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

Winter 2004 - 2005

The shafts in the second pillared hall (YE and YF)

In the north-west corner of the second pillared hall a rectangular opening in the floor leads to oriental (YE) and central (YF) shafts and to the corridor (YF.A1) through which the deepest rooms of the tomb can be reached. According to Eigner (Die monumentalen Grabbauten der Spätzeit in der Thebanischen Nekropole, Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo des Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes VI, Wien 1984, p. 135, abb. 106), the opening had been originally planned to contain a staircase that would have led to the corridor YF.A1. Shaft YF and perhaps YE too, would have been hidden under the steps, as with the burial of Montuemhat’s son Nesiptah, discovered in the middle of the 1990s under a staircase in the tomb of his father (TT 34).
The staircase in the tomb of Harwa was never carried out and the digging out of the shafts YE and YF was abandoned.
At the beginning of the season we began emptying shaft YF, at the bottom of which lie two vast rooms that open eastward (YE.A2) and northward (YE.A3), and which was not completely filled with debris. The archaeological situation inside the two rooms appeared to be much disturbed by several tomb robbers’ intrusions at dates which are almost impossible to ascertain. Hundreds of sun-dried mud shabtys of poor workmanship have been recovered in both rooms. These were found in greater concentration in YE.A3, whose floor level is 80 cm lower than that of YE.A2. This would seem to indicate that YE.A2 was cut later than YE.A3, enlarging the shaft in an easterly direction.
Fragments of fayence amulets in shape of sons of Horus, two wings of a heart-scarab and innumerable fayence beads coming from mummy-nets have been recovered in YE.A3. Fragments of a coffin decorated with rosettes were uncovered on the surface of the debris in YE.A2. That would suggest that shaft YE had been used as a burial place during the Greco-Roman period. This is made more likely by the discovery of fragments of a papyrus against the western wall of the bottom of the shaft (YE.A1). They bear remains of vignettes and a hieratic text that can be dated to the period between the end of the Ptolemaic and the beginning of the Roman period (
Fig. 3).



Plan of excavations


Fig. 3: Fragments of the papyrus from YE

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