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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Luxor News - Jane Akshar: Mummification Museum Lecture TT110 Field School – JJ Shirley

Mummification Museum Lecture TT110 Field School – JJ Shirley

Mummification Museum Lecture TT110 Field School – JJ Shirley

You have no idea how good, good, good it is to write these words. I really hope more are organised.

I only heard about it 6pm the night before Barry Budd rang me and although I blogged it and shared it everywhere I was not expecting much of a turn out. Boy was I surprised. Look at the photos, it was heaving. I think it shows how much these lectures are wanted.

First things, the field school have a website Theban Tomb 110 Epigraphy & Research Field School: Home and you can get much more information there. Dr JJ Shirley gave the lecture and there is lots of stuff about her online.

TT110 is the tomb of Djheuty who was an official under both Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III. He is unique in having depictions and cartouches of BOTH pharaohs in his tomb and having served in a high capacity for both rulers. Other officials of this period normally choose either one or the other.

Therefore his tomb gives us important information about the dynamics of the period. ARCE have been running field schools at the tomb for some time first in excavation and conservation and now in epigraphy and research. Djheuty's tomb was originally publish by Norman de Gare Davies with photos by Harry Burton. It is a T-shaped tomb with a pillared hall. It was originally entered from the back through the tomb of Amenemose so early publications do not detail the entrance. It used the same courtyard as Rebiu and Samut.

When ARCE first started at the tomb the walls were extremely black due to soot but once cleaned a wealth of information was seen. The cartouches of both Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III were there together with images of both kings with Djheuty making offerings. The image of Hatshepsut had been erased. Tuthmosis is shown on the left in the transverse hall and Hat on the right.  It is extremely unusual to have both in a tomb but these are the original cartouches so it was planned that way. Djheuty was a Royal Butler (under Hatshepsut) and Royal Herald (under Tuthmosis III) and Offerer of Amun for both of them.

ARCE spent 4 years doing the excavation and conservation and have also excavated other tombs that share the same courtyard where objects were found. The new field school is training Egyptian inspectors in epigraphy and preparing a tomb report. There is a lot to epigraphy, many lectures in the classroom, learning to draw and the students get a tool kit provided. The drawings being produced are of publication quality. Students are also assigned a tomb for independent study. They have to learn drawing of objects and pottery. When you look at the website the logo is student work and used on t-shirts.

They also do walking tours were they get to understand the relation of tombs and their locations. Chicago House library also forms part of the school and they are taught to use the library, how to get the best out of books not in their own language, comparing old drawings and publications like Porter and Moss. Using different methodologies digital, scanning, drawing on film.

One of the subjects is damage, the damage in this tomb can tell a lot. Were the erasures during; the lifetime of the owner, during the proscription of Hatshepsut and during the Amarna period. Understanding all these tells the Egyptologist a lot.

They also undertake field trips to Gebel Silsila and Hierakonpolis and can see things they find. For example the drawings revealed large tambourines and on a field trip they saw the same instrument at Hierakonpolis. The recarving of the Tuthmosis III cartouche over the Hatshepsut cartouche, where you can still see traces of the original at Gebel Silsila so they can compare to the cartouches in their own tomb and assess if it is original or recarved. JJ recalled on the bus back from one of these trips how the students were so excited and discussing things Arabic.

They have been able to shed light on the career of Djheuty and their drawings are revealing. She encourages other missions to start using these motivated and skilled inspectors.


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