to make a dramatic improvement the drawing was revealed to be a frontal portrait of a pharaoh on a red ink grid. Frontal portraits are of course extremely rare and this looks like a standing statue of a pharaoh.

There are two pictures and the one to left is not as steady and as sure, the ink is thicker and less confident. So it looks like the master has drawn the figure on the right and the student, or apprentice, the figure on the left. There is a parallel in ostrica found at Deir el Bahri which is now in the Brooklyn museum no 58.28.2. On that piece to it looks like the master on the right and the student on the left and the writing is from right to left as well.

Frontal portraits, whilst rare are not unknown, there is the hieroglyphic symbol, in some smiting of the enemy’s scenes the ones in the middle face front, there is the portrait of the three girl musicians and of course many Hathor headed columns and statues of Bes.

The team then worked on identifying which pharaoh was being shown. They dismissed Tutmosis III because although it was close it did not have a beard, there were some differences around the eyes and there was a recessing chin. Also Tutmosis III usually shows a small smile which thins the upper lip but the top lip in our drawing was full. There was a much better match with Hatshepsut statues and the clincher was the grid lines. Convention made people 18 squares high but men were 6 squares to women 5 squares and this picture the shoulders were 5 squares.

The writing was the first paragraph of kemet which can be regarded as a unit in it self. It uses old fashioned language of the old kingdom/1st intermediate period and was often used as an exercise. The reverse of the board has a king fowling in the marshes and the closest parallel to that is the tomb of Ay.

The board has been restored and mounted and is now on display in the Luxor museum.

Posted by Jane: - 1:56 pm - Edit| No Comments »
February 17th, 2006

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