Yesterday I attended the Egypt Exploration Society study day in London, which took place within the faux Egyptian façade of Greater London House. The day was thoroughly interesting and I had the chance to catch up with friends and discuss projects. I met some very nice people during the day, all enthusiastic about Egyptology. The highlights of the day for me were the talks by Professor Ola el-Aguizy and Dr Adel Okasha Khafagy on their work at North Saqqara.
Professor Aguizy discussed the results of her work over the last few years on the New Kingdom tombs to the south of the Unas causeway. One tomb in particular was systematically reused during the Late Period, with additional burial chambers cut into the bedrock from the New Kingdom tomb shaft. Her team have restored many of the tombs excavated and they will hopefully be open to the public.
Dr Okasha Khafagy discussed his project which has been concerned with the excavation and partial restoration of the tomb of Soped Hotep to the north of the Serapeaum way. This tomb was initially discovered by Auguste Mariette and sometime after discovery many of the decorated wall friezes were removed to a number of museums around the world. Dr Okasha Khafagy’s team discovered sections of the decorated walls in-situ which could be compared with a known illustration of the wall prior to its deconstruction. The team also discovered Old Kingdom and Late Period pottery within the tomb. The tomb, which dates to the Old Kingdom (5th Dynasty), was not reused in the Middle or New Kingdom, but reuse of this monument began in the Late Period and continued into the early Roman period.
All in all, a fascinating day well worth attending.