THREE MIDDLE KINGDOM TOMBS IN THUTMOSE III'S TEMPLE OF MILLIONS OF YEARS
Ancient Egypt|January / February 2021
Myriam Seco Álvarez and Javier Martínez Babón return with more exciting finds from their work at this important archaeological site in Luxor.
Myriam Seco Alvarez and Javier Martinez Babon

The Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III at Luxor is located in the area between Khokha and Assasif. Over twelve years of archaeological fieldwork at this New Kingdom site, we have also discovered a series of tombs that belong to the First Intermediate Period, Middle Kingdom, Third Intermediate Period, and Late Period. In this article, we will discuss three burials dating to the Middle Kingdom – tombs numbered IX, X and XV – whose data complement the information on other tombs published in 2014 and 2015.

Tomb IX

Tomb number IX, located in the upper terrace of the temple (see above), was excavated in 2012. It has a rectangular funerary shaft 1.60 metres wide, 3 metres in length and 4.90 metres deep, with two chambers at the bottom: one oriented towards the northwest and the other towards the southeast. Both have an irregular shape; the eastern chamber measures 3m long by 2. 10m wide and 1. 55m high; the western chamber’s measurements are 2. 10m long by 1. 70m wide and 1. 20m high (see plan opposite, centre right). In the shaft, a series of scattered artefacts were found indicating that the tomb had already been plundered in antiquity. Investigations carried out by Bettina Bader suggest most of the ceramic fragments found in the tomb belong to the Late Middle Kingdom.

After excavating the plundered area, an interesting limestone stela was found at the bottom of the shaft, measuring 19cm high by 13. 8cm wide and 4. 2cm thick (Inv. No. 9467 – see above). The stela, which is almost complete, has several interesting aspects.

The lunette depicts a series of products typical of offering tables, which were placed horizontally with an imperfect symmetry. The three central products show evidence of polychromy with the remains of a red colour. This arrangement is unusual, but there are similarities with regard to the horizontal display of the offerings in the following stelas: Turin 1613, CG 20185, CG 20669, BM 576 Meylan. Under the lunette there is a partially-damaged double inscription:

The inscription has deteriorated, but there is still green colouring preserved in some signs. The inscriptions refer to a double filial relationship between officials whose names are typical of the end of the Twelfth or beginning of the Thirteenth Dynasty (c 1850-1750 BC). Unfortunately, there the lack of rank and titles means it is not possible to assign the members of this family to the Theban social or administrative hierarchy of that time period.

Under this inscription, an engraved relief shows two seated officials, one in front of the other, separated by an offering table. On the top of this table there are three jars (two narrow, one round). Both figures are dressed in a long robes reaching to the ankles; they each wear a wide necklace and both smell a lotus flower. The type of seat corresponds to one similar in stelas such as CG 20572 and Louvre C 173.

Tomb X

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