Sheikh Abd El-Gurna: The pharaonic project (Egypt), 2016

Sheikh Abd El-Gurna: The pharaonic project


Dates of work: 15 February–10 March 2016



Director: Tomasz Górecki, archaeologist (National Museum in Warsaw)
Deputy director: (2015) Dr. Andrzej Ćwiek, egyptologist (Archaeological Museum in Poznań; Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań)
SCA representative: Amr Abu el-Magd el-Nubi
Archaeologist: Marta Kaczanowicz (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań), Marcin Romaniuk (independent)
Architect: Elżbieta Kowalik (independent)
Conservator: Arkadiusz Ostasz (independent)
Photographer: Piotr Witkowski (independent)
Photographer: Maciej Jawornicki (freelance; 2015)


The Pharaonic section of the Sheikh Abd el-Gurna Project concentrated on the continued exploration of the subterranean parts of the tomb MMA 1152. The sloping passage opening off the bottom of the burial shaft turned out to be unfinished and with no burial chamber it is unlikely that the tomb was used in the Middle Kingdom period. However, a beaker from the Eleventh/ Twelfth Dynasty may be proof of funerary activities during this time. In later ages, the tomb was used repeatedly, as attested by a rich burial from the Third Intermediate Period found at the end of the passage. The remains included fragments of a gilded cartonnage, a lapis-lazuli frame for the eye and pieces of a necklace of lapis lazuli and Egyptian blue, as well as faience beads from a mummy net, amulets and numerous ceramic ushebti. Other finds represented also the later periods in the history of the tomb, including a lamp from the Islamic period, which could date the episode of plundering in modern times. A survey of the area, including tombs on the western and southern slopes of Sheikh Abd el-Gurna, contributed data to a study of the location and role of tombs MMA 1151 and 1152 in the planning of the royal tomb complex in the Third Valley.


Acknowledgments: The Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań authorities and of Natalia Mielniczek and sponsors from the crowdfunding website


Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 26/1