Monthly Archives: August 2014

Blog Post 8: Reconstructing Karakhamun

One of the largest conservation tasks of the season is reconstructing the west wall of the Second Pillared Hall in the tomb of Karakhamun. The worst preserved wall in the hall, it consisted of only one section of stone with the lower part of a standing figure and a column of an offering list.

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When the outlines of the decoration of the whole wall were lined up on the floor our conservation team began rebuilding the wall itself. Two blocks of new limestone were placed on the sides of the original block in situ . A few steel rods placed above the original stone secured its safety.

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The weight of the upper blocks rested on the steel platform and allowed the conservators to build the wall up to ceiling level.

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The lintel above the entrance to the side room was the next challenge. Another set of steel rods created supports for the collection of joined stones that had once formed the lintel and its offering scene.

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The height of the lintel was determined by the ceiling level. Its horizontal position was more difficult to calculate and cost some sleepless nights to our artist Katherine Blakeney.

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With the badly-preserved standing figure appearing partially on the remnants of the wall and partially on the lintel, it was difficult to calculate its proportions and even imagine the exact position of the arms. In times of despair re-enactment may really help.

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After placing the finishing touches on the lintel the team moved to the rest of the west wall.

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Following the instructions of Miguel Molinero Polo, who reconstructed the overall composition of the north wall on the floor, the conservators and our artist marked the newly built wall and moved on to the task of placing the seated figure of Karakhamun on the western part of the wall.

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Ali Hassan and Katherine Blakeney are using the ancient grid system to recreate the figure, which was preserved only fragmentarily. Their hard work will pay off when they are able to place fragments of such beautiful carving and monumental quality as the one below, with the torso of the figure. The work continues!

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