Deir el-Bahari: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt), 2011

Deir el-Bahari: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt)

Dates of work: 19 October 2010–10 April 2011

Director: Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafrański (PCMA UW)
SCA representatives: Abdel Rahman and Mohammed El-Azab
Egyptologists: Dr. Olga Białostocka (independent), Aleksandra Hallmann (PCMA scholarship-holder), Jadwiga Iwaszczuk (PhD candidate, Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Marta Sankiewicz (PhD candidate, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań), Cynthia May-Sheikhalislami (American University in Cairo), Dawid Wieczorek (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Archaeologist: Paul M. Barford (independent)
Architects: Aleksandra Brzozowska, Mariusz Caban, Dr. Teresa Kaczor-Dziedzic, Ewelina Owsiana, Paweł Srokowski (all Wrocław University of Technology)
Conservators: Rajmund Gazda, Maria Lulkiewicz, Arkadiusz Ostasz, Andrzej Sośnierz, Krystyna Wadzyńska (all independent), Wojciech Myjak (Ministry of Culture)
Engineers: Mieczysław Michiewicz (independent), Mariusz Dybich (PCMA UW)
Geo-radar specialists: Jarosław Majewski, Dominik Kaleta (both Institute of Archaeology, University of Wrocław)
Photographers: Maciej Jawornicki, Wojciech Wojciechowski, Aleksandra Kamińska (all independent)
Registrars: : Piotr Czerkwiński, Katarzyna Kapiec, Agata Smilgin (all PCMA scholarship-holders), Sarah Fortune (University of Manchester, student)

Restoration and study of the Royal Mortuary Cult Complex was the chief task of the season in 2010/2011. Cleaning and conservation work was completed on the granite false door in the Chapel of Hatshepsut with its Coptic decoration, as well as on the decoration of Niche A in the vestibule. Conservation of the Osiride statues of the Upper Coronation Portico was continued and work was completed on the Upper Ramp and selected other features. The restoration of two sandstone sphinxes of Hatshepsut started, even as a newly restored sandstone sculpture of Amenhotep I (see earlier report) was mounted in the Chamber of Amun, in preparation for opening the complex to tourists. In the Vestibule of the Hathor Shrine, consolidation of the roof slabs of Niche D proceeded with another three blocks being processed this season. Concurrently, the mission continued with architectural and epighraphic documentation of the temple walls in the Obelisk Portico in the Lower Terrace, North Retaining Wall of the Middle Courtyard, the Upper Terrace above the Lower Shrine of Anubis and in the Room with a Window. A 3D Leica-scanner was used to produce a photo-mosaic of the ceiling and wall decoration of the Royal Mortuary complex. Building dipinti in the precincts of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III were documented as well. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys were carried out on the three temple terraces.

Limited excavations took place on the Middle Terrace along the foundation of the North Retaining Wall; on the Lower Terrace along the eastern edges of two T-shaped pools with gardens, and north of the avenue leading to the temple where the restored Hatshepsut sphinxes will be erected; by the Hathor Ramp Gate, where remains of a gate construction and a Third Intermediate Period tomb were unearthed. In the previously excavated area (test pit L.1/08), located between the walls of the Vestibule and the Punt Portico, bedrock was reached almost 6.50 m below the pavement of the Royal Cult Complex.

Other projects included: documentation of over 800 block fragments from the Temple of Tuthmosis I (J. Iwaszczuk); photographic documentation of the inner coffin and canopic chest of Montu Priest Nespekashuty kept in the Luxor Egyptian Museum (C. May-Sheikhalislami); iconographic study of representations of private costume in Egyptian art from the Twenty-fifth to the Thirty-first Dynasty in the Late Period tombs in Asasif (A. Hallmann); registration and preliminary documentation of 693 rediscovered decorated block fragments from the bark station (kiosk?) constructed by Hatshepsut in Asasif.

[Text: PAM]

Z. E. Szafrański: