Showing posts with label Thebes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thebes. Show all posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

New Discovery, Luxor: Embalming Materials For Middle Kingdom Vizier Lpi Rediscovered On Luxor's West Bank

Newly discovered embalming jars.Photos courtesy of the Spanish Mission
The embalming materials of Ipi, vizier and overseer of Thebes and member of the elite during the reign of King Amenemhat I in the early 20th Dynasty, have been rediscovered in his tomb at Deir Al-Bahari on Luxor's west bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Within the framework of the Middle Kingdom Theban Project, an international mission under the auspices of the University of Alcalá (UAH, Spain) has uncovered over 50 clay jars filled with embalming materials for the mummification of the ancient Egyptian vizier Ipi during the cleaning of the courtyard under his tomb number (TT 315).

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the antiquities ministry’s Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, said that the jars were first discovered in 1921 and 1922 by American Egyptologist Herbert Winlock inside an auxiliary chamber in the northeast corner of the upper courtyard of Ipi’s tomb, where they were left as is.

Time has taken its toll on the courtyard, which had been buried in sand before being uncovered by the Spanish mission.

The jars hold equipment such as bandages, oils and salts, which were used by embalmers in mummification, as well as jars, bowls, scrapers, and a mummification board decorated with ankh-signs.

“The identification of these materials is of great importance for understanding the mummification techniques used in the early Middle Kingdom and the assessment of the kinds of items, tools, and substances involved in the process of embalming,” head of the Spanish mission Antonio Morales told Ahram Online.

Morales added that the deposit of the mummification materials used for Ipi included jars with potmarks and other types of inscriptions, various shrouds and four-metre-long linen sheets, shawls, and rolls of wide bandages.

Embalming Materials Discovered
Photos Courtesy of The Spanish Mission
There were also other types of cloth, rags, and pieces of slender wrappings designed to cover fingers, toes, and other parts of the vizier’s corpse.

Team specialist Salima Ikram has identified what seems to be the mummified heart of Ipi, an uncommon practice that no doubt deserves more investigation.

Morales said that the deposit also contained around 300 sacks of natron salt, oils, sand, and other substances, as well as jar stoppers and a scraper.

Among the most outstanding pieces of the collection are the Nile clay and marl jars, some with potmarks and hieratic writing, various large bandages six metres in length, as well as a shroud used for covering the body of the vizier Ipi; a fringed shawl 10 metres in length.

There are also natron bags that were deposited in the inner parts of the vizier’s body, twisted bandages used as mummy packing, and small pieces of bandages for the upper and lower extremities.

Embalming Materials Discovered
Photos Courtesy of The Spanish Mission
The collection should provide members of the Middle Kingdom Theban Project an excellent opportunity for the scientific analysis of the substances, components, textiles, and human remains found in the embalming cache, as well as the technical procedures and religious rituals used in the mummification of a high official in the early Middle Kingdom.

Ezz El-Din El-Noubi, director of the Middle Area of Al-Qurna Antiquities, said that the discovery was made during the third season of project by the University of Alcalá Expedition to Deir El-Bahari in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities and the Luxor Inspectorate.

The main purpose of the project is the archaeological study and epigraphy of the tombs of Henenu (TT 313) and Ipi (TT 315), the funerary chamber and sarcophagus of Harhotep (CG28023), as well as the conservation and detailed publication of information of these monuments and others located at Thebes.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

New Discovery, Luxor: Unique Funerary Garden Unearthed in Thebes

For the first time, an almost 4000 year-old funerary garden is uncovered in Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

During excavation work in the area around the early 18th Dynasty rock-cut tombs of Djehuty and Hery (ca 1500­1450 BCE) in Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis, a Spanish archaeological mission unearthed a unique funerary garden.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities sector at the Ministry of Antiquities told Ahram Online that the garden was found in the open courtyard of a Middle Kingdom rock-cut tomb and the layout of the garden measures 3m x 2m and is divided into squares of about 30cm.

These squares, he pointed out, seem to have contained different kinds of plants and flowers. In the middle of the garden the mission has located two elevated spots that was once used for the cultivation of a small tree or bush.

At one of the corners, Afifi continued, the roots and the trunk of a 4,000 year-old small tree have been preserved to a height of 30cm. Next to it, a bowl containing dried dates and other fruits, which could have been presented as offerings, were found.

“The discovery of the garden may shed light on the environment and gardening in ancient Thebes during the Middle Kingdom, around 2000 BCE,” said Jose Galan, head of the Spanish mission and research professor at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid.

He explained that similar funerary gardens were only found on the walls of a number of New Kingdom tombs where a small and squared garden is represented at the entrance of the funerary monument, with a couple of trees next to it. It probably had a symbolic meaning and must have played a role in the funerary rites. However, Galan asserted, these gardens have never been found in ancient Thebes and the recent discovery offers archaeological confirmation of an aspect of ancient Egyptian culture and religion that was hitherto only known through iconography.

Moreover, he pointed out, near the entrance of the Middle Kingdom rock-cut tomb, a small mud-brick chapel measuring 46cm x 70cm x 55cm was discovered attached to the façade. Inside it three stelae of the 13th Dynasty, around ca 1800 BCE, were found in situ.

He explained that early studies reveal that the owner of one of them was called RenefSeneb, and the owner of the second was “the citizen Khemenit, son of the lady of the house, Idenu.” The latter mentions the gods Montu, Ptah, Sokar and Osiris.

“These discoveries underscore the relevance of the central area of Dra Abul Naga as a sacred place for the performance of a variety of cultic activities during the Middle Kingdom,” asserted Galan. The Spanish mission has been working for 16 years in Dra Abul Naga, on the West Bank of Luxor, around the early 18th Dynasty rock-cut tombs of Djehuty and Hery.

New discovery, Sakkara: Hawass Announces New Archaeological Discovery in Saqarra

The Egyptian Mission working in the Saqqara antiquities area next to the pyramid of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the ...