Middle Kingdom tombs of Asasif: archaeological fieldwork
Dates of work: 11 October–21 December 2017
Director: Dr. Patryk Chudzik, egyptologist (PCMA UW)
SCA representative: el-Azab Ragab Ahmed Abd Rabu
Egyptologists: Dr. Aleksandra Hallmann (Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Filip Taterka (PhD candidate, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Université Paris-Sorbonne, Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Physical anthropologist: Roselyn A. Campbell (PhD candidate, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA)
Archaeologist and 3D specialist: Maksym Mackiewicz (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, University of Wroclaw)
Architects: Katarzyna Andraka, Ewelina Russjan (Faculty of Architecture, Wrocław University of Science and Technology)
Photographer: Maciej Jawornicki (freelance)
Documentalists: Dariusz Flajszer (freelance), Katarzyna Molga (Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences)
The recent works in the 2017 season at the North Asasif Necropolis have led to the discovery of Middle Kingdom burial assemblages, as well as funerary equipment dated to the Third Intermediate Period. Besides, the cleaning work conducted in the funerary complex of Meru revealed more materials from late Roman times, proving the existence of the Coptic hermitage inside the tomb. This new archaeological evidence provides important insight into the development of the North Asasif Necropolis during the Pharaonic era and in later periods. The fourth season of archaeological fieldwork at the site focused on seven Middle Kingdom funerary complexes: tomb of Khety (TT 311), MMA 509, MMA 511, MMA 512, MMA 514, MMA 515 and tomb of Meru (TT 240).
Tombs investigated by the Asasif project were originally excavated in the early 20th century by H.E. Winlock. A preliminary inventory of the human remains left behind from Winlock’s excavations of one of these tombs, MMA 514, and its associated funerary complex was conducted this season. Although the human remains are in various stages of preservation and are highly fragmented, it is possible to identify at least nine separate individuals, ranging in age from infancy to adulthood.
On behalf of the Asasif Project team, I would like to thank the authorities of the Ministry of Antiquities, especially Dr. Mostafa Waziri and Dr. Mohamed Ismail Khaled, for their invaluable help and continuous support. I am also much indebted to Mr. Fathy Yaseen and SCA inspectors for their friendly cooperation. I must also thank very warmly the staff of Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology in Warsaw and Cairo for support of the fieldwork in Egypt and Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafrański, director of the Polish–Egyptian Archaeological and Conservation Mission to the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari, under the auspices of which the fieldwork in the Middle Kingdom tombs of Asasif is conducted.
Text: PAM 27/1
Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 27/1
Patryk Chudzik: pchudzik71(at)gmail.com