The 2016 season has started

The necessary paperwork was fulfilled, documents were acquired in the offices of the Ministry of Antiquities on both the eastern and the western bank of Luxor on Wednesday, the 3rd of February. We were warmly greeted by Dr Talaat, the head of the inspectorate of the West Bank, who had been our colleague for many years at TT 32.
Our inspector this year is Mr Saddam. We could then officially open the tomb the next day, where everything was found in order.

We introduced our new colleagues to the site, while our old friends arrived.

After our previous post from last year, following a short technical break, we hope to return with the first account of a similar start, albeit to an already fascinating season.


The 2015 season has started.

The necessary paperwork was fulfilled, documents were acquired in the offices of the Ministry of Antiquities on both the eastern and the western bank of Luxor on Sunday. We were warmly greeted by Dr Talaat, the head of the inspectorate of the West Bank, who had been our colleague for many years at TT 32.
Our inspector this year is Mr Emad, who has already worked with us two years ago. We could then officially open the tomb, where everything was found in order.

Yesterday, the usual tasks of the first day went as follows: our workmen were registered, the area was cleaned and photographed; the work area was prepared; and a plan was discussed for the schedule of the excavations to come.
Today we could start the excavations in two areas: the eastern pylon remains of the Nefermenu tomb was cleared; and the removal of the rubble from the area south of the New Kingdom small chapel was continued.


International Conference - Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest 17th–19th July 2014

Burial and Mortuary Practices in Late Period and Graeco-Roman Egypt

19th July
15:00 Zoltán Imre Fábián: Re-use and modification of a saff-tomb on the south slope of el-Khokha, Thebes
On the el-Khokha hillock, in the central part of the Theban necropoleis, where the most ancient
decorated tombs of the area are known, recent excavations have also pointed out saff-tombs with
pillared façades. In one of these that can be dated to the First Intermediate Period or the early
Middle Kingdom, not only a rich material of the original burial was found but later architectural
modifications could also be identified. More than a millennium later than the saff-tomb was
constructed, new burial places were formed, among others a shaft tomb, and a part of the saff seems
to have served as its superstructure. The intercolumnia of some of the pillars were blocked with mud
brick walls and a new chamber was shaped, probably a cult chamber. After an earthquake, however
this was also used as a burial chamber. These architectural modifications can be regarded as a special
type of secondary burial places. The analysis of the mostly fragmentary and rather mixed material of
the shaft tomb, which contained gilded faience amulets, Grecian amphorae and in situ finds as well,
shows that the shaft tomb was used in several phases both during the Third Intermediate Period and
the Late Period. This can also contribute to a more precise dating of the finds and the better
understanding of the secondary architectural structures.

15:20 Orsolya László: "From Chaos to coherence": Anthropological analysis of commingled human remains from Tomb Saff-1 at El-Khokha Hill in Qurna
Anthropological investigations of the human bone material from the excavation of the Hungarian
Archaeological Mission at the southern slope of el-Khoha Hill was started in 2011 and continued in
2014. The analysis was completed on the comingled anthropological material of presumably
secondary burials found without clear archaeological context but accompanied by scattered TIP and
LP finds in the FIP/early MK Tomb Saff-1. The human remains were sorted using morphological
techniques, including the assessment of the minimum number of individuals (MNI), as well as
standard techniques to estimate age, sex and stature. For the whole material, the estimated MNI was
82. During the excavation, the finds of certain parts in Tomb Saff-1 were separated according to the
characteristically different architectural units. My examination was started following these smaller
areas. The results show whether the separation is relevant in the case of the human remains, or the
material is more mingled than expected, and if it is, in which areas. The overall high ratio of children
(MNI=29) in the material is striking and our results also show that the inner parts of the tomb
contained more sub-adults. As for general pathological observations, there was a high occurrence of
certain pathological alterations, while others were lacking – possibly a characteristic of the
population in this area. One of the most frequent phenomena was endocranial lesions, which could
be found especially among children. It was extremely frequently detected at the axis of the inner part
of Saff-1 (MNI=4) and all the affected individuals were under the age of six. At the same time,
inflammation of the periosteum (periostitis) on long bones was not detected, which might be the
result of diffuse or local infections. Regarding dental problems, dental attrition was the most
common, which appeared to be severe even in young ages. Symptoms of periodental disease can
also be found. With regard to dental problems, the presence of cysta/abscess and the high frequency
of antemortem tooth loss were common.

Detailed programme of the conference on the Museum's page


Visitors and Guests

We had further visits this year:

Zsuzsa Vanek, Hungarian Egyptologist.

Yet again, Horst Jaritz and Company.

Marcel and Monica Maessen, the modern dig house experts, were interested in Zoltán's and Magdi's recollections of Stoppelaëre House from the 1980's.



Nozomu Kawai, Japanese egyptologist from the Tokyo Waseda University's Institute of Egyptology, visited us recently, accompanied by our old friend Mohamed el-Azab Abd el-Megid. Zoltán Fábián led him around our site.

In the forecourt of Qen-Amun (TT 412).

Just before entering the second room of Seny-iqer (TT 185).

At the painted wall of Seny-iqer.


Restoration in progress

This year, one of our old friends, El-Azab Said Yassin is in charge of restoration.

El-Azab Said Yassin strengthening the damaged sections of the double false door
in the broad hall of Nefermenu’s tomb (TT 184).

In the broad hall of TT 184, the fragment of the double false door before…

… and after the consolidation of its upper edges.

Cleaning the upper register of the scenes of the Opening of the Mouth ritual from the mud layer applied in modern times.

Discussing the cleaning methods to be used on the newly excavated stelophore statuette.

El-Azab strengthened the larger cracks and filled in the damaged areas on a scene of Nefermenu that has remained in a generally better state.

The cleaning of the hieroglyphic inscription of Seny-iqer (TT 185).