Saqqara

“Bringing the Past to Life: Photographing the Tombs of Ancient Egypt” Paolo Scremin

At the beginning of March Paolo Scremin came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about his work photographing the Old Kingdom nobles tombs at Saqqara, with the Oxford Expedition to Egypt (OEE). He began by telling us a bit about the OEE – the founding members of the expedition are himself and Yvonne Harpur. They are supported academically (although not financially) by Linacre College, Oxford where they have both been given academic posts, this support helps them to get access to the tombs to photograph as it puts the weight of an academic institution behind them rather than merely being two independent researchers. Although the two of them are the core of the project they do employ other staff to help them when needed in the field. There are obviously a lot of research teams and expeditions to Saqqara, each of which has a specific focus (we… Read More »“Bringing the Past to Life: Photographing the Tombs of Ancient Egypt” Paolo Scremin

“The Tomb of Tatia at Saqqara” Vincent Oeters (EEG Meeting Talk)

At the beginning of June Vincent Oeters returned to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about some of his own work at Saqqara on a Ramesside era tomb chapel. This work is part of a long term on-going project which has been excavating south of the Causeway of Unas since 1975. Initially the project was a collaboration between the Museum at Leiden and the Egypt Exploration Society, then after 1998 the EES were no longer involved and the University of Leiden replaced them. Since 2015 the Turin Museum have also been part of the project. Before telling us about the tomb chapel of Tatia, Oeters told us about the overall project. The genesis of the project was in the 1950s when the Museum began to investigate three statues which had been in the collection since 1828. They arrived without provenance, but were believed to be from Saqqara. The… Read More »“The Tomb of Tatia at Saqqara” Vincent Oeters (EEG Meeting Talk)

“Tending to the Dead: Rites, Texts and an Embalming Workshop at Saqqara (Part 2)” Ramadan Hussein (EEG Meeting Talk)

This is the second half of Ramadan Hussein’s talk that he gave to us at the Essex Egyptology Group in February – the first part is here. During this part of the talk Hussein told us about the exciting new discoveries that he & his team have made at Saqqara which have now been announced by the Ministry of Antiquities (see also the Tübingen University announcement). Ramadan Hussein on site at Saqqara in October 2016 Hussein said that they have continued to excavate the area to the south of the three tombs he discussed in the first half of his talk. As a reminder, on top of the main shaft they discovered the remnants of a basic superstructure and then to the south of this was a chapel for offerings. The initial discovery for this further excavation was a small shaft the size of the side shafts of the tombs… Read More »“Tending to the Dead: Rites, Texts and an Embalming Workshop at Saqqara (Part 2)” Ramadan Hussein (EEG Meeting Talk)

“Saite Tombs at Saqqara” Ramadan Hussein (EEG Meeting Talk)

At the beginning of February Ramadan Hussein came to talk to us at the Essex Egyptology Group about the work he is doing at Saqqara. He works for Tübingen University, and is leading a joint German/Egyptian team who are investigating some of the Saite Period (26th Dynasty) tombs at Saqqara. Although best known for the Old Kingdom monuments, Saqqara also has the most Saite Period tombs known anywhere – there are several clustered around the 5th Dynasty Pyramid of Unas, plus another 2 near the opposite corner of the Step Pyramid complex, two more near the 6th Dynasty Pyramid of Teti and yet another at the end of the causeway of Unas. There are also several un-mapped & undocumented tombs to the east of the Step Pyramid complex. Hussein is working on three of the tombs that are near the Pyramid of Unas, which were initially discovered 117 years ago.… Read More »“Saite Tombs at Saqqara” Ramadan Hussein (EEG Meeting Talk)

“Inside the Step Pyramid” Vincent Oeters (EEG Meeting Talk)

At the November meeting of the Essex Egyptology Group Vincent Oeters talked to us about the Step Pyramid of Djoser – in particular the inside of it. He doesn’t himself work on the Step Pyramid, but while he was working (as an archaeologist) nearby he was able to go into it three times (with the permission of and accompanied by an Inspector from the Ministry of Antiquities, as it’s not generally open to tourists). And one of those times he was also allowed to take photos! And it was those photos that formed the core of his talk. He started his talk with a bit of geographical and historical scene setting. We don’t actually know all that much about Djoser – he reigned c.2640 BCE, and the names of his wife and daughter are known and that’s about it. There are two known statues of him – one is in… Read More »“Inside the Step Pyramid” Vincent Oeters (EEG Meeting Talk)