Monthly Archives: June 2018

The Third Week of June

Two exquisitely carved faces found their way back on the north-east pilaster in the First Pillared hall this week. They belong to offering bearers from the top register on the western side of the pilaster. Three registers with three offering bearers (Two male and one female) in each comprised the original decoration of the pilaster, found broken into numerous small fragments.

Abderazk Mohamed Ali, Ali Hassan Ibrahim and Katherine Blakeney are transferring the reconstruction drawing of the newly constructed top register of the north-east pilaster. Reconstructions of both eastern pilasters in the First Pillared hall will be finished by the end of June under the supervision of our inspector Mahmud Youssef El Edassy.

Fig. 2

Fig. 2aThe lintel of the Tornische doorframe is almost finished. The next level is a beautifully colored cavetto cornice. A lunette with wadjet eyes carved in bold raised relief will top the entrance structure.

Fig. 3aFig. 3cErhart Graefe is working on the reconstruction of the vignette for the text of the Ritual of the Eighth Hour of the Day. This colorful, beautifully carved vignette will face the central aisle of the First Pillared hall in the tomb of Karakhamun when placed on the third pillar of the north side of the hall.

Fig. 4We welcome Louise Bertini who visited the site on the 20th of June and started working on the animal bones found in the tomb of Karabasken at the beginning of the season.

Fig. 5Mohamed Shebib is very happy about finding this tiny fragment of carving that he identified as the top of the folded cloth clenched in the fist of Karakhamun on the south wall of the Second Pillared hall.


Katherine Piper is back at work on the painted ceiling from the Second Pillared Hall. We hope to reconstruct most of it in a sand box by the end of the season.

Fig. 7Katherine Blakeney is flying high photographing the mud brick superstructure of the tomb of Karabasken.

Fig. 8Mohamed Abu Hakem is getting ready for his first space voyage. We wish him luck but are going to miss him at the site.

Fig. 9Our wonderful excavation team of Lesley O’Conner, Reis Mohamed Ali, Cheryl Hanson, Mustafa Said Jad, Saeed Abdul Rahim, Ahmed Hassan Mawat, Ramadan Mohamed Abdullah and Saeed Hassan Ahmed continue working on the growing superstructure of the tomb of Karabasken despite the heat of the previous week.

Fig. 10

More next week!

First Week of June in South Asasif

Every week in the South Asasif necropolis brings new discoveries and achievements.

One of the most notable discoveries of the week was made by our leading conservator, Abdelrazk Mohamed Ali. He brought back to the team’s attention a small fragment of sunk relief with a well-modeled surface, a thin raised line in the middle and a plain polished surface on the other side of the line.

Fig 1

Many mission members participated in the discussion of this strange fragment without reaching a quorum on “deciphering” the image. Katherine Blakeney saw the modeled area as a knee but Elena Pischikova never shared her view because of the raised line above the proposed knee. It would suggest a kilt with a rim on its hem and that would be unique for the tomb of Karakhamun. This time Abdelrazk didn’t want to hear any arguments. Following his instinct he went directly to the scene of an offering bearer leading a crane on the north-east pilaster of the First Pillared Hall and inserted the fragment into the gap above the back of the crane.

Fig 2 Outlined

It fit perfectly, adding a new feature to one of the most lavishly carved scenes in the tomb. And yes, this particular offering bearer has one of the best-modeled knees in the whole tomb and a rimmed hem on his kilt. This beautiful bird is on the cover of the Tombs of the South Asasif Necropolis vol.2 published by AUC in 2017.

Fig 3

Abdelrazk suggested informing AUC of the new addition to the scene and updating the cover. Sounds like a great idea!


Reconstruction of the Tornische, the vaulted entrance area to the underground part of Karakhamun’s tomb is going remarkably well although we face problems in the most unexpected areas. For example, Hassan Dimerdash , the conservator responsible for the reconstruction of the torus, reed bundle elements, and the rectangular ledges that flank the entrance doorframe realized that the dimensions of the elements on the left and right side of the door are different. To place all the fragments of three-stem reed bundle elements Hassan has to check the size of the stems, depth of carving, shape of the stems, etc. (with help from Abdelrazk Mohamed Ali).

Fig 4

The right side is shaping up well. On the photograph below Hassan is placing an identified rope element.

Fig 5


The north section of the east wall is constructed all the way up to the ceiling. It is ready to receive the fragments of the offering list and conservator Ali Hassan Ibrahim is waiting for the first stones.

Fig 6Fig 7


Erhart Graefe arrived at the site to continue working on the texts of the Rituals of the Hours of the Day. Although photographed on his first day of work, Erhart looks extremely well organized and concentrated on the task at hand. A good start to what will surely be a productive season.

Fig 8


We are happy to welcome AUC student Hayley Goddard. She has just taken her osteology exam at the site. The grueling test was conducted by the prominent expert Afaf Wahba. We are happy to report that Afaf will be joining our team later in the season.

Fig 9


Members of our BD 17 team Annie Haward and Francesca Jones will be leaving the site next week. A lot of progress has been made in sorting the fragments by columns and finding new joins.

Fig 10


Karabasken’s superstructure keeps growing under the watchful eyes of Marion Brew and Lesley O’Connor. With Lesley’s arrival we got our own Indiana Jones at the site (not the hat).

Fig 11 blurry


More soon!