Excavation of the open court of the Mayor of Thebes and Fourth Priest of Amun, Karabasken (TT 391) started in 2013. Three years of work in the court yielded a large amount of exciting discoveries. One of the most important ones was the discovery of the lost High Steward of the God’s Wife, Padibastet. Padibastet re-inscribed the entrance doorframe and vestibule of the tomb of Karabasken. In addition his stela was carved on the west wall of the sun court of the tomb. The research of our team member Dr. Erhart Graefe identified this previously unknown High Steward as the grandson of Pabasa A bearer of the same titles and owner of TT 279 in North Asasif. Most of the owners of the beautiful monumental tombs of the North Asasif bore the same title. Yet Padibastet reused a Kushite tomb in a different necropolis. It must be evidence of his very short time in office.
Four beautifully carved images of Padibastet and a collection of his texts at the entrance area and the court of the tomb of Karabasken allow to assume that he was buried in this tomb. We now have two high officials of the 25th and 26th Dynasties sharing the same tomb. Future field research will yield more information on their burials. We are looking forward to an exciting 2016 season!
The announcement of the discovery was recently made by the Ministry of State for Antiquities. Graefe’s paper on Padibastet will appear in the 2nd volume of our AUC series Tombs of the South Asasif Necropolis.
Erhart Graefe is placing a fragment on the doorframe of Padibastet.
MSA conservator Taib Hassan Ibrahim is reconstructing decoration on the south side of the vestibule. The vestibule is not a room but rather a corridor with a short staircase starting in the middle. The architect of the team Dieter Eigner suggested calling it a “staircase vestibule” as an early version of a Kushite vestibule transformed into a room in the tomb of Karakhamun. According to Eigner’s opinion all the architectural features of the entrance to the tomb were carved for Karabasken and later reused by Padibastet.
This season our main conservation efforts are concentrated in the Second Pillared Hall of the tomb of Karakhamun. In July our international team of conservators, artists and researchers started recreating the doorframe on the south wall of the hall. Abdel Razk, Ali Hassen, Tayeb Hassen, Hassan Eldemerdash, Sayed Abo Gad, Anthony Browder and Katherine Blakeney are proudly presenting the first results.
Delivery of steel rods by Darren McKnight allowed us to start one of the main phases of the reconstruction process planned for the season – securing the architrave on top of the pillars of the north aisle.
Beautiful sections of a monumental architrave topped with cavetto cornice were uncovered during the 2009-2010 seasons. Numerous titles of Karakhamun and the cornice still retain their original bright colours.
After numerous preparations and measurements the first fragment was lifted today and placed on top of the second pillar.
Ken Griffin is taking in the long-anticipated moment.
The high central aisle of the court, topped with a monumental cavetto, will create a temple type processional passage to the focal point of the Second Pillared Hall and the whole tomb of Karakahamun – the statue of Osiris.
Time runs very fast and we are already in August. Work in the middle of the summer is very hard but always rewarding. Today after nine hours in Karakhamun in 46 degree heat we still felt lucky to be surrounded with incredible art and people. Here are only two examples:
Offering Bearer from the First Pillared Hall
Last month was very productive. Our team members truly enjoyed field work in the Open Court of the tomb of Karakhamun. They looked slightly disheveled but always happy.
Taylor Woodcock and Luna Zagorac from AUC featuring the latest archaeological fashions at the end of the work day.
Suzanne Arnold and Sharon Davidson spent so many days sifting debris and sorting small finds that we even asked them for the reasons of their happy facial expressions. All we heard in response can be summarized as “the work was gratifying, rewarding, and giving a sense of accomplishment”. Sharon added that in this hot weather she would appreciate some Canada Dry. It is understandable as Sharon came from Toronto. It is Sharon’s fourth year on the Project. This year she has assumed a new role as volunteer coordinator (Thank you!)
Reconstruction work in the tomb of Karakhamun is progressing with incredible speed due to the hard work of the mission members and new power tools donated to the Project by our wonderful sponsors. News from Karkahamun will be featured in Part II of this blog entry.