Search

Donate Here

Please consider supporting our efforts at Hierakonpolis.

Amount: 

One of the projects during the conservation project was to join together fragments of the fallen wall plaster from the tomb of Horemkhawef, and re-attach them to the walls of the tomb.

conserve gillian edited 150

The fragments of wall plaster were collected when the tomb was painstakingly cleared during the 1998 excavation season. The fragments were then cleaned and consolidated so that they would be stable enough to handle and join together. The photographs of the walls as they appeared in 1893 when Somers Clarke originally cleared the tomb show its condition at that time, so for this jigsaw puzzle we at least had the picture on the box to go by. We know from other archival photographs that plaster was already falling off the wall in the 1920 and 1930s. Plaster that was already lost by that time would be unlikely to be among the fragments collected in 1998 as the tomb had been cleared of debris on previous occasions. From photographs taken during the 1985 season, before the tomb was intensively damaged, it was possible to see which areas had fallen down in recent years, and what fragments were most likely to be found. By studying these drawings we completed several groups of figures and sections of inscription. We took these to the tomb to match them to the remaining decoration.

conserv lamia

conserv eric

The expedition’s conservators then reattached many pieces in their original places. In many cases this involved rebuilding the mud plaster backing and other grouting, before positioning the pieces and rigging up some support while the consolidant dried. All of the materials used are reversible, should we have gotten it wrong. Ultimately over 100 fragments were reattached to the wall. One of the great successes was the reattachment of the fragments bearing the figure and name of the artist, Sedjemnetru, to the mutilated remains of the east wall, as well as the feet of Horemkhawef to his commanding figure on the west wall, and a the missing piece to complete (almost) the inscription that runs along the center of the still rather stunning ceiling.

conserv hor18

conserv horemnow

The archival photographs of the important tomb make for rather heartbreaking viewing. Once almost completely preserved, neglect and vandalism have reduced it to a shell. Its restoration may seem like a hopeless case, but the remarkable amount of details we uncovered in the process, ranging from the details of the artists brush to the visitor inscriptions and other overlooked or unphotographed details (like the dog named Khem ‘stupid!), made it worth the effort.  More can and should be done in this tomb and with the support of the Friends of Nekhen we hope to return to it soon.

conserv khem

For more information see: Nekhen News 12. (Another look at the Lower Tombs)

 

Latest News

Origins 6 - Online registration now open

Origins.6 - International conference on Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt
Vienna, 10th-15th September 2017

Online registration is now open.

Follow the link below to register or for more information:

Origins 6 Registration

 


 

Nekhen News 26 now available online

Nekhen News volume 26 is now online.
You can get access to the newsletter from the link here.

 

Please consider making a donation to support the work of the Hierakonpolis expedition and you will receive get the latest edition of the newsletter. Click here for more information.


 

Donating online from the USA?

Please note that we have a new link for US citizens to become Friends of Nekhen online.

Joining the Friends of Nekhen online can be done from the new link https://www.oxfordna.org/donate and select 'Hierakonpolis Expedition' from the drop-down menu under 'I would like my gift to be used for:'.

Further details can be found here.



Become a Friend of Nekhen. You can help make a difference and support the work of the Expedition.