The "Harwa 2001" ONLUS Cultural Association presents
 The Tomb of Harwa

Report of the 2002 Season


Epigraphic activities were mainly concentrated in the south-eastern corner of the First Pillared Hall. Fragments of the decoration coming from excavation squares A1 and A2 were examined, recorded and accurately stored for easy retrieval.

Progress was made in understanding the decoration of the southern part of the eastern wall (A1E), of the first pillar of the southern row (A1B2) and of the doorframe of the second southern subsidiary room (S2).

The southern part of the eastern wall is decorated with an offering text, complementary to that of the northern part, and similar to those inscribed in the burial chambers of the pyramids of the 6th Dynasty kings (e.g., in the eastern wall of the burial chamber of Teti). This part of the wall is badly preserved and the identification of the blocks coming from there was mainly possible only by comparison with the text inscribed in the northern part. Remains of the finely carved image of Harwa seated in front of an offering table, underneath the texts, were also identified.

The study of the decorated blocks coming from excavation square A2 also allowed the identification of some fragments coming from pillar A1B2. The work was mainly carried out by Alice Heyne, assisted by Miriam Valerie Ronsdorff and Ruth Manuela Zillhardt, all of whom are from the University of Basel. The position of some fragments belonging to the ‘Ritual of the Hours of the Night’ was identified. Copies of the blocks were made on transparent paper some of which, mainly those concerning the ‘Tenth Hour of the Night’, were fixed on the faces of pillar A1B2, where the texts were once inscribed (Fig. 3).

Additionally, part of a scene once decorating the top of pillar A1B2 was also identified and partly reconstructed. It shows a female deity (being the personification of one of the Hours of the Night) followed by a ram-headed god (being the representation of the nocturnal sun). They are represented facing right towards an area where presumably an image of Harwa kneeling and adoring was once depicted. The presence of this image can be inferred by comparison with parts of the decoration from other pillars, identified during past seasons.

The analysis of the fragments coming from the doorframe decoration of the subsidiary room S2 demonstrated that the lintel was decorated with a scene depicting Harwa in front of an offering table, behind which are piled all sorts of offerings. The two jambs of the door are inscribed with columns of texts whose reconstruction proved, at least for the moment, to be impossible. The lower part of both jambs was decorated with another scene depicting Harwa in front of an offering table.

Every block coming from the A2 excavation square was digitally photographed at the same distance to allow virtual reconstitutions of the identified parts. The photography was planned and carried out by Carlos De La Fuente (Fig. 4).

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