SPANISH-EGYPTIAN MISSION AT DRA ABU EL-NAGA TOMBS OF DJEHUTY AND HERY (TT 11-12)
13th Season Report: January 13th – February 23th
A Spanish mission has been working since January 2002 at the foothill of the central area of Dra Abu el-Naga, in the area where the rock-cut tomb-chapels of Djehuty and Hery (TT 11-12) are located. Hery must have lived under King Ahmose and Amenhotep I, acting as overseer of the granaries of the king's mother and royal wife Ahhotep. He could have been related to the royal family through his mother, Ahmes, who is referred to as "adornment of the king." The inner walls of his funerary monument (c. 1510 BC) were entirely decorated in high quality relief. Djehuty lived about fifty years later, acting as overseer of the treasure and overseer of the works carried out by the craftsmen and metal workers for Queen Hatshepsut. The walls of his tomb-chapel (c. 1460 BC) were also decorated in relief, even the façade and part of the left sidewall of the open courtyard.
The courtyard of Djehuty's monument is larger than expected, extending the rock-cut sidewalls with mud-bricks that reach 3 m high near the façade and end 34 m away from it in two 'pylons' 0.68 m high. At mid distance from the façade, the left sidewall makes an abrupt twist towards the inside, i.e., to the right. This unorthodox and unaesthetic feature was due to the presence of a mud-brick structure, which was considered significant enough to avoid running over it or being dismantled by Djehuty's workmen.
We have employed fifty workmen for most of the campaign. They have worked very hard and with great care, and we are more than satisfied with their labour.
When the modern village of Dra Abu el-Naga was entirely demolished in the winter of 2006/07 and its people relocated in New Gurna, the Spanish mission applied to the Supreme Council of Antiquities for an extension of the site to the left/southwest of Djehuty's courtyard. Once the debris was removed and the area cleared, in January 2011 excavations commenced in the area, which was labelled 'Sector 10'. The following seasons unearthed, three metres below the ground level of the modern houses, a number of Seventeenth Dynasty burials (c. 1650-1550 BC) consisting of funerary shafts and offering mud-brick chapels, but also coffins placed unprotected on the ground and ensembles of votive pottery vassels. The discovery of part of the necropolis used by the royal family and courtiers of the Seventeenth Dynasty helps to understand the possible reasons behind Djehuty's choice of this particular spot for building his tomb-chapel, more than five hundred metres away from most of his colleagues, high officials of Hatshepsut-Thutmoses III's administration, who were buried south of Deir el-Bahari, between el-Asasif plain and the hillside of Sheikh Abd el-Gurna.