After 593 days away from Egypt and a difficult year and a half living an unprecedented health crisis worldwide, the day to go back to Luxor and resume our work in the necropolis of Deir-el Bahari and Asasif has finally arrived.
The first four days we dedicated our time to open the tombs of Henenu (TT313) and Ipi (TT315) as well as tomb E1, located in the eastern side of the Theban hill and whose owner is unknown (by now). The main goal of these days previous to start the actual archaeological work has been start setting up tents and electricity in the tombs, to fulfill all the necessary preparations so the work could start smoothly for the thirty specialist coming this season to work with us.
With a small group of team members, consisting on the director of the project Antonio Morales, the ceramologist Hazem Shared and the photographer Patricia Mora, and with the help of rais Omar Farouk and Bessam, Nagaar and Antar, three local workers that have already been with us several seasons, we started to set the stage for the following seven weeks of archaeological and restoration works in the tombs of the high officials of the Middle Kingdom, Ipi, Henenu, Dagi and the owner of E1.
Antonio and Hazem proceeded to check the inventory of the special finds discovered in the previous seasons in the courtyard of Ipi’s tomb. Patri has resumed photographing the objects of the embalming cachette of Amenemhat I’s vizier, and kept going with the pictures of the stoppers belonging to the embalming jars. Meantime, eight more locals joined Bessam and Antar to start cleaning the debris located down the hill in Ipi’s courtyard.
Today, November 1, we officially start our VI season. In the next days thirty specialists will arrive and join the team to produce some of the most advanced research that these hills have ever witnessed, and we will introduce them to you together with the work they are going to carry out in these weeks.
With the help of those specialists, two raises –Ali and Omar Farouk–, a hundred locals, and under the supervision of three inspectors of the Ministry of Antiquities, we hope to be able to finish all our goals for this season and develop the subsequent research in the rest of the year. We will continue excavating in the courtyards of the officials Ipi (TT315) and Henenu (TT313), and will try to complete the excavation of the corridor in tomb E1 and reach the cultic chapel of this tomb. These works will allow us to find new structures and subsidiary chambers to unravel the secrets of the Theban necropolis during the Middle Kingdom. In addition, a group of highly qualified restorers will work on the preservation and restoration of the mural paintings of the tomb of Dagi (TT103) and the inscriptions of Ipi’s sarcophagus, GIS work and landscape archaeology will also be developed by some of our specialists, we will resume the analysis of the contents of the embalming cachette of Ipi for its final publication, and we will build a 1:1 scale of the embalming deposit for an exhibition…
Let’s dig again…!