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labelThe Dig Diary 2000--Part 10

Monday 16 October

Today was going to be a long one, as we would be looking at some of our comparative tombs...

But first there was work to be done. This started with helping a donkey to get his load of water up the hill.

As we walk up the hill, mother dog rushes down to greet us, looking for her breakfast. In this photo, you can see the tomb guards sitting in one of their shelters on the hill.

All the tomb activities continue as usual. One of the main stresses was on photographing objects. This started with working on the many inscribed textiles which we have found over the years, and which have been conserved by Julie Dawson. Here you see a fragment with the titulary of king Shabaka of the 25th dynasty. Then it was the turn of the Senneferi pots to go before the camera.

And now to our trip. The aim was to look at some tombs in Dra Abul Naga, the northern part of the cemetery, and the most heavily occupied area, and (frankly) one of the dirtiest and most problematic.

We wanted to start by looking for the tomb of Tetiky (TT15), which is one of the earliest New Kingdom tombs in Thebes, dating perhaps to the beginning of the 18th dynasty. The tomb was found by Lord Carnarvon in 1907-8, and was the subject of an article by Norman de Garis Davies, but has not been seen for a number of years.

We went with the General Director, Mohamed el-Bialey, to try and find it. After a lot of asking around among the older inhabitants, we still did not find it, but isolated an area where there is said to be a tomb buried under a load of rubble/rubbish. It would be an enormous job to dig it out; here's a mini-panorama, with the possible location in the centre:

Our next target was another early 18th dynasty tomb, that of Hery (TT12), roughly in the middle of the area (see a VR panorama, size 176k). This is entered via a breakthrough from TT11, so we were able to visit that as well. This tomb is full of rubble still, and probably has not been visited for a long time. There are at least two further tombs which can be accessed through it, so we went climbing around the back of it. Below is a picture of one of the relief scenes, and also of Mohamed, Helen and me climbing around on the rubble. The graffito over the wall scene is from the Ptolemaic period, when the tomb was used for storing Ibis mummies.

And then, after tea break, off we went to the northern part of Dra Abul Naga, where we were to see the tomb of Haty (TT151), of the reign of Thutmose IV. This is a small nicely painted tomb, presently unpublished.

After this, Mohamed suggested that we have a look round the many numbered tombs in the area which have no doors. Using all our maps, we wrote some numbers on some of them, including this one, TT377.

We got back to the hotel about 17:00!! A long but very interesting day.

Tuesday 17 October

Excitement in the Dog diary today: the family has moved, or been moved. They are now living by the Sennefer Coffee Shop. Shame to see them go, but at least they will not just become dependant on us.

In the tomb, Tony begins to make photos of some of the walls of the tomb, but when the light gets better he is back outside finishing the pots. We've had to prioritise things, and we decided that he should do those things which a) are most urgent (e.g. the pots) and b) which he can do better than the rest of us (the tomb paintings, as he has such good equipment for it).

Tony and John work on late today, to get as much done as possible to prevent a frantic rush tomorrow, which will be their last day. The pressure on lights and cables means that Helen has to move out into the courtyard to draw her objects. I brought the computer along to identify objects which need further checking.

We also get to see our other locked tomb in the necropolis today, that of Menkheperresoneb (TT86), in the hill just above us. This tomb is approximately contemporary to Senneferi; it was never finished, and Menkheperresoneb had another tomb down in the Khokha area (TT112). It is a nice tomb, with some wonderful representations of foreigners. Again, one does not realise from the publication quite what it was like. The following pictures show craftsmen at work, and some of the foreigners. A nice tomb!

All text and images © Nigel Strudwick 2000

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2014