Report on the Archaeological Work of the Australian
Expedition To the North of Tetiís Pyramid at
The Australian expedition of
Excavations continued to the north
of Inumin and it was evident that the upper layer is
formed of sand and debris that originally resulted from earlier excavations in
the near vicinity. This is a common feature in the
In the fill of the above mentioned
shaft, small decorated stone fragments were found that probably formed parts of
architectural elements of the tomb. Unfortunately the scenes and inscriptions
on them are in a bad state of preservation. Some very poor burials from the
The expedition also cleared the upper layer of sand and debris to the north-west of the cemetery and continued the building of the fence, which delineates the cemetery. The upper layer of this section proved to contain the dump of previous excavations, as is the case in the northern section.
In the middle level, approximately eight meters from the rock level in the area, a number of poor burials were found as well as a wooden coffin with three adult mummified bodies and that of a child. All the bodies were blackened and extremely fragile. The coffin is made of good, thick wooden planks and is dated to the Eighteenth Dynasty. Two large storage pots were found outside the sarcophagus and a collection of fine pots of the Cypriot type were found inside. Most of these jars were in good condition and one has an uncommon, elongated shape, as is shown in the accompanying photographs. A reed basket was also discovered inside the coffin containing some cosmetic items, presumably belonging to a woman. Among these are a wooden comb, a kohl jar and other stone jars, which may have originally held cosmetic ingredients. The coffin is totally void of any inscriptions and accordingly we were unable to determine the name and titles of its owners.
In the lower level, a new mud-brick mastaba was discovered with external measurements of 7.20m x 4.30m. It has a corridor-style chapel of 5.95m. x 1.10m. with three niches constructed in the brick work of the west wall. In front of the southern-most niche, an offering basin was fitted to the ground and has an inscription surrounding its border with the following text ďAn offering which Anubis, Lord of the Divine Booth, gives (namely a very good burial in the cemetery) to the possessor of veneration before the great god, the scribe of the gang of sailors of the great boat and the scribe of the palace, IbebĒ. To the west of the above mentioned niches, three burial shafts were discovered probably belonging to the owners of the three niches.
As this cemetery is surrounded by a large and very high accumulation of sand and debris, more than fifteen meters high in certain areas, the expedition is in the process of completing the construction of a protective wall to secure the area and enhance its aesthetic appearance.
Conservation work in this season was focused on the tomb of Remni, which was discovered in 2003. In the past the expedition had reconstructed the missing parts of its walls and put a protective roof above the chapel. In this season, the expedition undertook the work of conserving all the loose plaster as well as cleaning and strengthening the colours of all the scenes and inscriptions.
From our studies, it appears that a number of decorated stone blocks which belong to the tomb of Remni had been discovered and stored in previous years, beginning in 1983. Most of these fragments and blocks were taken from the stores, studied and put together in preparation for returning them to their original position in the tomb in the future. The expedition will continue its examination of this important tomb.
The expedition recorded all the
pottery and stone jars as well as the cosmetic items found in the
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to present my sincere thanks to the Supreme Council of Antiquities for permission to continue my work in this important cemetery and I would like to present special thanks to Prof. Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities; Mr. Sabri Abd-el-Aziz, the Head of the Egyptian Archaeology Sector; Mr. Madgy El-Ghandour, Director General of the Permanent Committee and Expedition Affairs; Mr. Osama El-Shimi, Director General of Archaeology at Saqqara; and Mr. Sabri Farag, Chief Inspector of Saqqara; for all the help they provided in facilitating our work. Special thanks are also due to our accompanying inspectors, Mr. Amir Nabil and Miss Miral Lashin, who spared no effort in assisting us in all aspects of the expeditions work.
This was a report of the Australian
expedition in the
Head of the Australian Expedition, †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Fig. 1 The wife of Remni on the north wall
Fig. 2 Remni and his wife on the west wall
Fig. 3 Fragments belonging to Remniís architrave
Fig. 4 An unusual jar found in an Eighteenth Dynasty burial