In the Spring of 1922, Herbert Winlock and the expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York found a subsidiary chamber in the funerary complex of Ipi. This structure was labelled MMA 516B because it was considered a construction for some dependent located in the main monument of the vizier, called MMA 516. The funerary equipment and burial found in the tomb belonged to an individual who had usurped the structure to use it as his eternal dwelling. The discovery of some papyri with personal letters and business notes belonging to a man called Heqanakhte seems to indicate that this was the original owner of the subsidiary construction MMA 516B.
Today, after the visit of the inspectors and managers of the Ministry of Antiquities, we have received the authorization to proceed and get access into this tomb. First, we removed the cement sealing of the upper part of the gate into the tomb; then, we initiate the cleaning of the inner rooms: a short corridor and a chamber with a rock-cut section for a coffin. As it happened with Ipi, the director of prisons Djari probably assigned the southern corner of his tomb for a dependent, who built a tomb that we have now labelled TT 366A and will proceed to document in the next days. Beyond the opening and work in this subsidiary structure, Jesús has worked on the preparation of plans for the chamber and the associated shaft in the transversal corridor of Djari, which he has completed with the total station. Afterwards, Abu Saidi has continued with the cleaning of the bottom of the shaft to complete this task in this season.
In the tomb of Dagi, our work continues at a good pace. Raúl completed the cleaning of the inner section of the transversal corridor, while Jaime made inventory of the multiple fragments of painting found in the last days. Once this was done, they continued with the cleaning of the area between pillars 3 and 4, where Crum and Winlock already determined that there might have been a loom in Coptic times. We hope that the study of the area will allow us to know more about the reuse of particular sections of the tomb of Dagi for specific purposes by the monks of St Epiphanius.
Regarding the conservation duties in the site, today the team started a new day without the contribution of our colleage Reed, who left together with Sergio this morning. As for the remaining members in-site, Lily and Olivia conducted a thorough condition assessment of the wall paintings in both the tombs of Djari and Dagi. They meticulously recorded various aspects such as cracks, abrasion, insect damage, and losses. This comprehensive assessment provides valuable insights into the state of preservation and serves as a guide for our conservation efforts.
Moreover, Ella and Jaume successfully completed the conservation work on the fragments they carefully lifted from the floor of Dagi’s tomb. Following this, they supervised the drying process for the polychrome wood discovered in Djari’s tomb shaft, ensuring protection against humidity-induced mold and biological deterioration. These critical tasks are instrumental in the safe handling and preservation of these fragile artifacts.