Summer in Luxor, Munich and Vienna

Time flies by – on such a rainy day like today in Munich, summer really seems to be over… My recent study season in Luxor was very successful and despite of the high temperatures really productive.

The necropolis of Asasif on an early August morning.

The South Asasif Conservation Project directed by Elena Pischikova had made fantastic discoveries this season and the corresponding ceramics were exciting to process. Of course I was especially looking for parallels for TT 414, the tomb of Ankh-Hor. This season, not only nice comparisons from the second heyday of the Asasif during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC showed up, but also intriguing pieces from a little understood period, the late 26th Dynasty and the 27th Dynasty. Especially the latter are important because, as clearly stated by Wolfram Grajetzki already some years ago: „The period of the first Persian domination remains something of a mystery for archaeology in Egypt. There are very few monuments and even fewer tombs that can be securely dated to this time“ (Grajetzki 2003, 117). Especially within Thebes, burials attributable to the Persian Period (27th Dynasty) still remain an enigma and are difficult to date (see Aston 1999), but ceramics from both Southern and Northern Asasif clearly attest to the funerary activities during that time. Much more research is required here!

For now, some post-excavation work is necessary for the 2019 South Asasif season and I am busy with entering data into the database. Next week, Vienna is calling and the focus will be more on Sudan and the MUAFS project. All in all, this summer was not only hot in terms of temperatures, but also extremely interesting and inspiring for my projects in Asasif and beyond.

References

Aston, David A. 1999. Dynasty 26, dynasty 30 or dynasty 27? In search of the funerary archaeology of the Persian period, in: Studies in Ancient Egypt in honour of H. S. Smith, ed. by Anthony Leahy & John Tait, London, 17–22.

Grajetzki, Wolfram. 2003. Burial Customs in Ancient Egypt: Life in Death for Rich and Poor, London.

Getting ready for a study season in Luxor

Here in Munich, the summer seems to be coming to an end – at least in terms of weather and temperatures. It has been quite cool during the last days and it’s just about time to go to Egypt for more sun and heat ;-)!

I am therefore delighted that later this week, I will be travelling to Luxor – to join the South Asasif Conservation Project directed by Elena Pischikova for a short 2-weeks-study season of pottery. I’ve been studying the ceramics from the two fantastic, monumental Kushite tombs of Karakhamun and Karabasken, TT 223 and TT 391, in South Asasif since 2011. This season, my focus will be on new material from the tomb of Karabasken and I am very much looking forward to this. Besides the important material dating to the original use of the tomb, the 25th Dynasty, there is plenty of ceramics from later phases attesting to the re-use of the structure from the 26th Dynasty up to Coptic, Islamic and even modern times.

A large amount of the pottery from both TT 391 and TT 223 is datable to the 30th Dynasty and the Ptolemaic Period – and thus of much interest for my study of TT 414, the tomb of Ankh-Hor.

Nicely comparable pottery corpora from the re-use of Theban temple tombs: TT 414 to the left, TT 223 to the right.

The ceramics from South Asasif I am going to be working on in the next weeks provide perfect parallels for our material from the burial monument of Ankh-Hor in northern Asasif and illustrate the heyday of re-using monumental Theban Late Period tombs during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.