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Third day of workshop and visit to the mortuary temple of Seti I at Thebes

In Egypt, today is a special day and everyone has holidays. It is the day of Sham el-Nesim or “festival of spring”. However, the MKTP team cannot delay a moment longer: we have continued with our workshop sessions, pending the trip of our moudir to Cairo, where, with a bit of luck, he will be able to pick up the security clearance tomorrow. Since the Ministry of Antiquities has been several days closed because of holidays, we hope that in the meantime the security clearance permission has been received and we will be able to start working this week allahtool (in Arabic, “right away”). These would be great news and would mean that we can initiate our work immediately.

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Second day of our workshop (ceramics/conservation) and a birthday celebration

The team morale keeps high and the strong wish to start our fieldwork has not disappeared at all. It seems clear that all members are really enjoying every workshop session and practice, as well as the various visits organized for understanding some of the key elements in ancient Egyptian architecture, art, and culture. These visits to the monuments and sites of the Theban area allow senior specialists to offer brief talks and explanations in which they can provide more details in situ about the topics previously covered in our workshop sessions. Unfortunately, we have not yet received our permission, which would allow us to request consent to the authorities for visiting the Middle Kingdom sites in the area, as it will be the case with the Eleventh Dynasty cemetery of El-Tarif, which we hope to see soon.

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First day of our workshop

Due to our dependence on the arrival of the security clearance, and considering that in the meantime we have had much progress in the examination of our sectors, monuments, and materials, we decided to have a workshop with some talks, practices, and updates regarding the MKTP. This workshop started today and will last for the next four days. In the morning, the archeologist responsible for the excavation of Ipi´s complex, Mohamed Osman, offered an intensive course (theoretical and practical) on the use of the total station, focusing on the fundamental elements in our tombs: reference points, structures, methodology, communication with the responsible for object registration, etc.

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Docking before the pylons in Karnak

Although today has been the first weekend with almost everyone settled in Luxor, we have taken things without hurrying due to the long interval waiting for the permissions and our amenable work at the headquarters in the Marsam. In a way, we feel that we would like to start instead of enjoying a weekend in the town. Let´s hope that the preparations, plans, and modifications that we have decided in the last days will help to resolve part of our working issues at the site in the next two or three weeks.

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Putting an end to the week with the arrival of six members more

The end of the week is here and we have not yet received our security clearance to start our season, which means that we cannot really initiate our fieldwork. We are willing to start with the excavation duties and continue working on the preparation of new plans and the consideration of other ways to buy time until Tuesday, when we hope that the Ministry of Antiquities will inform us of the arrival of our permission.

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Tense wait… and much work

Not working at the site in these initial days implies a serious effort by the team, whose members try to concentrate on organizing everything and getting ready for the “green light” to go ahead and work in the necropolis. The support of the Spanish Embassy in Cairo and the Office of International Relations at the UAH has been essential, but we cannot ensure when the security clearance for the team will be approved and delivered to the Ministry of Antiquities. For all this, the team works tirelessly for the preparation of various working plans and for the intensity that we know it will require this type of work in the next weeks.

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Henenu, “supervisor of the horn, hoof, feather, and scale”

The “sole friend”, “king´s attendant” for Nebhepetre Mentuhotep (II), and “supervisor of the great house”, Henenu, built an impressive funerary monument for his afterlife experience in the northern hills of Deir el-Bahari. However, Henenu combined a large list of titles with a significant series of appointments in the realms of the economy, treasure, and royal properties that were very exotic: “supervisor of what is and what is not”, “overseer of fowl that swim, fly, and land” and “supervisor of the horn, hoof, feather, and scale”. Our interest on the tomb of this individual has to do with the possibility that he lived in the last years of the Eleventh Dynasty and, for this reason, he might reveal part of the last fifteen years of the dynasty before the cofronation of Amenemhat I. Besides, an official called Hennu or Henenu is attested in inscriptions from the Wadi Hammamat, and might be the same person, who lived in the reign of Sankhare Mentuhotep (III). The excavation of this complex is led by Kelly Accetta, a North-American archaeologist that works in the British Museum and joins the team tonight.

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Waiting for the security permission

Lacking the security clearance has made us to postpone slightly our archaeological work at Deir el-Bahari, although the team is in good spirit and we are willing to initiate our field season. Considering that today was another day for organizing our work, we have not had breakfast by 6 AM as it should usually be in working days but at 9 AM, which no doubt was a relieve for those who arrived to Luxor in the previous night. After our breakfast, we have organized working groups to continue with the preparations and plans. Despite the situation, these two days will be good for doing more planning and for trying to recover from the couple of days lost in the beginning of this season.

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The beginning of…

For the members of the UAH expedition, the last days of March have been very frenetic regarding purchases, preparations, and the organization of this exciting scientific adventure. We hope that our work, research, and plans over the last year will produce important results and will allow us to take a step forward in our understanding of the necropolis at Deir el-Bahari and the early Middle Kingdom. However, for some members of the expedition the season already started some weeks ago: Mohamed Osman, one of our archaeologists and head of the excavations at Ipi´s funerary complex, have been a couple of weeks working at the Cairo Museum with several Middle Kingdom objects. On the other hand, our photographer Patricia Mora settled in Luxor by mid-March after a fantastic experience at Qubbet el-Hawa with the University of Jaen. They have been the earliest members to arrive to Luxor for the Middle Kingdom Theban Project and to mark the beginning of the archaeological season in 2018.

MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Recuperando el pasado
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El proyecto

El Middle Kingdom Theban Project tiene como objetivos la excavación, estudio y publicación de varias tumbas de la necrópolis del Reino Medio en Deir el-Bahari (Henenu, Ipi, Neferhotep, E1) y de las tumbas de Dagi (TT 103) y Djari (TT 366) en la necrópolis de Asasif.

MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Ministerio Egipcio de Antigüedades

Con la colaboración del Ministerio Egipcio de Antigüedades y las autoridades del Alto Egipto, Luxor y la Orilla Occidental.

Las tumbas

Las tumbas de Henenu (TT 313) e Ipi (TT 315) se encuentran en la colina norte de la necrópolis de Deir el-Bahari, donde fueron enterrados algunos de los oficiales más importantes de Mentuhotep II y principios del Reino Medio. 

La cámara funeraria de Harhotep (CG 28023) fue localizada en el patio de la tumba TT 314 y constituye uno de los ejemplos más interesantes en arquitectura, iconografía y epigrafía del yacimiento. 

En la planicie de Asasif, las tumbas de Dagi (TT 103) y Djari (TT 366) también representan monumentos a la memoria de altos cargos tebanos del reinado de Mentuhotep II que ayudaron a construir un gran estado.

MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Patrocinadores - Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Patrocinadores - Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha
MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Patrocinadores - Fundación para el Conocimiento madri+d
MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Patrocinadores - Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte
MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Patrocinadores - Fundación Palarq
MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Patrocinadores - Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Castilla-La Mancha
MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Patrocinadores - Asociación Española de Egiptología
MKTP - Middle Kingdom Theban Project - Patrocinadores - Asociación de Amigos de la UAH

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(con la colaboración de miembros MKTP)
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