The god Ra gives us a break
22 April, 2018
All fronts open
24 April, 2018

Gates, walls, bricks, and gardens of the Middle Kingdom

Today the MKTP has given a step forward with the incorporation of a new tomb to our concession. Not only we have continued with the archaeological activities in the tombs of Henenu (TT 313) and Ipi (TT 315), and have conducted the initial preparations for the installation of a metal door in the new tomb E1, in the eastern sector of the Deir el-Bahari hills, but we have also initiated the study and conservation of the courtyard and inner section of the tomb of Djari (TT 366). All these activities running in parallel imply a large group of specialists and local workers distributed in several teams located at various areas in the necropolis of Deir el-Bahari and Asasif. No doubt, this situation makes us one of the missions at Luxor with more open fronts. Our strategy, which aims at obtaining significant information from the key sectors of the Middle Kingdom Theban necropolis, should allow us to achieve much but being cautious and considering carefully our work, information obtained, and future outcomes.

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In Ipi´s area, the excavation at the western sector continues smoothly, mainly with the intention of understanding the construction of the wall in this area of the complex. In the middle area of the courtyard, we have found again the “gebel” or bedrock, which indicates we are now ready to identify any subsidiary structures from the Middle Kingdom period. Meantime, in the eastern area, our head archaeologist in the sector continues working in the preparation of tomb E1, mainly for the installation of a metal security door. In the tomb of Henenu, Kelly has finally initiated the excavation of the most recent square with remains of mudbrick. The presence of these bricks seems to indicate some structure built in this section of the courtyard of Henenu, and we think it will be interesting to analyze in depth this area. Our gradual arrival to the tomb of Djari (TT 366) has been completed in two days, with the intention to prepare the monument for further research: architectonic sketches and plans, electric installation, conservation and architectural conditions of the courtyard, etc. All these details will help us to continue our work in the next days, mainly for activities related to photography, photogrammetry, planning, painting conservation, study of the geological strata in the tomb (talfa and tarawan stone), etc. In the next days, we will also prepare the works in the tomb of Dagi (TT 103), where we hope to document and study the tomb for future publication.

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The incorporation of the tomb of Djari (TT 366) –a monument dating to the end of the XI Dynasty– to our concession implies an important step in our research. With the study of this tomb, together with the monument of Dagi, we transfer ourselves from the northern hills of Deir el-Bahari to the necropolis of Asasif, where officials of less rank than the ones buried in Deir el-Bahari built his funerary complexes. It is interesting to mention that in the tomb of Djari one can find a funerary garden, just in the courtyard before the entrance into the tomb. This type of gardens constituted very significant structures with a clear symbolic function, and only a few examples have reached us. A year and a half ago, the Spanish mission led by Dr. José Manuel Galán under the auspices of the CSIC (Madrid), revealed one of these structures in the courtyard of Djehuty, supervisor of works and overseer of the treasure under Hatshepsut, in the middle of the XVIII Dynasty.

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