Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, February 25, 2012

A fine wooden sarcophagus belonging to a presently unidentified individual has been found at Qubbet el-Hawa, Tombs of the Nobles, on the banks of the Nile near Aswan.  The best (possibly only) English article is from the Daily Mail which does have a great photo of the coffin being uncovered.  Andrea Byrnes has located the dig diary of the University of Jaen.  It's in Spanish but Google Translate does a fine job if you let it (if it works at all, it seems somewhat cantankerous these days). 

If I am reading it correctly the sarcophagus has been dated on stylistic grounds to the early 18th Dynasty but the dig diary also talks of a 12th Dynasty find.  Likewise tomb nunbering loses something in the translation.  The main project has been to explore a tomb numbered QH33.  This season they have reached the bottom after four years of efforts - but have now found a well chamber which they have started to excavate and which might yet contain a burial. 

I think the sarcophagus pictured in the Daily Mail is from a tomb numbered QH33a or QH33b - the tombs are close packed.  The sarcophagus might be their most impressive find this season, but it certainly isn't their only find.  They have found other bodies, although not in such fine condition, and almost 300 piecs of Late Period faience as well as fragments of papyrus.

For those who wish to know more about this site, there is a video of excavations last year, although the commentary is not in English.  It doesn't include the most recent discovery of course.



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