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

Winter 2004 - 2005


THE VESTIBULE

At the beginning of the 1920s the vestibule of the tomb of Harwa was transformed by the Archaeological Mission of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) into a storeroom where the objects found during the excavations in the West Bank of Luxor could be kept. Between Spring and Summer 2004, a complete inventory of those antiquities (which had come mainly from Malqata, the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri and the tombs of Assasif) was compiled, so that they could be moved into the storerooms built by the Supreme Council of Antiquities not far from the Carterís House. The clearance of the vestibule allowed us to access it easily and to carry out preliminary conservation work. The storage of the monuments had meant that water from the rare but harsh rainstorms had long stagnated inside it causing severe damages to the walls.
First of all the door built by the archaeologists of MMA between the courtyard and the vestibule when the latter has been transformed in a storeroom was demolished. The mud-brick frame of the door had been built against the walls and covered large parts of the hieroglyphic inscriptions engraved on them. It has since been possible to clean and consolidate the inscriptions (
Fig. 1). 
The floor of the vestibule was covered by a layer of sand, around five centimetres thick, that we removed. This allowed us to extend the cleaning to large areas of the Eastern and Western walls. As a whole the decoration is in bad condition due to the leeching of salts to the surface and as several sections of the wall have collapsed. Several sections have also been removed by tomb robbers. Nevertheless the cleaning allowed us to recover some of the carved scenes. Thus it was possible to ascertain that boats and standing men are depicted on the Eastern wall, while standard-bearers are visible on the Western wall (
Fig. 2).
The elements revealed allow us to establish an exact parallel with the tomb of Pabasa which, since it is in better state of conservation, is also of outstanding usefulness in helping us to understand the decorative program of the vestibule of the tomb of Harwa.

 
3
 

Plan of excavations

 

Fig. 1: detail of an inscription in the
vestibule during cleaning

 

Fig. 2: standard-bearers on the western wall of the vestibule

 

< Previous chapter

 

Next chapter >