Report Campaign 2023

Spanish Mission at Dra Abu el-Naga (TT 11 – 12)


January 9th– February 23rd


Field Director: Dr. José M. Galán

General Director of Antiquities in Upper Egypt: Fathy Yasin

General Director of Antiquities in the West Bank: Bahaa Abdel Gaber

Manager of all archaeological missions on the West Bank: Ramadan Ahmed Ali

Field Inspector: Mohamed Beebish

Rais: Ali Farouk el-Qiftauy

Team Members:

  1. Abad, Emilio Archaeologist
  2. Alarcón, Sergio Archaeologist, architect
  3. Bader, Bettina Ceramist
  4. Barahona, Zulema Ceramist
  5. Bosh, Francisco Egyptologist, archaeologist
  6. Forcadell, Ignacio Architect
  7. García, María Gudelia Egyptologist, archaeologist
  8. González, María Ceramist
  9. Herrerín, Jesús Physical anthropologist
  10. Huertas, Laura Egyptologist, archaeologist
  11. Ikram, Salima Egyptologist, archaeologist
  12. Ivars, Joan Architect
  13. Navarro, Miguel Ángel Restorer
  14. Noria, Beatriz Egyptologist, archaeologist
  15. Oliveira, Ana Archaeologist
  16. Pérez-Juez, Amalia Archaeologist
  17. Rivera, Asunción Restorer
  18. Rodríguez, María Pía Restorer
  19. Ruiz, Carmen Photographer, epigraphist
  20. Serrano, José Miguel Egyptologist, archaeology
  21. Solchaga, Maria Soledad Egyptologist
  22. Trueba, Javier Photographer
  23. Zarzalejos, Blanca Restorer


The Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo has been extremely helpful in every way, and we are most grateful to Dr. Mustafa Wasiri, vice-Minister of Antiquities, and to Dr. Nashwa Gaber, Secretary of Permanent Committee and Foreign Missions Affairs. In Luxor, as it has happened every year, the authorities responsible of the Supreme Council of Antiquities have been most helpful, in particular Fathy Yasin, General Director of Antiquities in Upper Egypt; Bahaa Abdel Gaber, Director of the Antiquities Department in the West Bank; and Ramadan Ahmed Ali, manager of all missions on the West Bank.

This season, we had Mohamed Beebish as SCA Inspector. He has been most helpful and cooperative, getting involved in the excavation process, as well as in the conservation of the tombs. He has given good advice in many issues concerning site management. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him, and we are, indeed, very grateful to him.

Rais Ali Farouk El-Quiftauy, as in years before, has played an important role in the success of our work. He organizes the workmen perfectly, and has a great sensibility for archaeology, and for the conservation of the objects found and the structures unearthed. It is thanks to his involvement and energy that we have been able to accomplish our goals.

We have employed around 100 workmen. They have all worked very hard and with great care, and we are more than satisfied with their job.

The field season has been sponsored by (1) the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), (2) the Spanish Ministry of Culture, (3) the Spanish Ministry of Research and Innovation, (4) Técnicas Reunidas, a Spanish Engineering company, (4) Palarq Foundation for palaeonthology and archaeology, and (5) Valparaiso Foundation and CH scholarships.



Dra Abu el-Naga is the modern name of the hill that rises on the West Bank at the northern end of the necropolis associated with the ancient city of Thebes, which coincides with modern Luxor. A Spanish mission has been working at the foothill of the central area of Dra Abu el-Naga since January 2002, inside and around the rock-cut tomb-chapels of Djehuty and Hery (TT 11–12).


Sector 11

During the present season we have continued the excavation at the south of the tomb-chapel of Djehuty (TT 11), the so-called “Sector 11.” Work has concentrated in five funerary shafts and their surrounding areas.

Shaft 36

It is located in square 1-Z, and it is orientated northeast-southwest, aligned with the pyramid of King Nubkheperra Intef of the 17th Dynasty. The mouth of the shaft measures 0.86 x 2.50, and the depth is 3.24 m. The lip of the shaft was very damaged and almost completely lost, preserving only the remains of three rows of mud bricks in some areas. A limestone fragment of the painted burial chamber of Djehuty was found at a depth of 1.90 m. The ceramic material ranged from the Middle Kingdom to the New Kingdom. An unshaped small piece of modern baked clay was found, confirming that the shaft had been robbed in modern times.

At a depth of 2.78 m., mud bricks were found piled near the entrance to the chamber and fallen through the bottom of the shaft. They could have been part of a wall erected by thieves when the chamber had been robbed. Beneath them, fragments of linen and skeletal remains were found, which belonged to an adult and an infant. The pottery recovered at the bottom dates between the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period.

The burial chamber was opened at the shaft’s southwest end. At the entrance of the chamber, a second written limestone fragment of the burial chamber of Djehuty was found. A thin and well-cut limestone fragment with a figured decoration was also found here. It shows a left arm grasping the feet of a hoofed animal. The composition is well known from Middle Kingdom ivory wands, where the goddess Taweret is depicted holding a gazelle.

The burial chamber measures 2.80 x 2.02 m, and 1.20 m. in height. At the rear wall of the chamber there is an opening connecting with another shaft, still filled with rubble, whose mouth is visible in square 0-Z. The evidence seems to point out that the chamber originally belonged to this other shaft, and when the stone masons of Shaft 36 opened the chamber at the southwest end they broke into it. The floor of the chamber is 45 cm higher than the bottom of the shaft, but the ceiling is lower than the ‘lintel’ of the entrance, making it clear that shaft and chamber do not match. Moreover, the floor, the ceiling and the four walls of the chamber are well finished, in sharp contrast with the rudeness of the shaft’s walls.

Mud bricks were found through the entire burial chamber very close to the bed rock. Fragments of a black coffin dating to the 13th Dynasty and three wooden planks of a Middle Kingdom coffin were retrieved.

Shaft 37

It is located in squares 98/99-F. The mouth measures 2.32 x 0.85, and follows a north-south orientation. The mud bricks of the lip descend 1.25 m. They have different sizes and do not have any mortar between them. Medium and large size limestones are embedded in the mud brick wall. The northern end is made only of limestones, piled directly on top of the bedrock. The mud brick lip is not the original one and it is clear that it was built later, most likely by robbers, to have an easy and safer access down the shaft.

The shaft is 3.55 m deep. Opposite the burial chamber, at the northern end, there is a niche cut in the bedrock. Its purpose is not clear. When the stone masons were cutting the burial chamber into the bedrock, at the southern end, they irrupted into another earlier tomb, making a hole in the western wall. The layout of the chamber was then deviated to the east. The burial chamber measures 2.70 x 1.45 m, and 1.60 m in height.

Several episodes of robberies can be identified. The first robbers that went down the shaft left at the bottom a large amount of human remains partially wrapped in linen. A feminine terracotta figurine dating to the 17th Dynasty and a white spotted miniature vessel were also found at the bottom. Mud bricks without mortar fall on top of the lower level, probably from the lip of the shaft that these or other thieves built to contain the sand around the shaft’s mouth. Afterwards, the shaft was filled with more bones, linen and small coffin fragments. A new group of thieves partially cleared the shaft and built a small retaining wall with mud bricks and limestones, which facilitated their access to the burial chamber without having to clear the entire shaft. Once inside, they built a second retaining wall between the entrance and the hole in the western wall, and they widened the latter to enter the tomb with which the burial chamber connects. Finally, the shaft and the burial chamber were filled with loose sand and limestone chips.

Shaft 38

It is located in squares 0/99-F and 99-E, and is oriented north-south. The mouth measures 2.32 x 0.85 m (including the mud brick lip 2.60 x 1.75 m). The lip preserves eleven layers of the original mud bricks, and is only missing some of them in the southeast corner. The mud bricks measure 31 x 17 x 7 cm. They have whitish mortar between them and a coat of plaster is preserved on the inner face. At the southwestern corner, six layers of mud bricks without mortar were piled on top of the originals by robbers. The filling of the shaft includes pottery sherds dating from the Middle Kingdom to the Third Intermediate Period. A fragment of modern cloth confirms that the shaft was opened and refilled in modern times.

The shaft is 4.20 m in depth, and the burial chamber was opened at the southern side. At the bottom, coffin fragments were piled at the northern end, together with human bones and linen with traces of having been burnt. The dismembered human remains belonged to a woman between 35 and 45 years old, who was thrown out of the burial chamber by ancient robbers. Next to them, a wooden shabti was found.

The mummiform figurine, measuring 17.2 x 5.0 x 5.2 cm, was carved from a single piece of wood, without a cavity, coated with a thin layer of plaster and painted. The right half of the face is missing. It is painted in white, while the most significant features are in yellow with the details executed in black ink, as is the text written on the lower half of the body.

The upper part of the tripartite wig has a squared net design, and the claws of a falcon deity holding a shen-sign on both sides, although only one is preserved.

The text covers the front and half of both sides. It is arranged in four lines, framed and separated by black lines. The signs are large. Small sections of the plaster are missing, as are small portions of the text.


“Hail! The Osiris, the dignitary, mouth-piece of Nekhen, Tetiankh, justified. I shall fasten the head, I shall gather the bones, united for you.”

The figurine was originally wrapped in linen, as there are traces of a bandage attached to the feet. It has an incision at the back, probably inflicted accidentally by a sharp tool. The pottery found at the bottom of the shaft dates to the 17th Dynasty or early 18th Dynasty, although there are also Middle Kingdom sherds (one plate almost complete).

It is possible that the wooden shabti was deposited somewhere outside the shaft and fell inside by accident after the latter had been robbed and left empty. However, the fact that it was found in contact with the mummy that was thrown outside of the burial chamber, and in view of other shabtis found in similar circumstances in the area, it seems that the figurine was associated with the mummy and deposited inside the burial chamber.

The burial chamber measures 2.62 x 1.84 cm, and 1.36 cm in height. It was found almost empty, with only a small ramp of debris coming in from the shaft. A few mud bricks and coffin fragments can be seen scattered on the floor of the inner half. The excavation will be finished next season.

Shaft 39

It is located in square 0-D, in front of the offering Chapel 3. The interior of the chapel was originally decorated. Several fragments have traces of a geometrical pattern imitating the fabric of a tent: orange and white squares outlined in black, with a red and light blue quatrefoil respectively (i.e. an X crossing the squares from corner to corner), combined with the representation of a yellowish wooden beam with a grain pattern in red. The composition is very similar to the ceiling decoration in the tomb chapel of Tetiky (TT 15), which dates to the reign of King Ahmose. The kheker-frieze, painted blue, and one fragment with part of a human figure indicate that not only the ceiling but also the walls of the chapel were once decorated.

A mud brick wall was built encircling the shaft and connected with the front of the chapel. Its inner face is 44 cm in height, corresponding to four courses of bricks, and the outer face is 34 cm in height, corresponding to three courses, indicating that the court was made slightly deeper than the level of the ground surrounding it. Considering the amount of fallen mud bricks in the area, it seems that the enclosure wall is preserved at its original height, or at least it was not much higher, which seems to indicate that its purpose was to define the sacred/ritual area and segregate it from the rest of the necropolis for the exclusive benefit of the deceased buried down the shaft and his family. Only the right half of the enclosure wall is preserved, but there is enough to deduce that, if symmetrical, the size of the chapel’s sacred precinct in front of it was 8.50 x 5.80 m. It seems that there was an entrance to the sacred precinct 40 cm wide, set slightly off centre to the right.

The sacred precinct’s floor was coated with a thin layer of fine mud plaster, which is still preserved attached to the right half of the enclosure wall. It is 46 cm lower than the chapel’s floor, due to the slope of the hillside, but no steps or a ramp are preserved.

The sacred precinct’s floor was broken very soon after the building was finished and the first owner was buried down the shaft. The shaft’s mud brick lip was apparently not visible when the robbers were looking for the tomb and dug a big hole in the middle of the precinct. Soon after, a heavy rain caused severe damage to part of the chapel’s front and to the right half of the enclosure wall (a second shaft, no. 40, was later opened in the left half of the precinct, where the enclosure wall had been completely destroyed by the storm and vanished). The water flowed downhill towards the plain, following a north-to-south direction. Archaeological evidence of this heavy rain is preserved on the right/east side of the chapel and on top of the bedrock. According to the stratigraphy, the heavy rain happened soon after the chapel was built, at the end of the 17th Dynasty or early 18th Dynasty.

It is remarkable that despite the damage suffered, the offering chapel continued to be regarded as a cultic landmark, attracting votive offerings.

Shaft 39 is aligned with the mud brick offering chapel, i.e. oriented southeast–northwest. Its mouth measures 2.40 x 1.26 m, including the lip, which was built with mud bricks and mortar. Part of the lip was eventually broken, and the mud bricks fell down the shaft.

The shaft was robbed in ancient and modern times. Robbers built also inside this shaft a retaining wall made of mud bricks and limestone blocks of medium size. Remains of four individuals were found at the bottom of the shaft thrown out of the burial chamber. Pottery and coffin fragments were found next to them, all dating to the 17th and early 18th Dynasty.

There is a niche cut into the rock of the western side, near the bottom of the shaft. There are two burial chambers, one at each end. The southern one preserves part of a mud brick wall blocking the entrance. It rests on debris, what seems to indicate that it is not the first closing. The bottom of the shaft has not been reached, and the burials chamber have not been excavated. The latter are filled with debris. Work shall continue next season.

Shaft 40

It is located in square 99-D. It seems that it was built after a heavy rain destroyed the left half of the enclosure wall and that section of the sacred area associated with Chapel 3. The mouth of the shaft measures 2.34 x 1.23 m. It is oriented southeast–northwest, as the shaft in front of the offering chapel.

The mud bricks of the lip had a whitish mortar between them and were coated with a similar layer of plaster with plenty of vegetable inclusions. Modern robbers raised the lip by piling a number of layers of mud bricks, without mortar nor plaster, and topped with limestone bocks of medium seize. Fragments of modern cloth confirms the activity of thieves in the area in modern times.

The filling of the shaft included numerous large size limestones blocks, more than in any other shaft. A fragment of the painted burial chamber of Djehuty was found down the shaft. The bottom of the shaft has not been reached yet. There are two burial chambers, one at each end of the shaft. They have not been excavated either. They are spacious, only partially filled with limestone flakes that fall inside from the shaft, and do not seem to contain many artifacts.

Sector 10

This sector is located to the west of the open courtyard of Djehuty’s tomb-chapel (TT 11). Excavations started here in 2011. At the north of this sector, up the hill, Chapel 4 is located. It is the largest of the four offering chapels that have been brought to light until now.

Chapel 4

The chapel is located in square 12-Z, and measures 10 x 13 m. It offers a good and rare opportunity to document how mud brick chapels were built in the 17th or early 18th Dynasty. In this case, the original structure was enlarged soon after it was finished and plastered. The enlargement implied a new decoration for the outer face, and a walled passage going around the core. It reflects that the cult that was taking place in this chapel continued for some time and was quite significant. Around the first phase, a large amount of pottery vessels was deposited, confirming the relevance of the chapel. The enlargement of the structure rests on top of the pottery deposit. Thus, the study of the architecture needs to be combined with the study of the pottery.

Excavations at the western side of the structure have revealed, underneath the enclosure wall of second phase of the chapel, what looks like the mouth of a shaft tomb. Further archaeological works are planned for the next season, in order to elucidate the chronological and spatial relationship of this tomb with Chapel 4.

As for the orientation of the offering chapel and its funerary shaft, located in front, it seems that in this area of the necropolis and during the 17th and early 18th Dynasty the funerary complexes of the elite members were aligned taken as reference the royal monument of the (last) king they served. This is the case of Chapel 2, located in square 6-B, which is aligned with the pyramid of Nubkheperra Intef, 100 m to the north (inside the German Archaeological Institute concession). If this is so, it is likely that a royal monument might be located higher up the hill. We have already started cleaning this area of the hill, and we plan to continue next season, with the aim of better understanding the location and orientation of the offering chapels and funerary shafts of the elite members of the 17th and early 18th Dynasty.


Chapel 4 was consolidated and restored. Ethyl Silicate was used to consolidate the mud bricks, and the coat of plaster preserved at the outer face of the structure was strengthened using natural mortars. Since the chapel is not built on top of the bedrock, but on a gravel and sandy ground, it was necessary to stabilize the base of the mud brick walls.

The replica of the Middle Kingdom garden was carefully checked, and the few small cracks that had appeared due to temperature variations were filled with resin.

The mud bricks and plaster of the structure above the façade of the tomb-chapel of Hery (TT 12) was consolidated and restored.

To the north of the tomb-chapel of Hery is that of Baki, “overseer of the cattle of Amun” in the mid 18th Dynasty. While the interior was completely destroyed when it was reused in the Ptolemaic and Roman Period, the entrance had enough of the original design to be considered worth restoring it. The door jambs and lintel were reconstructed during this season, as well as part of the ceiling near the entrance that had collapsed. Inside, the lower part of an autobiographical inscription carved in stone is preserved, as well as the lower part of a figurative scene. These were consolidated and protected. A new iron door was installed.

The restoration of the tomb-chapel of Djehuty (TT 11) was finished during this season. The rock floor was strengthened, as well as the lip of the three funerary shafts. We attached to the walls in their original location the last blocks that had fallen in antiquity and which we found excavating outside the monument.

Finally, some of the most significant objects that were recovered in previous seasons were cleaned, consolidated, and restored. Particular care received the two mud offering trays dating to the 12th Dynasty, and a big bowl dating to the 17th Dynasty. The wooden shabti of Tetiankh found this season was also cleaned and consolidated.


The epigraphic documentation has continued in the tomb of Djehuty. The walls of the transverse hall are badly eroded and grazing light is necessary to see the scenes in relief and their captions. The drawing of the inscriptions and scenes carved on the façade and on one of the sidewalls of the courtyard were finished, and it was then collated. The epigraphic documentation shall be finished by the end of next season.

Making Accessible 17th and 18th Dynasty Tomb-Chapels and part of the Site

Hery was “overseer of the double granary of the king’s mother and royal wife Ahhotep.” He lived at the very beginning of the 18th Dynasty, under King Ahmose, and probably died under his successor, King Amenhotep I. The layout of his funerary monument is quite simple, consisting of a narrow corridor leading to a broad inner room with a central pillar. It goes deep into the mountain 11 meters. The decoration, carved in relief, is only preserved on the corridor walls. It is one of the very few decorated tomb-chapels that is preserved of this time period.

Djehuty lived about 50 years later and his administrative career also developed under a woman, in his case Hatshepsut, acting as “overseer of the Treasury,” “overseer of the works” and “overseer of the cattle of Amun.” The layout of his monument is the expected inverted T-shape, the inner part being 18.5 meters long. The decoration was also carved in relief, including the façade and part of the left sidewall of the open courtyard. The burial chamber, however, was decorated with a selection of chapters from the Book of the Dead written in cursive hieroglyphs over lime plaster. The monument’s decorative program focused on writing, designed to impress the visitor with the owner’s writing skills, with his capability to adapt the inscriptions to the architecture, and his creativity to play with the visitors’ perception and challenge their knowledge.

The tomb-chapels of Djehuty and Hery are remarkable monuments, from the artistic, cultural and historical point of view. Each one has unique features that make them special and worth visiting. Therefore, the conservation and restoration has played an important role since the very beginning, back in 2002, and the walls of the two monuments have been carefully cleaned, consolidated and restored.

The stone shed built in 1909 at the entrance of the tomb-chapel of Djehuty, to protect the two stelae carved on the façade and the decorated sidewall of the open courtyard, was completely rebuilt in 2017. The new building’s front wall and roof have a translucent window along the edges to provide daylight inside the closed space and remind the visitor that this area was originally open to the sky, that he/she is still ‘outside’ the monument. The grazing light coming through the window enhances the reliefs, and the visitor can better appreciate the fineness of the carving.

The inner part of Djehuty’s tomb-chapel does not preserve any of the original painted ceiling. To prevent accidents from falling stones, a metal grid was anchored to the damaged ceiling. The grid protects the people walking through the monument and, at the same time, permits the view of the current state of the ceiling. Led lights were then set along the edges of the metal structure, illuminating the relieves from above. There are no cables nor lamps on the ground, which helps to better appreciate the rock floor. It also allows for understanding  how the monument was walked, what teps separated the ambiences of the different rooms, etc.

The tomb-chapel of Djehuty, as well as that of his neighbor Hery and the other tombs in the area, were reused in several occasions. In the 2nd century BC animal mummies, mostly ibis and falcons, were deposited down the shafts. The priests in charge of the animal cult wrote numerous graffiti on the walls, in demotic, using red ink. The graffiti have been cleaned, consolidated and studied. They contribute to the idea that the rock-cut monument had a longer history that of its first owner. When restoring the tomb-chapels of Djehuty and Hery it was decided not to hide the scars that the passing of time and human activity had caused on the walls’ surface and even on their structure. The breaks and cracks, when they implied no danger for the visitor, were left visible. The philosophy behind was also to add as little as possible to the monument, and only carry out reconstructions when needed for stability or security reasons.

The relief decoration of Hery’s tomb-chapel, which is preserved only at the corridor, is well illuminated by the sunlight coming through the entrance. The orientation south–north of the tombs, Hery’s as well as Djehuty’s, is ideal for getting sunlight during most part of the day. Unlike Djehuty’s monument, Hery’s is quite small, the corridor is 7.5 x 1.80 m and 2 m in height. It has no transverse hall, and there are no door jambs that will project shadow on the corridor’s walls.

Hery’s monument offers a good opportunity to show how this area of the hillside was turned into a ‘catacomb’ in the Persian and Ptolemaic periods, connecting one tomb with its neighboring ones by breaking through the separating rock-walls, and often also opening holes in the ceiling and in the floor. The different heights of the catacomb were saved by cutting a staircase in the rock or by building one with mud bricks. To give the visitor an idea about the complexity of the inner space in the 2nd century BC, a very discreet artificial light was brought into the rear room of the monument, to illuminate the galleries that connect with Hery’s tomb-chapel. At the end of the corridor, the visitors may see the mud brick staircase that goes up to the inner part of the tomb-chapel of Baki, as well as the staircase cut in the rock that goes down into the tomb-chapel right below that of Baki, with a large graffiti written above the entrance indicating to the priest that they were about to enter the gallery leading to the chapels of the gods.

Solar panels

When planning the opening to the public of the tomb-chapels of Djehuty and Hery, it was considered a good idea to illuminate the inner part of the monuments with solar light. Since the monuments will only be accessible during daytime, there is no need for batteries, which is a major problem when considering the installation of solar panels. The interior of the rectangular ‘pylon’ on top of the façade of the tomb-chapel of Djehuty was considered the ideal location for them, as they would be close to the monuments, and at the same time would remain hidden from the visitors’ eyes. Again, the south–north orientation of the tombs was very convenient for the panels’ installation.

The original rectangular pylon was built of limestone blocks, preserving one of its corner, which gave us the original height of the structure. The pylon was then rebuilt to its original height using good quality limestone blocks from Cairo, and clearly distinguishing between the old and new blocks. The pylon’s interior was originally filled with rubble and was left void, and a stable floor was provided for the setting up of the panels.

It was estimated that we needed to produce 1 kiloWat electricity to illuminate the inner part of the two monuments. CETA Electronic Systems, a company based in Cairo, installed two panels of 230 x 115 centimeters, which produced 540 Wats each. They are oriented south/southeast, and have the ideal inclination of almost 30º. During the visiting hours they do not receive any shadow, neither from the pylon front wall, nor from the hill at the back. The panels fit inside the pylon perfectly well, without surpassing its height. They do not disturb the view of the monument, nor of the site. An electricity box, which includes the 5KVA Hybrid Inverter of the solar panels, was built and installed outside, so that the electrical system of the tomb-chapels would be accessible at all times.

Site management

The visitors’ access to the tomb-chapels of Djehuty and Hery was arranged as a branch of the already existing road leading to the tomb-chapels of Roy (TT 255), Shuroy (TT 13) and Amenemopet (TT148), which have been opened to the public now for several years. The access was planned to impact the least possible in the landscape. We designed and made new metal labels to offer directions for the five tombs. Now with five tomb-chapels accessible in Dra Abu el Naga North, surely more people will be inclined to stop by. The house of the guards (gaffirs) was enhanced and painted, and a new electrical box for the area was installed next to it.

Five information panels have been designed in close collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. They include the basic information about the owners and the monuments, plans, drawings and old photographs. The texts are written in Arabic and in English. QR codes provide extra information.

The site offers a unique opportunity for the visitor to get an idea of how this area of the Theban necropolis looked like. Four 17th Dynasty mud-brick offering chapels have been unearthed, cleaned and consolidated. In front and around them there are twenty funerary shafts, whose mud-brick lips have also been consolidated and their mouths closed with metal grids. The shafts took over the free space left by rock-cut tombs of the 11th and early 12th Dynasty built four hundred years earlier. In front of one of them, a funerary grid-garden was unearthed in a good state of preservation. After a thorough investigation and a careful consolidation, the garden, made of mud and mud bricks, was covered with a metal structure and insulating planks. On top of it, a replica of the garden was set up, so that the visitor could get an idea of how an early 12th Dynasty funerary garden looked like. The replica was produced by FactumArte, and financed by an AEF–ARCE grant 2018.

Official opening

The site and the tomb-chapels of Djehuty and Hery were officially opened to the public on the 9th of February 2023. The ceremony was presided by the Vice-Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mostafa Waziri, by the Ambassador of Spain in Cairo, Alvaro Iranzo, and by the President of the Spanish National Research Council, Dr. Eloisa del Pino. Dr. Zahi Hawass and the Director of the American Research Center in Egypt, Dr. Louise Bertini, were also present, together with around 200 other guests. We are very grateful to all of them.

The evening of that same day, at the other side of the river, the inauguration of an exhibit about the Spanish Mission to Dra Abu el-Naga took place in Luxor Museum. A selection of some of the most significant pieces found by the ‘Djehuty Project’ were on display, including coffins, bows and arrows, figurative ostraca, stelae, inscribed linen, offering trays, pottery, model coffins and shabtis, a school wooden board, jewellery, animal mummies, etc. We are very grateful to the Director of Luxor Museum, Dr. Alaa Menshawuy, and to the Chairman of the Museums Sector of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Dr. Moamen Mohamed Othman, for all their support and help in making possible the exhibition.