British Museum blog

Unearthing the cemeteries at Amara West

Michaela Binder, Durham University

Michaela Binder excavating a burial chamber in tomb G305

In wintery, snow-covered Durham preparations for the coming season of work in the cemetery are underway, with only six weeks left until the new season starts. During January and February, we will return to Cemetery C, the post-New Kingdom necropolis first excavated in 2009.

The international team of three archaeologists – including myself and two new team members from the UK and Canada – all specialise in the excavation of graves and human remains.

This is crucial because we are likely to encounter complicated multiple burial situations, and only archaeologists with experience and understanding of human skeletons are able to recover all of the evidence. For example, the way in which individual bones lie when discovered can indicate whether the bodies were disturbed shortly after burial or later, after the soft tissue had disappeared.

A view over excavations at cemetery C in 2009.

During the six weeks in the field we will extend the area investigated in the previous season further to the east and to the north. A magnetometric survey is used as a guide towards promising areas, allowing us to pinpoint exactly the location of graves and tomb shafts.

Cemetery C is particularly important as it dates to a period in history about which relatively little is known, after the pharaonic occupation of the area ceased.

2.	Inspector Shadia Abdu Rabo with pottery from post-New Kingdom tomb

The finds and human remains will help us to find out more about how people lived, and what religious and cultural beliefs they were following.

We already know from the previous season in 2009 that the graves yield a large range of well preserved wooden furniture, pottery and other grave goods such as jewellery and scarabs.

An exciting new season starts in less than 40 days…


If you would like to leave a comment click on the title

Filed under: Amara West, Archaeology, , , ,

One Response - Comments are closed.

  1. [...] In an earlier post, Michaela outlined our aims for work in the post-New Kingdom cemetery. As I’m now in Sudan, it seems appropriate to summarise what we’re aiming to do in the town. [...]

    Like

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,390 other followers

Follow @britishmuseum on Twitter

British Museum on Instagram

Today we’re launching a new set of online resources with the Department of Education – teaching history with 100 objects.

The first objects are online now and you can find out more about it here: teachinghistory100.org The Great Fire of London swept through the city #onthisday in 1666, destroying old St Paul’s Cathedral #history #london #September is named after the #Latin for 7 as it was the seventh month in the #Roman calendar #art #calendar #months #print Louis XIV of France died #onthisday in 1715, after reigning for 72 years #art #history Electric light is one way the Museum has had to modernise over the years. How will the #MuseumOfTheFuture have to change? Book now for the first debate on 11 Sep to have your say! French artist Ingres was born #onthisday in 1780. Here’s his portrait of #Napoleon becoming a god! #history #art #drawing #france
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,390 other followers

%d bloggers like this: