Thursday, 9 September 2010

A visit to Pabasa and the Assasif Tombs

Whilst buying tickets to Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el Bahri you may have noticed the sign giving ticket prices for the Assasif Tombs. Next time don’t ignore them they are well worth a visit. The Assasif is a very rich area for archaeologists and there are teams working at Petamenophis, Harwa and Puimra. The tombs that are open are Kheruef which is fully described here and Ankh Hor, which are on the same ticket and finally Pabasa, which is a separate ticket.

If you do decide to visit I suggest Ankh Hor first, this is not the best of the three but still very interesting. There are scenes of bee keeping and a very lively bull, together with subterranean corridors to explore.

Pabasa is from the same time period and quite beautiful with lots of colour and some unique relief’s such as bee keeping and fish scaling. Not normally a fan of the late period I was totally impressed by this tomb. During his lectures on Harwa, Francesco stated that the tomb of Pabasa had given them lots of clues to the decoration of Harwa.

However Kheruef is definitely the best for me, an 18th dynasty tomb and very high quality. It shows the jubilees of Amenhotep III which this individual seems to have been very involved with. These pictures of foreign captives were the highlight of the tomb for me. There were pictures of dancing girls with their hair hanging down and the quality of the carving was exactly like Ramose. As well as the dancing girls there were female musicians. And some male dancers, there was also some graffiti there that looked Pharaonic.

All these tombs are totally unvisited and it is almost spooky to emerge from one of them and see the hordes going to Hatshepsut who never cast an eye in your direction.


Unknown said...

Ooh! Can we go next time I come to visit Janie?!

james said...

Great photos Jane! I visited the tomb of Pabasa and the Assasif with a couple of friends from David Rohl's conference last year! We had a cup of tea and smoked a shishka pipe with the guardians before we went down to the tombs! Lol! They wouldn't let us take photos tho! I really don't think a lot of people even know that you are allowed to visit these tombs - they are just taken to Deir El Bahri and then rushed round by their guides!