Spanish – Egyptian Mission at Dra Abu el-Naga Tombs of Djehuty and Hery (TT 11 – 12)
5th Season Report: January 17 th – February 25 th
The aim of the excavation carried out in the area outside TT 11-12 was the clearance of the open courtyards of the tombs. In the process, we have found many objects belonging to funerary equipments of different periods, from the 17th Dynasty onwards. They were scattered through the area, and in a fragmentary state of conservation. Among them, during the first five seasons, 1.147 fragments of inscriptions and scenes in relief have been found, most of them coming from the tomb of Djehuty, and around 150 from the tomb of Hery. These fragments are of great importance for the restoration and reconstruction work that will be carried out in the tombs in the near future.
In the present campaign we have succeeded in finding the entrance to the open courtyard of Djehuty’s tomb (TT 11). The courtyard is quite large, measuring 34 m long. The width varies between 7.60 m at the tomb’s façade and 6.30 m at the court’s entrance. The side-walls are cut following the descending hill slope, reaching the court’s floor at a distance of 12 m from the façade. The rock side-walls are then extended by means of a mud brick wall on the West side, and by masonry surmounted by layers of mud bricks on the East wall. They reach a height of at least 2.91 m. Most of the mud bricks have been found fallen on the court’s floor. The inner side of the courtyard’s walls is covered with white mortar, which has been preserved in several areas. The courtyard is not perpendicular with the façade, but its side-walls show a small deviation towards the East, which becomes more accused at a certain distance. At the Southern side-wall, the change of angle takes place at a distance of 23 m from the façade. At the Northern side-wall, the change of angle takes place 18 m away from the façade. The reason for this deviation could be the presence of some sort of building structure to the West of Djehuty’s tomb, around 30 m from the façade, but this cannot be proved until archaeological work is conducted in that area.
The courtyard’s entrance-walls were built only with mud bricks. The length of both walls is 1.80 m, leaving at the middle an opening of 2.70 m. The walls’ thickness is 0.82/ 0.85 m, and they reach 0.68 m at its highest point. Although it is difficult to know how high they were, it seems they were not very tall and, for that matter, it does not seem appropriate to call them “pylons”.