July 2022 in South Asasif: Part 1

The first month of the 2022 season was a great success. Each team has achieved incredible results already at the start of the season. 

One of the biggest achievements of the field team is the discovery of dozens of fragments of the decoration from the Pillared Halls of the tomb of Karakhamun.

Marion Brew, Sharon Davidson, Marina Esteve Perez, Reis Mohamed, Inspector Ahmed Hassan and Ahmed Ibrahim celebrating the finding of the fragments.

After 16 years of work of the South Asasif Conservation Project we believed that most of the preserved fragments of Karakhamun’s shattered decoration were recovered and the reconstruction will have a certain amount of gaps.

Most of the fragments originated from the Second Pillared Hall.

The discovery of a cache of Karakhamun’s fragments north of the court of TT 390 is going to close a considerable number of gaps on the false door and other areas in the western section of the hall.   

This is the view of the reconstruction of the Second Pillared Hall at the end of the 2021 season.

View of the false door at the beginning of the season.

This group of fragments shows how seamlessly new fragments merge with the earlier reconstruction.  The fragment in the middle has been part of the false door reconstruction since 2016. Newly found fragments join it directly from top and bottom, considerably enhancing the decoration of the north side of the false door.

Our colleagues and team members Fathy Yassin, Ramadan Ahmed Ali, Ezz El Noby and Abdelghany Abdelrhman reviewing the positiooning of the newly found fragments on the false door by conservator Mohamed Shebib.

Newly found fragments went through emergency conservation at the place of discovery, and later cleaning and consolidation.

Conservators Ali Hassan, Mohamed Abu Hakem and and Mohamed Shebib are consolidating and extracting the fragments.

Conservators Ali Hassan and Abelrzk Mohamed Ali are continuing conservation of the fragments in the tomb of Karakhamun.

Ali Hassan is working on one of the most beautiful fragments found this year – a hand of an offering bearer holding a duck.

The fragments will be reinstated in their original location on the south east pilaster in the First Pillared Hall.

Work continues in the Second Pillared Hall.

Katherine Blakeney is working with Mohamed Shebib on incorporating the newly found fragments of the offering bearers into the reconstruction of the west wall in the Second Pillared Hall.

Our long time team member Kenneth Griffin joined the Project in July remotely. His identification of the texts on the newly found fragments and their original location was so swift and efficient that we felt his phantom presence at the site.

Here is one of the examples of the chain of our communications.

Newly found fragment

Ken’s identification of the fragment as part of his reconstruction of BD 50 on the south-west pilaster (SP 4 east) of the Second Pillared Hall.

Mohamed Shebib adds the fragment to the earlier reconstruction.

Ken is a curator at the Egypt Centre of Swansea University. He joins the Project in person on the 6th of August together with a group of graduates and students of Swansea University. We are happy to welcome Ken back to the site and expect great things from our new team members.

Steven Feurer is continuing his work on the reconstruction of the columns in the open court of TT 390 and research on Kushite column building techniques.

Mohamed Gaber of IFAO  joined us to create a new map of the site

Part 2 will follow shortly.

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