A Middle Kingdom funerary garden in Thebes

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September 20, 2020 at 3:00 PM ET/ 9:00 PM EET

José M. Galán 

“A Middle Kingdom funerary garden in Thebes”

A Spanish archaeological mission began working in Dra Abu el-Naga (West Bank, Luxor) in January 2002, in and around the early Eighteenth Dynasty tomb-chapels of Djehuty and Hery (TT 11 and TT 12). Excavations since 2011 have focused on the south-west of the open courtyard of TT 11, an area that was occupied by a modern village until 2006. A number of mud-brick chapels and funerary shafts dating to the Seventeenth Dynasty have been unearthed in this area, along with some Eleventh/early Twelfth Dynasty rock-cut tombs. A small square foot garden was discovered at the entrance to one of the large rock-cut tombs. The structure and its grid layout was made from sun-dried silt. The fertile dark soil that filled the squares still preserved the seeds that grew in them almost 4,000 years ago, in remarkably good condition. The garden was relatively small, at 3.0 × 2.2 m, and so was probably conceived as a model/miniature garden, with a symbolic and ritual character. Analyses of the botanical remains, the conservation of the structure and the production and installation of a replica has been carried out thanks to an EEF–ARCE grant and in collaboration with the SCA. 

About: José Galán:

José Manuel Galán is Research Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near Eastern and Mediterranean Languages and Cultures at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC, Madrid). He received his PhD in Egyptology from John Hopkins University (Baltimore) under the direction of Hans Goedicke. He is the director of the Djehuty Project and the archaeological mission of the CSIC at Dra Abu el-Naga. He has published several monographs: En busca de Djehuty (Madrid 2006); Four Journeys in Ancient Egyptian Literature (Göttingen 2005); El imperio egipcio (Barcelona 2002); and Victory and Border (Hildesheim 1995); and is the author of numerous articles on peer-reviewed journals, magazines, and contributions to books. 

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