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TT99: the courtyard

The top of the Architecture page shows you what the Courtyard looked like before we started work on it. The picture below shows the situation at the end of the 1997-8 season when it had been completely cleared and one shaft excavated. North is roughly to the right as you look at the tomb.

The two views below show the courtyard in the course of excavation in 1996, viewed from above the tomb. The square references refer to the diagram below. The fully excavated court appears further down the page.

court N
court S

Squares 1-10

Squares 11-20

The sketch plan below shows the grid applied to the courtyard when fully cleared. Squares 1-20 were excavated in 1996 and the rest in 1997-8. The explanation for the sequence was that firstly we wished to keep the central baulk in place for as long as possible to facilitate access to the tomb. Thus in 1996 we estimated how much either side of the door we could excavate in the time available (20 squares as it turned out), and the rest was done in a continuation of this sequence in 1997. The adjacent diagram shows this excavation sequence.

We utilised a system of 4 or 5 artificial strata as we went down (see this link for this technique).

Tomb entrance

areas

squares

We have located 3 shafts in the court, which we have named G, H, and I (A-F are inside the tomb). These shafts are discussed in a separate section on the courtyard shafts. On the plan above is marked a rough stone wall, which is presumably part of an animal enclosure--there is a food trough in the corner (the curved shape in the plan); this wall is visible in the right-hand of the two photographs above. Other structures were found, such as ovens in squares 1 and 2, and parts of a brick building, probably another animal shelter, in squares 11-14. These are all modern, from the period in which the tomb was inhabited.

At the front of the courtyard are the remains of some more areas of brick, marked in a heavier black shading in the plan. We think that these are probably ancient, and are the remains of a brick wall which once might have enclosed the front of the courtyard. The lighter shaded areas near these areas of brick are (probably) ancient stonework, and might perhaps have been where the rock on the side of the court was artificially extended to the front of the court. Friederike Kampp has reconstructed such a tomb like this:

reconstruction

© F. Kampp 1996--reproduced with author's permission
from Die thebanische Nekropole, fig. 68

See notes on the superstructure for a slightly different reconstruction of the tomb.

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2014