Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, December 01, 2011

This is a wonderful article and a wonderful re-discovery.  Lying forgotten in drawers in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo was a full set of chariot leathers.  They are reportedly 90% - 95% complete.  The photos are excellent and show clearly the remarkable preservation.  The project is working to converve them.

The article highlights that they are likely to improve the understanding of Bronze Age charioteering across Europe.

Readers of this blog will be interested to learn that the Museum thinks they belonged to Akhenaten, but an ancient leather specialist thinks they belonged to one of Tutankamun's successors.  Where they came from is a big question.  As the article says, it must be from a tomb, presumably a royal or super-elite tomb.  For the period in question, that would seem to imply the Valley of the Kings, and very, very few tombs have yielded contents of that quality.  All in all that is a mystery, and a very interesting one.  The alternative might be an 18th Dynasty tomb at Saqqara, but it is equally hard to think which that might be.

What is clear is that the full inventory underway in the Egyptian Museum could be very interesting when it is published.  As well as potentially grim news of objects which cannot be located, we might also learn of other forgotten treasures.

(My thanks to Andie Byrnes for the link.)


Anonymous said...

John Romer once made a reference to several boxes in the Cairo Museum store that simply had Kings Valley plus a date as their sole identification. Their origin was the Theodore Davis series of excavation in the early 20th Century. Perhaps someone has at last opened these. In which case,as it is within their period of origin, they might come from
KV57....... Or might they be unlikely "orphans" from KV62? It will be interesting to discover where they were found. CJB

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