Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Old Mummification Museum lectures - TT320

TT320 Lecture
TT320 a Re-examination by Prof. Dr. Erhart Graefe In 1891 one of the saddest events in Egyptology happened when the cache tomb of TT320 was cleared in 48 hours. No photos were taken, no notes and as a consequence much knowledge has been lost. The purpose of the German/Russian Mission was to try and get a clearer plan of the tomb.
The entrance to the tomb is a chimney in the gebel with three sides about 13 metres deep. There is a plan on the team website here http://www.cesras.ru/eng/arch/tt320/plan.htm . In 1874 it was discovered by the Abdul Rassul family.

Prof Graefe then outlined the reasons why he believes it is not an earlier date. Prof Graefe doesn’t think the Royal Mummy in the Luxor museum is Rameses I because if it is from the cache then it was acquired 1858 -1860 before the cache was discovered. There is no evidence that the Abdul Rassul were selling stuff that early. Also the royal mummy is in excellent condition in contrast to the mummies in the cache which have separated arms, legs and heads were the robbers pulled them apart looking for gold. Maspero identified another mummy as that of Rameses I which was near the coffin of Tutmosis II, this coffin was usurped by Pinodjem. Also the mummy identified as Tutmosis hasn’t got its arms in the so called royal position so that makes the royal position a dubious means of identification. Carbon 14 dating of the royal mummy gives 22nd dynasty, Sheshonk but this might be caused by contamination when the mummies were rewrapped.

The tomb was filled to about 50% with debris, the photos showing before and after were astonishing, they made use of a massive winch to move things up and down the shaft. The condition of the rock is very fragile and it had to be removed as it was dangerous. In corridor B they discovered some steps which had not bee documented by Maspero. The entrance was left open in 1881 so it filled with rocks and the side walls gave way. The only place Brugsch had drawn a plan of the tomb was in a letter. In 1938 Bruger the Director of the French Institute was given permission to copy the inscriptions and after he did this he blocked the entrance. Prof Graefe does not believe Niche E contained a coffin because of the size of the niche compared to the size of the coffins. They just would not have fitted. The niche is 2.16 – 2.33 in height and a width of 1.60 and the coffin of Ahotep is 3.80. In stairwell D they had to put up a protective roof as the ceiling blocks had fallen down. The rock was of better quality so there was less debris. When they got to burial chamber G they didn’t dare speak in case something fell down. Some of the blocks were huge 500 kilos. They puzzled how to remove them, the Egyptian expert advice was to pulverise them and this was successful. In the chamber the water reached a height of 50 cms there was graffiti of Pinodjem. The graffiti had been noted previously but was not found in 1938 however the team found it.

They have found 500 objects which have been numbered and another 500 which haven’t as they are pieces of wood. When the coffins were removed they were hauled up without any protection so bits were knocked off and the team has found loads of these fragments which could be reconstructed on the coffins in the Cairo museum.

They found a fragment of the hieratic docket of Ram I parts of the leather tent of Isimkheb and another leather piece which is a riddle as to purpose. They have found 50% of an ushabti box but the pieces are in varying condition depending on whether they were found in a dry or wet place.

Prof Graefe mentioned a picture of Anubis on top of an obelisk that had been found on this box and appealed to the audience if they were aware of a another example.

There is a piece of this box in New York There were also fragments of a stool and a chair as well as about 200 fragments of quality wood stuck on poor quality which is a riddle to the team. Neshkhons glass beaker pieces like in the Cairo and Luxor museum. The ones is Cairo have lost their quality surface. Lots of knobs from boxes including a 6.6 cm bone handle that doesn’t appear to fit on any known piece. They are reconstructing a number of vessels which were in one piece in the 19th century and were not considered of any importance and have know been destroyed by the rock falls. Also found was wood and linen, 15 wicks for oil lamps and an empty box for candles dated 1878. Some ostracha including what looked like a games board. Prof Graefe is making a database of objects coming from TT320 and would welcome additions to it if these were known. www.falnet.uni-muenster.de/litw3/aegyptologie BTW this link doesn’t work so I have emailed the professor asking for a correction if anyone else knows what it should be please email me. Thanks to Gitta for providing a correct link http://www.uni-muenster.de/Philologie/Iaek/fo.html#P1

Prof Graefe also made an Appeal about this picture

has anyone seen these markers in a tomb before. They seemed to have been left by the workman of the tomb but their purpose is unknown.

If anyone has any answers to the questions raised by Prof Graefe please email him. grafe@uni-muenster.de

Posted by Jane: - 9:19 pm - Edit| 1 Comment »
March 14th, 2006

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