Thebes in the First Millennium BC Conference. Day 2 report

 

Second day of “Thebes in the First Millennium BC” started at 9:17am. Dr. Mohamed Abd El Aziz (MSA representative) thanked the organisers and all attendants for participation then he introduced the first speaker of the day Dr. Aidan Dodson.
P.S: Due to some technical problems, we are not attaching pictures of the speakers on Day 2.
 
The Coming of the Kushites: Twenty-fifth Dynasty Origins and the Twenty-third/twenty-fifth Dynasty transition in Thebes.
Aidan Dodson (University of Bristol)
Started on 9:20am (Duration 22Minutes)
A reconsideration of the origins of the line that became the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, together with the way in which Thebes fell under Kushite control. Amongst issues to be discussed are the chronology of the ‘ancestral’ cemetery at El-Kurru cemetery and the dating and status of the ‘neo-Ramesside’ kings of Kush.
Between South and North Asasif: the tomb of Harwa (TT 37) as a “transitional monument”.
Silvia Einaudi (Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation, Turin)
Started on 9:50am (Duration 22Minutes)
The tomb of Harwa, Chief Steward of the God’s wife of Amun Amenirdis I, is located in the Asasif necropolis, on the causeway of the temple of Mentuhotep II. This huge tomb, built during the Twenty-fifth Dynasty (around 700-680 B.C.), has some architectural and decorative aspects that show analogies with the early Kushite tombs of the South Asasif, and in particular with that of Karakhamun (TT 223), dated a bit earlier, to the reigns of Shabaqo and Shebitqo. Some of these elements, including some funerary texts carved on the tomb walls, are recurrent also in other later (Twenty-sixth Dynasty) monumental tombs of the Asasif, so that the tomb of Harwa can be considered a “transitional” step between the Kushite and the Saite funerary architecture. It has examined the interesting and intriguing role of the tomb of Harwa in the development of the Late Period Theban necropolis.
The “Funerary Palace” of Padiamenope: Tomb, place of pilgrimage and library. Current research.
Claude Traunecker (Université de Strasbourg)
Started on 10:15am (Duration 36 Minutes)
The tomb of the Chief Lector Priest Padiamenope (TT 33), together with the neighbouring tombs of Montuemhat (TT 34) and Harwa (TT 37), is one of the largest in Egypt. The tomb of Padiamenope has 22 rooms and is distinguished from its neighbours by a very original plan. The tomb has long been known but had been difficult to access having been partially transformed into an antiquities store since 1900. In 2005, the combined action of the SCA, the universities of Strasbourg and Montpellier, and the IFAO was granted permission to access rooms IV to XXII and to further explore the tomb. We are now able to study and understand, in part, the function of this extraordinary monument. It combines the burial of Padiamenope, with a very ingenious system of decoys to hide the mummy, with an original place of pilgrimage for the “following of Montu” as part of the so-called “ceremonies of the decades”. Also in this underground temple, Padiamenope had his own compilation of ancient funerary literature engraved onto the walls for the readers and scholars of the future. Finally, he did not hesitate to reproduce full-scale architectural forms of the Old and New Kingdoms. Unpublished texts found in the tomb have enabled us to better understand this mysterious character, probably as a contemporary of Montuemhat, who was close to the Ethiopian royal family and a specialist of the royal rituals. Many clues lead us to believe that he was actually buried in his tomb and that he played an important role in the development of the Theban royal and funerary rituals. 

The Amduat and the Book of the Gates in the tomb of Padiamenope (TT 33).
Isabelle Régen (Univ. Montpellier III – UMR 5140 CNRS)
Started on 10:53am (Duration 18 Minutes)
At the end of the Nineteenth Century, Johannes Dümichen dedicated three volumes to the tomb of the priest Padiamenope (end of Twenty-fifth Dynasty to beginning of Twenty-sixth Dynasty) although the majority of this monument remains unpublished.
This huge tomb consists of twenty-two rooms and is an anthology of Egyptian funerary literature, documenting, on an inscribed surface of more than 2620 meters squared a great number of funerary corpuses. As a part of the epigraphic mission led by Claude Traunecker from 2006, I studied the Late Copies of the Book of the Amduat and the Book of the Gates. Although much damaged, these versions are characterised by interesting features:
They are the last known complete copies of these two texts (twelve hours). Complete versions of the Book of the Gates are rare. The Amduat notably appears twice in the tomb (rooms XII-XIII; burial-chamber XXII).
Padiamenope’s copies sometimes clarify the oldest and often more corrupted versions of the New Kingdom. This point leads us to consider the history of the text itself.
Lastly, these two compositions are a part of an original decoration program within a peculiar architectural framework. These features offer new interpretation elements to our knowledge of the Amduat and the Book of the Gates.
The reception of the New Kingdom Book of Caverns in the 7th century BCE
(with special reference to TT 33).
Daniel Werning (Humboldt-University Berlin, Excellence Cluster TOPOI)
Started on 11:13am (Duration 13 Minutes)
In the second half of the First millennium BC the Netherworld Book of Caverns (Livre des Quererts) is attested in three tombs (TT 33, TT 34, Roda) and two sarcophagi from the Thirtieth Dynasty. Based on critical analysis of the text and the illustrations, we can make some interesting observations concerning the reception of this New Kingdom Netherworld Book in the Seventh century tomb of Padiamenope (TT 33). Indeed, we can pinpoint some antique philological work comparable to the work of mediaeval and modern philologists. Daniel presented a brief overview of the evident sources for the late copies of the Book of Caverns and the changes made to the text and the illustrations by the philologists of the First millennium BC.
The tomb of Montuemhet (TT  34) – A new approach.
Louise Gestermann & Farouk Gomaà (University of Tübingen, Germany)
Started on 12:07pm (Duration 12 Minutes)
Since April 2012 the Fritz Thyssen Foundation supports a new project in the tomb of Montuemhat that will continue for two years. The focus of this project are the rooms and stairways starting at the central niche for the cult of the god Osiris and leading down to the burial chamber of Montuemhat (R 44-53). The speaker gave some information on the tomb itself and on the aims, the procedures and methods of the project.
The forgotten tomb of Ramose at Sheik ‘Abd el-Qurna: TT 132.
Christian Greco (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden)
Started on 12:20pm (Duration 18 Minutes)
Ramose was a high official of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. His tomb (TT 132) has long been neglected and rarely documented in the Egyptological literature. Though it has received little attention before now, the decorated vault of the tomb of Ramose is of great importance because it contains a version of the Book of the Day and of the Book of the Night, both well known in the Ramesside edition (KV 9 and KV 6). In TT 132 both the Book of the Day and the Book of the Night seem to be in enigmatic writing. The texts of the Hours and of the Gates do not follow the canonical order and they present many interpretative difficulties. The words are not disposed in a logical order within a sentence, and fragments of text belonging to different hours are mixed together. The cryptic orthography of a word does not always correspond to that of the word in regular text. The determinatives are uncommon and the normal reading order of signs might be altered, creating perturbations. An explanation of these transpositions can be found in retrograde writing as the reading direction of a text copied in retrograde writing is opposite to the usual one. It is thus plausible to suppose that an artist decorating the tomb, having to copy a text written in retrograde writing and ignoring this writing system might have copied à l’envers, i.e., starting from the end. This system could work perfectly when the artist kept the same number of columns when transferring the text to the wall, as on the papyrus from which he was copying. However, when the disposition of the text varied, the artist, who probably ignored the text and started copying from the end, altered the order of the columns, creating a text that needs serious emendations to be interpreted.
Kushite and Saite Period Burials on el-Khokha.
Gabor Schreiber (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungarian Archaeological Mission, South Khokha Project)
Started on 12:39pm (Duration 18 Minutes)
The southern slope of el-Khokha, where various Hungarian missions have been conducting excavations since 1983, seems to have been a periphery of the vast Asasif necropolis during the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Dynasties, with rather modest, typically intrusive, burials constructed for a middle-ranking stratum of contemporary Theban society. Although the burials on el-Khokha reveal few of the novelties appearing in contemporary elite burial equipment, Kushite and/or Saite interments occur with remarkable frequency in all the re-used tombs located in this area.
The speaker gave an overview of the evidence available from TT 32, 59, 61, 184, and 400, with special emphasis on the composition of the burial equipment and the typology of tomb types as well as their socio-economic implications.
The so-called ‘Lichthof’ once more. On the transmission of concepts between Tomb and Temple.
Filip Coppens (Charles University, Prague)
Started on 12:58pm (Duration 27 Minutes)
A large court open to the light of day – the so-called ‘Lichthof’ – is one of the most typical and recurring features in the monumental temple tombs that were built in the Asasif in the course of the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Sixth Dynasty. Previous studies revealed that the ‘Lichthof’ forms an important/ maybe final stage in an architectural development that dates back to the New Kingdom and combines elements from Theban tombs (Middle and New Kingdom) and temples (New Kingdom). The function and concepts expressed in the layout and decorative scheme of the ‘Lichthof’, such as the setting for offerings in the funerary cult or the fusion of solar and Osirid motives (focusing on regeneration/renewal), are still encountered in similar light-well chambers in temples of the Thirtieth Dynasty and Ptolemaic and Roman times.
The occurrence of courts, open to the light of day, in both the temple and the funerary architecture from the first millennium BC is illustrative of a general development that took place at this time and fused aspects of the solar cult with funerary aspects and ideas. On the basis of similarities in the function and concepts between these light-well chambers and courts, the speaker focused on the interconnections between tombs and temples in first millennium BC Egypt.
Some observations about the representation of the neck-sash in Twenty-sixth Dynasty Thebes.
Aleksandra Hallmann (PhD-candidate, Warsaw University)
Started on 2:37pm (Duration 17 Minutes)
Among the different kinds of Egyptian garments are sashes which are represented in several different ways. The most common are those which run diagonally from the shoulder, across the chest to the hip. This kind of sash is present from the Old Kingdom onwards. There is, however, another kind of sash, which appeared during the Twenty-sixth Dynasty in Thebes, and whose origin has not yet been explained in a satisfactory way. This sash hangs around the neck and its ends are arranged unevenly, falling freely down the chest. In most depictions it appears as a vestment of some of the high-stewards of the Divine Adoratrices, who are all represented in the same kind of scene when following the Gods Wife of Amun. The association of the neck-sash with the high-stewards is not unproblematic, however, since there are examples of other officials who wore it. During the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, the sash is found exclusively in the Theban region, both in the temple and funerary context, and does not become more popular until the Ptolemaic Period, when it starts to appear in places other than Thebes.
Representations of funeral rituals in Late Period tombs at Asasif.
Pål Steiner (PhD-candidate, University of Bergen, Norway)
Started on 2:57pm (Duration 28 Minutes)
As part of the archaising renaissance of tomb decoration during the Late Period, scene tableaux representing funeral rituals were reintroduced into tomb programs. Pål described and compared the different representations, and discussed how innovations and borrowings are mediated in the various cases. The talk clarifies which scenes and elements were used, and determine how these were spatially arranged as compositions. In order to identify possible origins of borrowed components, the overall structure of the compositions and individual elements will be compared to New Kingdom parallels.
            The second part of the lecture discussed the function of the tableaux as tomb decoration, asked what the scenes communicate to visitors, and how did they relate to the overall tomb function during the Late Period, as compared to earlier and later examples. How did funeral scenes interact with adjacent themes in wall decoration, with architecture and the ritual infrastructure of the tombs? Pål tried in attempt to understand the reintroduction of funeral rituals in the context of developing religious ideas and hopes for the afterlife as propagated through tombs.
The inner coffin of Tameramon, a unique masterpiece of Kushite iconography from Thebes. A work in progress.
Simone Musso (Accademia dei Concordi, Rovigo) & Simone Petacchi (University Charles de Gaulle, Lille III & Accademia dei Concordi, Rovigo)
It is a joint paper and it was presented by Simone Petacchi
Started on 4:12pm (Duration 16 Minutes)
The wooden coffin of Tameramon, a chantress of the inner domain of Amun, in the Theban region is one of a dozen of Pharaonic artifacts collected by the Italian painter and sculptor L. Pogliaghi in his villa-museum in Sacro Monte di Varese located in the hinterland of Milan.
While the acquisition is unknown at present (an antiquarian provenance has yet to be proven), it is submitted that following John Taylor’s classification of Third Intermediate Period coffins, Tameramon’s inner coffin comes from Thebes and dates back to the late Twenty-fifth Dynasty. An incredible innovation in iconography is represented by the high lateral registers, under the deployed wings of a central ram-headed Amun. It consists of a personal rendering of the four sons of Horus, painted female in appearance. Imsety is portrayed as Tameramon, with a long red garment with a lateral strap displaying a nude breast, and oil cone placed on the head. Appearing in the same way is Hapi, following Imsety in the right register, Qebehsenuef and Duamutef in the left register. Examining possible iconographical parallels as an attempt to extract further information about the medium and external coffin of the late chantress Tameramon.
Sokar-Osiris and the Goddesses: Some Twenty-fifth-Twenty-sixth Dynasty Coffins from the Theban Necropolis.
Cynthia May Sheikholeslami (American University in Cairo)
Started on 4:28pm (Duration 44 Minutes)
A number of boxes of outer anthropoid coffins discovered at various sites in the Theban necropolis have a distinctive and almost identical interior decoration, consisting of an image of mummiform Sokar-Osiris on a standard enclosed by a serpent biting its tail on the floor with images of Isis and Nephthys flanking it on the side walls, and usually a decoration of rosettes in lozenges on the edge of the box.  The was a discussion on the iconography as well as the decoration of other parts of these coffins, and possible connections among the owners of these coffins as well as possible links among their find spots to attempt a more precise dating within the Twenty-fifth or Twenty-sixth Dynasties.  The group includes coffins discovered by Schiaparelli in a cache in the tomb of Khaemwase in the Valley of the Queens (QV 44), coffins from the so-called “Prince of Wales” group, and a coffin from the tomb of Ankh-hor (TT 414). The speaker also considered the questions of workshop traditions and the origins and composition of the cache in QV 44, as well as the find-spot of the “Prince of Wales” group.
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