Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, June 02, 2012

Thanks to a comment on the blog we now have the main site for the expedition, the Dayr Al Barsha Project:

The press release reads:

During its 2012 spring campaign, the archaeological mission of Leuven University in Dayr al-Barshā, directed by Harco Willems, has discovered an important burial dating back to the beginning of the Middle Kingdom (approx. 2040 B.C.). Although the burial has been robbed at least twice, and has suffered extensive damage, a large amount of objects were still found in their original position, providing unique information on the scenario of the funerary ritual. The tomb must have belonged to a nomarch (i.e. a provincial governor) or to a person belonging to the close family of a nomarch. It is for the first time in over a century that a relatively well preserved burial of this kind has been found.
The Dayr Al Barsha Project page also has a much extended version of the press release as a PDF.  Apparently the tomb of Nomarch Ahanakht I discovered in 1891-1892 (Tomb 5) was excavated by George Andrew Reisner in 1915 who got distracted by a nearly intact nomarch burial in a neighbouring tomb and failed to excavate a burial pit in Ahanakht's tomb, believing - correctly it had been robbed.

The robbers however left quite a lot behind and the burial has been identified as Djehutinakht, probably the father of Ahanakht and who was the last nomarch of the Hare Nome of the First Intermediate Period.  The badly damaged coffin bears coffin texts, pushing the origin of these back before Ahanakht.

There is more information about earlier (2002 - 2004) by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven work at Deir el-Barsha here and here if you wish to know more about the site.


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