Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Mummification Museum Lecture - TT16 Panehsy Suzanne Onstine

Suzanne whilst giving an update on the tomb tried to give us some different aspects to the tomb from her previous lectures. You can read up on previous lectures here http://luxor-news.blogspot.com/2012/01/life-cycle-of-theban-tomb.html http://luxor-news.blogspot.com/2009/01/mummfication-museum-lecture-tt16.html she has presented at a lot of places and various papers of hers are on the web. There is also a good background page on the tomb http://home.comcast.net/~hebsed/Onstine.htm she gives a very good lecture so if you ever get a chance to see her I recommend it.

The tomb, located between two alabaster factories at Dra Abu el Naga, is near the road that leads to Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple at Deir el Bahri and the team has been there since 2008. The tomb was only partially published by the French Baud and Droiton in 1932 as not all of the tomb was accessible, Kamp’s later plan was much bigger and they intend to complete that work and publish all the tomb.

The tomb is from Ramses  II, 19th dynasty, of Pa-nehsy and Ta-renut. She was a chantress of Amun and unusually her husband was also a chanter. He was also a priest of Amenhotep of the Forecourt. This makes the tomb very interesting as it has many unique scenes of temple activity and scenes relating to the worship of the deified Amenhotep I. Amenhotep was very old cult and he was almost a saint, the statue was an oracle statue and would give people answers. Panehsy would have been responsibility for interpreting the oracle. The tomb of Ahmose TT19 has an identical picture so we think this was a real statue. Ahmose Nefertari is also present in the scenes.

Phase one is the digital epigraphy of the first two rooms, then eventually the whole tomb. The work is done on a tablet and is an electronic version of the Mylar and tracing technique. She has published a preliminary report The Life of Panehsy, Chanter and Priest in http://www.arce.org/files/resource/wk/1k/rsrc/JARCE_Contents_and_Abstracts_2011.pdf

They are doing the epigraphy first, before conservation, as it is important to record everything before doing any work in case the conservation changes the tomb.

Phase 2 is the cleaning and studying the looted human remains. Suzanne gave a dramatic portrayal of the damage caused by looting to provide a scarab for the art market. As the looters know amulets can be inside the body cavity so they smash the chest in order to root around. So everyone that purchases this kind of art contributes to this kind of destruction. However even the broken bits can tell us something and being able to visual inspect something rather rely on CT scanning of whole bodies reveals unusual things. For example they found a stick up the spine to straighten it; they think it might be connected with making it like a djed pillar. So far the remains have been late period, third intermediate period to roman. They have found one 19th dynasty object and excavation of the burial chamber might reveal more if they are lucky. Rather nice textiles and Cartonage have been found.


There are two representations of both Hathor and Nut, they have no idea why there are two. Hathor is the mistress of the west emerging from the mountain and Nut is the tree goddess pouring cool water to refresh the deceased. The reliefs are very damaged, again by looting. The elements of a Hathor depiction are a clump of papyrus, a crown with double feathers, sistrum, menet necklace and a desert mountain. At the edges of the destroyed relief pieces of these can be seen, the top of the feathers, the corner of the desert and a piece of flower.

For Nut she is shown as a tree goddess with the bottom half of her body hidden in the tree, she is giving nourishment and cool water to the deceased. Suzanne likens her to a potted plant goddess as sometimes she is shown in a white painted pot. The tree is a sycamore which needs a lot of water and sometimes a pond is shown next to the tree.

These scenes have unfortunately been looted and this must have happened after the 50’s as photos from that time show them intact.

The project will be ongoing until all the texts and painted scenes have been documented photographically and through digital epigraphy.

Next week Malkata and three lecturers!

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