Short summary of week 2

Week 2 of work on the finds from TT 414, the tomb of Ankh-Hor in Asasif, was just completed – it has been a very successful week with quite a number of tasks accomplished.

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Drawing of pottery and small finds continued – besides faience vessels, shabtis and amulets from bead nets, Patrizia also made beautiful drawings of some peculiar wooden fragments (of which we are still discussing the precise function). Right now, she is busy with the numerous faience shabtis from the family of Pa-di-Amun-neb-nesut-tawy.

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Mona worked primarily on Ptolemaic pottery from the “Lichthof” of Ankh-Hor – these pieces nicely illustrate the function of this part of TT 414 as offering place. Besides small offering cups and plates, fragments of so-called Hadra ware are notable.

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Photographing various groups of objects was continued by Cajetan – with today, we started focusing on larger coffin fragments. Besides, all pieces already consolidated by Daniel are also documented with photos of our full frame camera. Cleaning and consolidation is progressing were well, focusing both on 26th Dynasty objects like the stela of Her-Aset and qrsw-coffins and on Ptolemaic objects like Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figures and of course various coffin fragments.

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Furthermore, I am very happy that Philippe Martinez studied and photographed during this week the re-used New Kingdom blocks from the foundations of the Ramesses IV temple excavated by Manfred Bietak. Philippe kindly also documented small relief fragments from TT 414 stored in the magazine.

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Re-organising the magazine is also making much progress – I’ve just ordered more wooden boxes for a new storage system according to priorities which will be developed further next week.

We’re now off to a well-deserved weekend, many thanks to all team members and looking much forward to Saturday!

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Conservation work started on objects from TT 414

Thanks to the support of the Austrian Archaeological Institute, the institute’s conservator Daniel Oberndorfer joined us and started his work on the wooden objects from TT 414 today.

Large amounts of coffin fragments and other wooden objects are in urgent need of cleaning and also consolidation – for now, I have made a list of priorities for Daniel according to both significance of the object and its state of preservation. In focus are some 26th Dynasty coffin remains which have not yet been studied in detail, but foremost several Ptolemaic fragments because of their significance for reconstructing genealogies and family trees.

Some pieces are also highly significant of the history of exploration of TT 414: Daniel started working on the small fragment of the Ptolemaic stela of Heraset (Reg. 508). Bietak and Reiser-Haslauer noted already that it belongs to the larger part of stela BM EA 8457 which came via Henry Salt to London (Bietak/Reiser-Haslauer 1982, pl. 155; Budka 2010, 56).

Stele heraset

Like for so many other objects from TT 414, this example illustrates how much information can be gained from a joint puzzle of data deriving from both, material excavated by the Austrian Mission in TT 414 and objects currently kept in European museums originating from non-scientific work in the tomb during the 19th century (see Budka/Mekis 2017). For the identification of further objects in museums and collections as coming originally from TT 414, conservation work of the still unpublished material stored here in the Asasif is of prime importance in order to document all relevant pieces in full detail for future comparison.

References

Bietak/Reiser-Haslauer 1982 = M. Bietak/E. Reiser-Haslauer, Das Grab des Anch-Hor, vol. II, Vienna 1982.

Budka 2010 = J. Budka, Varianz im Regelwerk. Bestattungsabläufe im Monumentalgrab von Anch-Hor, Obersthofmeister der Gottesgemahlin Nitokris (TT 414), Egypt & the Levant 20, 2010, 49-66.

Budka/Mekis 2017 = J. Budka and T. Mekis, The Family of Wah-ib-Re I (TT 414) from Thebes, Egypt & the Levant 27, 219‒240.