Deir el-Bahari: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt), 2012

Deir el-Bahari: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt)

Dates of work: 23 October 2011 – 30 April 2012

Director: Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafrański, egyptologist, archaeologist (Research Center in Cairo, PCMA UW)
MSA representatives: Abdel Khani Abdel Rahman, Mahmoud Abdel At, Mohammed El-Azab Mohamed, Asmaa Kamel el-Din Ahmed
Egyptologists: Dr. Olga Białostocka (independent), Kamila Braulińska (bursary, PCMA UW), Aleksandra Hallmann (bursary, PCMA UW), Jadwiga Iwaszczuk (PhD candidate, Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Katarzyna Kapiec (independent), Cynthia May-Sheikholeslami (American University in Cairo), Marta Sankiewicz (PhD candidate, University of Poznań), Dawid Wieczorek (PhD candidate, University of Warsaw)
Archaeologist: aul M. Barford (independent)
Coptologist: Esther Garel (Institut français d’archéologie orientale, Cairo)
Architects: Aleksandra Brzozowska, Dr. Teresa Kaczor-Dziedzic, Assoc. Prof. Jacek Kościuk (all Wrocław University of Technology)
Conservators: Rajmund Gazda, Maria Lulkiewicz, Arkadiusz Ostasz, Andrzej Sośnierz, Krystyna Wadzyńska (all independent), Wojciech Myjak (Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Poland)
Engineers: Mieczysław Michiewicz (freelance), Mariusz Dybich (PCMA UW)
Photographers: Maciej Jawornicki, Wojciech Wojciechowski, Aleksandra Kamińska (all freelance)
Registrars: Sarah Fortune (student, University of Manchester), Piotr Czerkwiński, Agata Smilgin (all three bursaries, PCMA UW)
Student-trainees: Mariusz Caban, Ewelina Owsiana, Paweł Srokowski (all Wrocław University of Technology)

(Joint description of season 2012 and 2013)

Flagship project at the Temple of Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari continued its current work, encompassing on one hand archaeological, egyptological and epigraphic research and on the other, full-scale conservation and restoration based on the results of the research. The Royal Mortuary Cult Complex is the focus of work at present with most of the activities concentrated inside the Chapel of Hatshepsut (among others, installation of a three-layered tempered-glass trapdoor in the opening of the shaft of Tomb VIII (S.7A/82) from the Twenty-third Dynasty, furnished with a ladder down into the tomb and a lighting system). A pilot restoration project concerning the sandstone sphinxes of Hatshepsut was implemented as well, as was the restoration of the Osiride statues in the facade of the Upper (Coronation) Portico. Trenches were excavated to the east of the northern T-shaped pond (S.1/12), to check the ground under the restored sandstone sphinxes of Hatshepsut. Among others, Tomb II in the rock-cliff face behind the Temple of Tuthmosis III was re-explored, yielding remnants of grave goods (inscribed shrouds, pottery and coffins) which placed the origins of the tomb in the early Twenty-sixth Dynasty. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys were carried out in the three temple terraces.

Documentation proceeded in the Royal Mortuary Cult Complex as well as in the Bark Hall of the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re, where verification of earlier drawings was the main focus. Graffiti and building dipinti were documented and studied. Outside the Temple of Hatshepsut, a study of representations of private costume in Egyptian art from the Twenty-fifth to the Thirty-first Dynasty in the tombs of Asasif was carried out in TT Nos 27, 33, 34, 36, 196, 279, 312 and 414. Graffiti in tombs on the northern slopes of Asasif (TT Nos 240, 281, 308, 310, 311, 313, 314, 315, 316, 353, 358; and tombs MMA Nos 504 (Carter # 82), 506, 507, 511, 512, 514, 515; Tomb MMA 504 was closed with an iron gate) were documented and studied. More than 800 block fragments from the Temple of Tuthmosis I (Khnenemet-ankh), identified in the tomb-storeroom (MMA 828), located behind the Mission’s dig-house, were documented in preparation for a theoretical reconstruction project.

[Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 24/1]

Z. E. Szafrański: