British Museum blog

Amara West 2012: tumuli among the pyramid-tombs

Michaela Binder, Durham University

Here at Amara West, Milena Grzybowska and a team of workmen are still working to remove the windblown sand that fills the shaft at the centre of the brick chapel found earlier this week. They have now reached a depth of 1.8 metres below the surface and have further to go, though entrances to burial chambers on the east and west side of the shaft are already visible.

Removing sand from the chapel of G309

Removing sand from the chapel of G309

Elsewhere in the cemetery, Ashild and Mohammed continue excavating tumulus G308. Even though the grave was disturbed, the skull and parts of the legs were still in situ. These remnants indicate that the adult individual was buried in a contracted body position, a characteristic feature of Nubian burials – consistent with the tumulus superstructure.

This is the first grave of this type excavated in Cemetery D, and the Nubian-style pottery suggests a dating late in the New Kingdom shortly afterwards. Interestingly, the grave is located just metres from the typically pharaonic pyramid tombs.

Tumulus G311

Tumulus G311

A different tumulus (G311) was excavated by Laurel Engbring. Its superstructure, about five metres in diameter, is made up of schist gravel. On the edge of the small burial pit, she discovered the remains of a neonate (a newborn child). The discovery of an infant is unusual, as very few infants and children have been found in the cemeteries at Amara West. This is typical of pharaonic burial grounds, as small children were often buried inside housing areas, or in separate cemeteries.

Yet again, we seem to be seeing both Egyptian and Nubian funerary traditions in this cemetery.

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

Filed under: Amara West, Archaeology, , , ,

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

Join 8,269 other followers

Follow @britishmuseum on Twitter

British Museum on Instagram

James Cook set sail #onthisday in 1768 from Plymouth in England on his first expedition. The voyage lasted almost 3 years #history #Endeavour Born #onthisday in 1819: Prince Albert, the Prince Consort. As well as being a prince, he designed this brooch – each of the train-bearers at his wedding to Queen Victoria was presented with one! #art #jewellery #jewelry #prince #royal #victorian #turquoise #rubies #pearls #diamond #history #victoriana The St Bartholomew’s Day massacre of Huguenots took place #onthisday in France in 1572 #history Louis XVI was born #onthisday in 1754. He met a gruesome fate – executed by guillotine in 1793. Here he says farewell to his family. #art #france #history The English Civil War began #onthisday in 1642. Here’s Charles I and Cromwell in Room 46 #cavaliers #roundheads #history @britishmuseum: Artist Aubrey Beardsley was born #onthisday in 1872. Here's a self-portrait #art #drawing #history
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,269 other followers

%d bloggers like this: