Summary of week 2 of the 2021 season

We just finished another successful week of our 2021 season. Cleaning, consolidation and documentation of small finds, ceramics, shrines and wooden coffins from TT 414 continued.

Consolidation of Reg. No. 702, the coffin of Imhotep.

Among other things, work focused on the lower part of a Ptolemaic painted wooden anthropoid coffin. This coffin, Reg. No. 702, was found in the debris of the original burial chamber of Ankh-Hor. It belongs to a priest of Amun in Karnak Imhotep, called Padiaes. His family is well-known, and he was one of the grandsons of the famous Padiamunnebnesuttawy I, founder of the reuse of TT 414 in the 4th century BCE. For me, it is still puzzling that until now, we only have Imhotep’s coffin preserved and nothing else. Because of the intact state of the lower part of this coffin, this is quite surprising. I am still hoping to find some cartonnage pieces belonging to Imhotep and after the field season, I will also check museums and collections in Europe – maybe part of his funerary assemblage was removed from the tomb in the 19th century by the antiquities dealers.

His coffin is now fully consolidated and documented. Cajetan took great pictures with our full-frame camera and we also used my infrared camera for the text and decoration. The results for this piece are amazing – the painted figure of Imhotep is now clearly visible as are the other figures and texts! The footboard of this coffin shows a very unusual design with an important text excerpt from an Osirian liturgy – this was previously unknown, and I will come back to this in a later blog post. Really exciting!

Unprocessed infrared photo of footboard of Reg. No. 702 with kneeling figure of Imhotep.

Just as an example of the progress I am making in sorting the finds in the magazine, I found another joining pieces for the important coffin Reg. No. 661. In 2019, I was already extremely happy to find more parts of the lid of this painted coffin. This week, I finally located one of the missing pieces from the foot board, showing a motif from the Litany of the Sun.

This piece of Reg. No. 661 was newly identified and already consolidated.

All in all, so many new details, joining pieces and new personal names came up already in our first two weeks of the 2021 season that I will be more than busy processing all this data after fieldwork!

Since some of the 2021 team members will be already leaving back home to Munich respectively Vienna tomorrow, I must thank all the 2021 team: everybody did a great job, it has been a fantastic season so far and I am very happy that we still have two weeks to go! Numerous pieces of our large jigsaw puzzle are still waiting to be correctly placed and interpreted.

 For some impressions of our current season, please also have a look at the photo gallery.


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