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The doorway of TT99

The modern door of TT99 is, at the oldest estimate, the one set up in 1907 after the owners of the tomb were moved out. However, it is probably more recent, as our reis (foreman) in 1997 and 1998 recalls working on it in the 1960s or so.

doorway

The doorway as it survived into the 20th century was rather roughly shaped. To enable the iron door to be fitted into it, a frame for the door of bricks and cement was constructed. When we cleared the courtyard in 1997, it became quite clear that the door had been fitted to the artificial level of the courtyard following the top of the debris, rather than the real floor level. Ideally, we should have lowered the door to the real courtyard level. However, the door is rather firmly fixed and the thought of damaging the original fabric of the tomb (combined with the potential cost!) made us leave the door as it is, and built a set of steps, as in the photo here.

Several interesting things may be noted around the door. The rock surface around the doorway is recessed, ad this suggests that a structure might have been placed up again the the door. Such structures are rarely found still in place in Theban tombs, but there are may pieces of sandstone in ad around the tombs, and it seems likely that these belong to such structures.

There is also a recess in the ground around where the steps are now. We have not seen anything like this in other tombs; perhaps it is to be associated with this structure?

The next picture shows what was found when the debris beneath the door was cleared:

Most of the area beneath the former floor level (indicated by the bottom of the door frame in the photo) was not solid, but then we came across a number of blocks of stone and some mud brick. Someone had clearly tried to block the tomb up at some point. I do not think it is modern, ad it is unlikely to have been done by Senneferi. Perhaps this was done by the 25th dynasty reusers of the tomb, in an attempt to keep others out of the tomb?

under doorway

 

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2014