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Thursday, December 22, 2016
New Discovery, Aswan: Archaeologists Find Compelling Evidence for New Tombs at Qubbet Al-Hawa Site in Aswan
The Newly Discovered Wall
An ancient Egyptian encroachment wall uncovered below the visitors’
pathway at Qubbet Al-Hawa suggests additional tombs to be found. Written By/ Nevine
During excavation work carried out below the visitors’ pathway in the
northern part of the west Aswan cemetery, at Qubbet Al-Hawa site,
archaeologists from the University of Birmingham and the Egypt Exploration
Society (EES) Qubbet Al-Hawa Research Project (QHRP), stumbled upon what is
believed to be an ancient Egyptian encroachment wall.
Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities
Mahmoud Afify told Ahram Online that the wall is two-metres high and is part of
the architectural support of the known tombs of the first upper terrace,
including those of Harkhuf and Heqaib who were governors of Elephantine Island
during the Old Kingdom.
Given the landscape of Qubbet Al-Hawa, he explained, the support wall
helped to secure the hillside and thus lower lying tombs that were accessible
by a causeway leading to a second terrace.
Nasr Salama, general director of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities, described
the discovery as “stunning,” adding that it is now only a matter of time until
new tombs are uncovered within the important cemetery.
Qubbet Al-Hawa Site
“This find is likely to change
our understanding of the ancient funerary landscape of Qubbet Al-Hawa,” said
Essam Nagy, co-director of the QHRP and director of the EES office in Cairo,
adding that the project's future plan is to follow the wall over its entire
length in coming field seasons
Eman Khalifa, director of the pottery project within QHRP, said that
early studies on the discovered pottery shreds embedded within the mortar used
to build the wall show the exact dating of the wall.
The studies, she continued, reveal that the crushed pieces include parts
of carinated bowls executed in style typical of the reign of King Pepi II from
the Sixth Dynasty (c 2278-2184 BC), together with pieces of Marl Clay jars
typical of the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom. “Thus
indicating the expansion of the cemetery during the latter part of both periods,”
Khalifa pointed out.
Mission director Martin Bommas of the University of Birmingham said that
the find was part of the project's successful first field season, which
included the recent discovery of the long sought causeway of Sarenput I, first
governor of the area at the beginning of the Middle Kingdom.