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labelThe Dig Diary 1999--Part 10

Tuesday 28 December

The day started much as usual. We finished off our list of objects to document for publication (not all this year!), and we also got out some of the more special objects we have to decide what to do with them. We took the chance to take some photos as the light was good, and to save getting the objects out again this year. Here are a couple of examples, a jackal from a coffin and a Hathor pillar from an item of furniture or a model shrine.

The big feature of the day was yet to come. We have tried to get permission to enter the magazine for some years now to examine the objects left there in 1994, but only this year did we succeed. So we went down to the Inspectorate for 10:00 to gather together the committee of inspectors necessary for this: Chief Inspector Ibrahim Soleiman, inspector Abdel Nasr and of course our own inspector Abdel-Rahman. We eventually got them all in the same place at the same time and off we went. Because of various problems over the years (not it must be said in Luxor), opening a magazine is something of a big event.

Inside the magazine, most objects are stored in boxes by the mission which found them. We have two boxes, one for the statue we found in 1993, and another from the following year for other objects. It was very important that we take condition photos so that Julie Dawson can check whether anything has deteriorated; we also needed to photograph a number of the objects again and check a few measurements.

Here is a picture inside the second box. It is as we left it, and there are no signs of any insect damage, which is one of the things we are most concerned about.

Below are some of the objects from this box: a Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure, the foot of a coffin, and a falcon from on top of a 25th dynasty box coffin.

The second box holds the statue of Amenhotep and three other objects--two falcons and a sealing. The box with the statue in has now been laid on its back, but the statue is OK. There is also no sign of any other damage. We photograph the statue in its box and also the separate parts of the head which are kept in the first box. It's like seeing an old friend again, as we have not set eyes on him since 1994.

When all is done, the boxes are closed, locked and sealed, and the magazine is shut up likewise. We are delighted that this part of our work for this year has succeeded.

We go back to the tomb for an hour or so. Rather than start something difficult for a short while, we spend the time getting very dirty putting the discarded courtyard shaft pottery into one of the shafts at the back of the tomb. This is hard filthy work, and we are very grateful to Abdel-Rahman for working so hard, especially as he can neither eat and drink because he is fasting for Ramadan.

Wednesday 29 December

Today was spent getting on with the documentation from the list we had built up over the past few days. Helen involved herself with drawing objects, while I traced some pieces and photographed others. The tracing method I use is similar to that used for copying the walls (see Documenting the paintings). Below are a few of the objects photographed today: a head of a later 18th dynasty relief, one of the alabaster jars of Senneferi, and a wooden tag found in the Senneferi burial chamber.

While we were doing this, Abdel-Rahman had gone off to the Inspectorate to get the keys for some tombs we wished to visit. Known as 'comparative study', the idea of this is that we can check various things in our notes against (mainly unpublished) monuments. However, sometimes we also have to visit published tombs to check things which are not clear in the publication. This is always going to happen, never mind how good the publication.

The tombs we had to visit were TT29 (Amenemopet), TT46 (Ramose), TT93 (Qenamun), and TT96A (upper tomb of Sennefer). The first two date to Thutmose III, the others to Amenhotep II. The last was a particular prize, since it has only in the last few years changed its security status from a high-security magazine, containing some of the Tutankhamun tomb boxes, to that of a lower-level one, containing a large number of fragments. The tomb is very damaged by smoke. For us, we needed to check the ceiling texts, as some of them have many similarities to TT99. Of the other tombs, TT29 is still very much filled with debris, showing many interesting indications how a family would take a tomb and make additions so that they could live in it; the front room is also very damaged by smoke. TT46 is very damaged, but has one text like one in TT99. Qenamun's tomb has a number of interesting parallels; it is one of the famous ones in the necropolis, and was published by Davies.





Thursday 30 December

Today was a very normal working day after the excitements of the last two. Helen continued with her drawing of objects, and I began by facsimiling some objects. The wooden finger is perhaps another of the Opening of the Mouth implements buried with Senneferi, possibly the 'finger of electrum' used in one stage of the ritual, while the sherd shows a series of sketches of scenes in the same ritual. We wonder if this might have been included with the objects.

I then moved on to working with the drawings of the walls of the front room of the tomb. I had copied these back in 1997, but did not get round to inking them up until shortly before this season. We bring them to Egypt once again so that they can be checked, and any queries answered or any errors spotted.

To finish off the day, Helen, Abdel-Rahman and I completed putting the pottery discards into the shaft at the back of the tomb. This is one tidying job that we won't have to do on the last day of the season!

All text and images © Nigel Strudwick 1999

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2018