Amara West project blog

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Investigating life in an Egyptian town

Amara West 2014: burial chambers in G244

Excavating Amara West burial chambers

Sofie Schiodt, University of Copenhagen

Sophie and conservator Maickel van Bellegem in G244

Sophie and conservator Maickel van Bellegem in G244

My very first time in Sudan has taught me that things here are always miya miya (“100, 100” meaning “GREAT!”), that you can fit any number of people onto a small boat crowded by excavation gear, and that Nutella can cause a lot of excitement among archaeologists – all valuable life lessons.

I finished my first season at Amara West a few weeks ago, and looking back, I completed excavation of two chambers in tomb G244 of Cemetery C: the far western chamber and the northwestern one. The far western chamber yielded little other than a few disturbed bones.

The northwestern chamber of G244 before excavation

The northwestern chamber of G244 before excavation

However, the northwestern chamber – though also disturbed – revealed many interesting finds, including a copper alloy object, which is quite a puzzle to us! It has a hollow shaft with an upper part shaped like two curved horns – we have speculated that it may have been a scepter of some. We are open to suggestions!

Sofie revealing Copper alloy object F9391

Sofie revealing Copper alloy object F9391

As in the far western chamber, nearly all the bones were lying disarticulated and co-mingled, having been disturbed by ancient looters. Despite the disturbance, the southeastern part of the chamber revealed the top of an anthropoid coffin, with the surviving wood and painted plaster clearly showing the curved outline of the coffin head.

Copper alloy object from G244 (F9391)

Copper alloy object from G244 (F9391)

Between the excitement of excavating in the mornings and processing finds during the afternoon, we fitted in visits to Soleb, Sedeinga, Sai, and explored the island of Ernetta (I learned the island has a thriving goat population). Thursdays were the time for shisha-pipes and cold drinks in Abri. Quite an experience for a first visit to Sudan and Amara West!

Alongside regular updates on the blog, follow the season on Twitter: @NealSpencer_BM and #AmaraWest

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Filed under: Amara West 2014, archaeology, funerary, New Kingdom, objects

One Response

  1. A J Spencer says:

    For the copper object, see Petrie, W,M,F., Tanis 2, Nebesheh and Defenneh, pl. III.

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