Monday, August 1, 2016

Missions working in Egypt, South Asasif Conservation Project: Cats of Karakhamun and Other Updates in July 2016

The 2016 season of the South Asasif Conservation Project is in full swing and our mission members are making amazing discoveries every day. Most of the recent discoveries were made while working with small fragments of Karakhamun’s relief decoration. The more we understand the tomb the more we see incredible details that were overlooked before.

Annie Howard and Francesca Jones were very happy to join a few fragments and bring back to life a couple of beautiful cats.

Unfortunately Karakhamun cannot consider these cats his personal possession as he does with his favourite dogs. “That male cat is Ra himself, called Cat (miw)” from the text of BD 17 on the south wall of the First Pillared Hall in the tomb of Karakhamun.

We cannot cease to be amazed by the beauty of the animal images in the tomb even if they are small-scale determinatives. The BD 17 team achieved considerable results this season. The work is supervised by Miguel Molinero Polo.

Ken Griffin and Mohamed Shebib are having a great time (and great results) identifying numerous fragments of the BD vignettes for the pillars of the Second Pillared Hall. One of their latest achievements is an almost complete reconstruction of the vignette for BD 75 with Karakhamun standing before the pillar of Heliopolis.

This reconstruction puts into context another image of Karakhamun and brings closer the time when the whole gallery of his images might be studied not only in terms of their style and iconography but also their distribution within the spaces of the tomb.

The vignette and the texts of BD 74 and 75 will shortly be reconstructed on the south side of South Pillar 3. Katherine Blakeney is deep in calculations of the height of the partially preserved figure of a sm-priest on the lintel of the entrance to the Second Pillared Hall.

Its dimensions are one of the clues to the height of the doorway. The front and back doorframes of the entrance were found in hundreds of small fragments and we are going through the agony of calculating the relationship between its architectural elements. One of the most beautiful elements of the front doorframe is a pair of single-stemmed semi-columns with a bell-shaped open capital.

We are planning to finish the reconstruction of this entrance for the inauguration of the completed Second Pillared Hall during the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the South Asasif Conservation Project in September. We are grateful to our neighbour Miguel Molinero Polo for sharing drawings of parallel architectural features from TT 209. Our team was happy to have a chance to visit Miguel’s project and admire the discoveries of the TT 209 team.

We are happy to welcome our wonderful sponsors and team members to the site. Darren McKnight presented the happy conservation team with new tools, t-shirts and hats. Our Seer Anthony Browder is sharing with us his wisdom and vision and provides incredible support to the Project. Thank you!

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