Deir el-Bahari: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt), 2014

Deir el-Bahari: Temple of Hatshepsut

Dates of work: 7 November 2013–4 April 2014

Director: Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafrański, egyptologist (Research Center in Cairo, PCMA UW)
SCA representatives: Elazab Rageb Ahmed Abd Rabu, Asmaa Sayed Ahmed Mahmoud, Saudi Salah Said Hussein, Rasha Ahmed el-Ameen Ahmed
Egyptologists: Dr. Franciszek Pawlicki (PCMA UW), Dr. Anastazja Stupko-Lubczyńska, Jadwiga Iwaszczuk, Dawid F. Wieczorek and Dr. Teodozja Rzeuska (all four Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Prof. Salima Ikram and Cynthia May-Sheikholeslami (both American University in Cairo), Dr. Nathalie Beaux-Grimal (Ifao), Marta Sankiewicz (PhD candidate, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Aleksandra Hallmann (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Agnieszka Niemirka (Ministry of Culture), Kamila Braulińska and Katarzyna Kapiec (both PhD candidates, Center for Research on the Antiquity of Southeastern Europe, University of Warsaw), Agata Smilgin (independent)
Architects: Mariusz Caban, Marta Grzegorek (both Wrocław University of Technology)
Conservators: Magdalena Szewczyk (independent), Izabela Uchman (Japanese Mission in Giza)
Engineers: Mieczysław Michiewicz (independent), Mariusz Dybich (PCMA UW)
Restorers: Magdalena Abramowska (freelance), Amr Abd-Alfattah (Supreme Council of Antiquities, Cairo), Iwona Ciszewska-Woźniak (freelance),
Registrars: Sarah Fortune (student, University of Manchester), Beata Dziedzic (Poland, volunteer)

(Joint description of seasons 2013/2014 and 2014/2015)

The Royal Cult Complex continued to be the chief object of restoration and documentation work in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, including the collation of plates for publication. Several fragments were attributed to the walls of the Chapel of Tuthmosis I, as well as to the western tympanum and the religious texts inscribed on the south and north walls of the Chapel of Hatshepsut. The architectural layout of the niche located above the entrance to the Chapel of Hatshepsut was studied to prepare for a digital reconstruction of its decoration. The northern part of the west wall of the Chapel of Hatshepsut was restored.

The decoration of the walls in the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re, Southern Middle Portico (Punt Portico) and the Southern Chamber of Amun continued to be documented, as was the documentation of fragments of the Tuthmosis I temple, stored in MMA 828 tomb/magazine. In the Upper (Festival) Courtyard, excavations of the foundation of the Ptolemaic Portico (S.1/14) resulted in its study and documentation.

Above the Vestibule of the Hathor Shrine an artificial roof was constructed, covering the ceiling slabs and a special iron construction which protects and stabilizes the building. Behind the Vestibule, the upper part of the Hathor Retaining Wall was restored with 104 ancient limestone blocks. Architectural documentation of rock-cut Tomb II (dated to the Twenty-fifth/Twenty-sixth Dynasty), located to the west of the temple of Tuthmosis III, was completed after the tomb had been excavated and cleared.

The first sandstone sphinx of Hatshepsut was reconstructed and placed in position, to the north of the processional path in the Lower Courtyard. Additional fragments of a colossal sculpture of Hatshepsut in the form of Osiris were restored in place in the so-called Northern Colossus, restored by the Metropolitan Museum Mission almost a century ago.

Digital inventory and documentation of objects discovered in the temple excavation was continued. These were mostly remains of grave goods (coffins, cartonnages, textiles, canopic jars, faience bowls, shabti figurines, etc.) discovered in the tombs of the Third Intermediate Period cemetery in the Third Terrace of the temple. Documentation of four Roman limestone sarcophagi and five lids was completed for publication, as was also the documentation of coffins and cartonnages, as well as the results of X-ray examination of mummies from the so-called Tomb of Montu Priests (Tomb XVIII, Twenty-fifth Dynasty), discovered in 1930 in the temple.

[Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 25]

Z.E. Szafrański: