Middle Kingdom Theban Project
Documentation and Publication of Late Eleventh Dynasty and Middle Kingdom Tombs at Thebes.
In August 2014 Antonio Morales visited the areas of Deir el-Bahari and Asasif in West Bank Luxor with the aim of selecting some funerary complexes for a project concerned with the origins and construction of the Middle Kingdom period.
Early Middle Kingdom tombs at Deir el-Bahari and Asasif
MKTP aims at the excavation, study, conservation, and publication of tombs.
The project aims at the excavation, study, conservation, and publication of several Middle Kingdom tombs at Deir el-Bahari (Henenu, Ipi, Neferhotep, E1) and the tombs of Dagi and Djari in the necropolis of Asasif.
“Strengthen your monuments as far as is within your power, for even a single day can contribute toward eternity, and an hour can embellish the future”
Follow the season of excavations daily.
Visit the Digging Diary to keep track of our works in the northern hill of Deir el-Bahari and the plain of Asasif. The story of our expedition told in a day-to-day basis by the members of the MKTP.
The Middle Kingdom Theban Project deals with the archaeological excavation, conservation, and epigraphic work in the tombs of Henenu (TT 313) and Ipi (TT 315) in the northern hills of Deir el-Bahari, the surveying and excavation of tombs in the eastern sector of the necropolis, and the excavation and study of the tombs of Dagi (TT 103) and Djari (TT 366) in the nearby Middle Kingdom necropolis of Asasif.
As royal steward for Mentuhotep II, he is attested in the linen marks offered to queen Miyet in the king´s temple.
He was royal sealbearer and was appointed with very particular titles, such as overseer “of horn, hoof, feather, and scale”, “of fowl that swin, fly, and land”, and “of what is and what is not”.
Harhotep was royal seal bearer under the reign of Sesostris I, in the early XII Dynasty.
His mortuary chamber and sarcophagus made it to the Cairo Museum in 1883, when Maspero took them from the complex TT 314 to exhibit them as typical artistic production from Deir el-Bahari in the Middle Kingdom.
Ipi is attested as vizier, member of the elite and overseer of the town of Thebes in several sources from Deir el-Bahari.
He succeeded Meketre as treasurer but seems to have been associated mainly with the early XII Dynasty and the reign of Amenemhat I.
Evidence of the prestigious position of Dagi is his extensive collection of appointments and his attestation in Wadi Shatt el-Rigal.
He became vizier, royal seal bearer, and “unique friend” of king Mentuhotep II, and constructed an imposing tomb of saff-type just in front of the royal mortuary complex. He became vizier before than Ipi (TT 315).
The situation of the saff-tomb of Djari in the necropolis of Asasif, away from the geological bay of Deir el-Bahari, indicates that his position in the Theban administrative echelons was not so significant. He was appointed as “supervisor of the royal harem”.
However, the paintings decorating his tomb façade have no parallel in the necropolis.
To the east of the tomb of Meru (TT 240), four tombs take the attention of the visitor. Three of them were preliminary excavated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art expedition, but one more (E1) remained unexcavated.
Tomb E1 presents an inner space full of debris and will be excavated in the following seasons.
Mortuary chamber of Ipi – TT 315
Under the cultic chamber, where the statue of Ipi was located, a descending corridor led to the most secret chamber.
Ipi´s mummy was deposited in a limestone sarcophagus decorated with religious iconography and texts that ensured his journey to the Afterlife.
The chamber walls were covered with fine limestone blocks. The shape of the lower section, however, indicates that the sarcophagus and the rest of the equipment remained hidden under the floor.
Attached to the sarcophagus, this chest was used to contain the canonic jars, where the non-mummified remains of the corpse were buried.