Deir el-Bahari: Temple of Hatshepsut
Dates of work: 29 October 2015–17 March 2016
Director: Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafrański, egyptologist (PCMA UW)
Deputy Director: Dr. Mirosław Barwik, egyptologist (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
SCA representatives: Said Mohamed Ahmed Mohmoud, Mohamed el-Azaab, Ahmed Hassan Ismail Mohamed, Asmaa Sayed Ahmed Mahmoud, Abd el Reni Abd el-Hamid el-Haled and Ali Abd el-Galil Ali Ammar
Egyptologists: Dr. Aleksandra Hallmann (Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Dr. Anastasya Stupko-Lubczyńska (Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Dr. Nathalie Beaux-Grimal (Associate Researcher, Ifao/Collège de France), Dr. Franciszek Pawlicki (PCMA UW), Jadwiga Iwaszczuk (Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Filip Taterka (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Katarzyna Kapiec (PhD candidate, Antiquity of Southeastern Europe Research Center, University of Warsaw), Dawid F. Wieczorek (PCMA UW), Dr. Monika Dolińska (National Museum in Warsaw), Janina Wiercińska (National Museum in Warsaw), Dr. Andrzej Ćwiek (Archaeological Museum in Poznań) and Patryk Chudzik (independent).
Architects: Mariusz Caban (Wrocław University of Technology and Science), Sara Arbter (independent)
Conservators: Rajmund Gazda (freelance), Wojciech Myjak (Ministry of Culture), Dr. Maria Lulkiewicz (freelance), Joanna Lis (National Museum in Warsaw), Andrzej Karolczak (freelance)
Engineers: Mieczysław Michiewicz, Anna Caban (both freelance)
Archaeologists: Katarzyna Brzoza and Adam Grylak (freelance)
Photographers: Maciej Jawornicki, Zbigniew Doliński and Krzysztof Pepke (all freelance)
Registrar: Sarah Fortune (student, University of Manchester)
Student-trainees: Adrianna Madej and Anastasya Guliyevskaya (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Rais: Ragab Ahmed Yassin
The mission’s work was concentrated in the Upper Terrace where studies and documentation in preparation for publication went on in the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re (F. Pawlicki), in the South Chamber of Amun-Re (K. Kapiec) and in the Complex of Royal Cult, where collation of plates for the publication of the Complex of the Royal Cults (M. Barwik) was supplemented with publication photos (M. Jawornicki) and a digital reconstruction of the north and west walls of the vestibule of the Chapel of Thutmosis I. The documentation program included also the verification of columns of hieroglyphic texts containing the term “Mansion of Million of Years at Djeser-Djeseru”, describing the Temple of Hatshepsut (Z.E. Szafrański) and epigraphic work was continued in the Southern Middle Portico (so-called Punt Portico) (M. Brachmańska, K. Braulińska, M. Kaczanowicz and F. Taterka). Documentation of relief decoration representing scenes with animals from different parts of the temple was carried out for the purposes of a new research project by Kamila Braulińska.
Trial trench S.2/15 was excavated by the outer face of the Southern Wall of the Chapel of Hatshepsut to check its static condition prior to proceeding with restoration works. A section 9 m long of a buttressing wall of limestone blocks was uncovered; it rested on a levelling layer which served to cushion the weight of the structures above it. Several building dipinti were painted on the blocks. Finds from the fill included pottery and objects of the Eighteenth Dynasty, Late and Coptic periods, but also cigarettes and modern newspapers.
The conservation and restoration project, supervised by Rajmund Gazda, encompassed the placement of 35 original fragments in the West Wall of the Chapel of Hatshepsut on the Upper Terrace as well as cleaning and consolidation of selected registers in the Lower Shrine of Anubis on the Middle Terrace. Further work was done by Wojciech Myjak on the rearrangement and restoration of a colossal figure of Hatshepsut in the form of Osiris, located at the end of the Northern Portico of the Lower Terrace (the head was done in the previous season). The head of the other Colossus from the Southern Portico started to be conserved as well.
The preparation of the “Hatshepsut Temple Block-yard Open-air Museum” progressed with the construction of more benches under four Roman stone sarcophagi and five sarcophagus lids, as well as elements of Coptic stone architecture. Decorated fragments of architecture of the temples of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III are already on display on the other benches.
Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 26/1
Z.E. Szafrański: z.szafranski(at)uw.edu.pl