Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dr Hawass has announced discovery of a new burial chamber by a Spanish team at the bottom of a shaft in the Tomb of Djehuty (TT11) at Dra Abu El-Naga on the West Bank of the Nile near Luxor. There's no permalink yet for the main story so just go to the main site:

There's not a lot of text, but this one is the meat of it:

The discovery is remarkable, as only four other decorated burial chambers dating to this period are known. Although the names of Djehuty, his father, and his mother were intentionally erased in the upper part of the monument, they are intact in the newly discovered lower burial chamber. At the entrance to the lower chamber, the Spanish team found five gold earrings and two gold rings, which date to the early- to mid-18th Dynasty and probably belonged to Djehuty or to a member of his family.
However, there are an extra couple of pages with photos that do have permalinks:

In 2003 a sarcophagus of a woman was discovered buried in the tombs courtyard. It is not known who she is. Djehhuty was overseer of the treasury and overseer of the works for Hatshepsut. He lived on into Tuthmosis III's reign. Both pharaohs are represented in the tomb.

Reminder that Jane Akshar wrote up a lecture on the work at TT11 given at the Mummification Museum in February. The main website for Proyecto Dehuty gives the history of the Spanish team's work. The most recent news isn't on there yet but no doubt will be when they write up the 2009 season; however, it's best to ignore the English version of the site and jump straight in to the Spanish one which has a day by day dig diary replete with lots of photos. This is an extract from the first entry of the season.

On one hand digging burial chamber of the tomb of Djehuty we discover at the end of the previous season, after digging the pit depth of eight meters leading up to it. The camera has a considerable size and is filled with earth and stone almost to the ceiling. Therefore, we do not know what we are going to find when the excavator. Everything seems to indicate, by a few sherds visible on the surface, which has been re-used around 1000 years before Christ, or nearly 500 years after it was buried Djehuty, but our luck seems to have escaped the action of the looters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which are by far the most devastating and violent.

That makes it clear that the chamber was discovered last year (not early in 2009 as Dr Hawass' press release indicates - we are getting used to that by now) but needed to be dug clear in 2009. It's worth reading through the dig diary from about 21st January as that's the day they got access to the new chamber and is the first report of their findings in the tomb but later days cover finding human bones near the entrance. Warning, though. The photos shown inline are only thumbnails. You need to click on them to see them enlarged. The temptation is to rely on a Google translation to read the text but if you do that the photos don't enlarge when you click on them: if you wish to see the bigger photos you need to click on them from the original Spanish page.


As an aside, can I also recommend the diary entry from 16th January 2009. This covers their visit to ...

the tomb of the three princesses who were handed over to Syrian king Tutmosis III as a way to seal and ensure good diplomatic relations with Egypt when the Egyptian king established and consolidated the Egyptian authority on Palestine and southern Syria as far as the Euphrates River near the town of Karkemish. The tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1916 and the magnificent treasure is now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

It's something that isn't often mentioned online so it may be of interest to some readers. Indeed one of my reasons for blogging it here is so that I can find it again myself!



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