South Asasif September 2020 Updates

The South Asasif Conservation Project is finishing the first month of its 2020 season.

1. We are very grateful to H.E. Minister Khaled El Enany and General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziry for their support of the work of the mission.

2. Our conservation team continues its work in the First Pillared Hall in the tomb of Karakhamun (TT 223).  Reconstruction of the architectural features of the hall was completed last season. The rebuilt pillars provide surfaces for the reconstruction of the texts of the Ritual of the Hours of the Day (north row of pillars) and Night (South row of pillars). 

3. The epigraphers in charge of the reconstruction of the texts, Erhart Graefe (the Hours of the Day) and Kenneth Griffin (the Hours of the Night), have been working with the team remotely from the start of the season. Current travel regulations in the UK and Germany prevent them from being at the site in person, which they miss profoundly judging by the photographs taken last season.  Kenneth Griffin overcomes this difficulty by making himself available for video chats during the working hours of the site on a daily basis. 

4. Digital reconstructions are being “mapped” on the faces of the pillars. Conservators Abdelrazk Mohamed Ali (team leader), Ali Hassan Ibrahim, Taib Hassan Ibrahim, Hassan Dimerdash, Mohamed Shebib, Mohamed Bedawy, Mohamed Abu Hakem, Said Ali and Taib Said Mohamed carve pockets in new limestone to receive ancient fragments.

The conservators use their skills to find more joins that are approved by the epigraphers and instantly added to the reconstructions.

5. Another conservation task planned for this season is the reconstruction of the entrance to the Pillared Hall in the tomb of Karabasken (TT 391). Despite the damaged state of the doorframe, the architect of the Project Dieter Eigner was able to reconstruct he architectural features of the Tornische. Construction work started this season.

This area is usually the most lavishly decorated part of Twenty-fifth – Twenty-sixth Dynasty tombs. Fragments of intricate raised relief from the front doorframe exhibit the early stages of this tradition in the Kushite tombs of South Asasif.

The rear doorframe was decorated in sunk relief. Recent work with the fragments of the lintel has allowed to identify a number of small, obscure fragments that bring the whole composition of two figures of reclining Anubis and a pair of Wadjet eyes together.

Earlier stages of work on Karabasken’s texts were published by the Project in 2017.

See Molinero Polo, M. “Texts of the Tornische and the Adjacent Walls in the Tomb of Karabasken”, in E. Pischikova (ed.), Tombs of the South Asasif Necropolis: New Discoveries and Research 2012–14. Cairo: America University in Cairo, 2017, 217–240.

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