Necropolis in Luxor yields 18th Dynasty tomb, mummies and figurines
An Egyptian archaeological mission led by Dr. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), discovered an 18th Dynasty tomb (1570-1315 BC) in the necropolis of Dra Abu el-Naga, on Luxor's west bank. Hawass said the newly discovered tomb belongs to the supervisor of the hunters Amun-em-Opet, and the tomb dates to shortly before the reign of King Akhenaten (1372-1355 BC).
Hawass added that the entrances to two further undecorated tombs have also been found to the northwest of the burial ground.Seven funerary seals bearing the name of Amenhotep-Ben-Nefer, the shepherd of the cattle of Amun, were found in the courtyard of the first tomb; while seals bearing the name of Eke, the royal messenger and supervisor/ care-taker of the palace were found in the courtyard of the second. Furthermore, fragmented remains of unidentified mummies have also been found, as well as a collection of Ushabti figures made of burned clay and faience.
The area around Dra Abu el-Naga was found to have kept instruments used in the funeral of Queen Hatchepsut’s chief of works in Thebes named Djehuty. Tools were found near Djehuty’s tomb in Dra-Abul Naga of Luxor’s west bank. These instruments used by priests and members of Djehuty’s family during his funeral were accidentally unearthed during a routine cleaning of the tomb’s courtyard. Dra Abu el-Naga also revealed some 42 clay pots and 42 bouquets thrown into the deceased tomb at the end of the funeral rites which have been documented on an ancient wall at Djehuty’s burial chamber, showing the deceased family along with some priests holding clay pots and flowers.
During the clean up of the area in front of the tomb, archaeologists stumbled upon remains of a six-meter-long wall that once made the tomb’s façade.
Later, a moderate wooden sarcophagus was found inside a small pit. It includes bones of an unidentified woman dating back to the New Kingdom era. Earlier studies on the remains reveal that it may even date back to 500 years before the construction of Djehuty’s tomb.
Gallan pointed out that in the vicinity of the sarcophagus, they’ve uncovered two burials filled with a number of 18th dynasty clay pots.
Djehuty served in the reign of Hatchepsut whose temple at Deir el Bahairy receives hordes of tourists, despite a terrorist event that took place in November 1997 (when 66 tourists were gunned down by local armed men). Today however, people still mill to the mortuary temple of Queen Hatchepsut - the first woman to claim the title of pharaoh.
Hatchepsut commissioned her men to build this monument in honor of her father Thot-Mosis I. The magnificence of this 3-story, ochre-colored rock formation dwarfs monuments around the old city of Luxor or Thebes. Little wonder, the epithet 'most splendid of all' best describes the temple, which the infallible Hatchepsut erected in memory of her father king. Columns supporting the structure were molded with shrines of the cow-like goddess bearing sun-disk between her horns, Hathor (goddess of the House of Horus) looking like Hatchepsut herself.