موقع تمبس الاثري

Category: Uncategorized (page 3 of 4)

Juniper Berries

حبوب التوت البري

juniper small

The burial of the elderly woman with a heart scarab mentioned in earlier blogs, whose name appears to have been Weret, had a bowl full of juniper berries placed next to her coffin. One species, Juniperus phoenicia, is native to the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt. Juniper berries are perhaps best known as the flavoring for Gin, but in our context they would have been used as a spice in food or as a scent for perfume. The berries have been found in a number of ancient Egyptian tombs, including that of the royal architect Kha and Tutankhamen, both of whom were exceptionally well provisioned with food and spices. Like our lady, they wanted to eat well in the afterlife!

وجدت سلطانية بها حبوب التوت البري داخل مقبرة بالقرب من تابوت لأمراة عجوز و جعران القلب ذكرت في كتاباتنا السابقة. و هذا النوع من حبوب التوت هو نبات محلي منتشر في الشرق الاوسط و شمال افريقيا بالاضافة الي مصر. يعرف التوت البري باستخدامه كمُنكِه لمشروب الجن الكحولي. و لكن من خلال السياق الأثري هنا ففي الغالب أستخدم كبهار في الأطعمة او كعطرة لتطيب به. وجد التوت في العديد من المقابر المصرية القديمة، من ضمنها المباني الملكية لخا و توت عنخ أمون، اللذان تم تجهيزهما بصورة جيدة بمؤن من الطعام و التوابل. و كذلك هذه المراة بتمبس التي فيما يبدو أنها تود أن تأكل جيداً في الحياة الآخرة

جزيلا شكرا Shukran Jazeelan to our site workers

As we wrap up our excavations for 2016, we would like to thank our great workers at Tombos, Abu Fatima, and Hannek.

 و بنهاية العمل في موسم 2016 نود ان نشكر عمالنا الأجلاء بتمبس و ابو فاطمة و حنّك

Working at Abu Fatima

العمل في أبو فاطمة

NCAM inspector Reemah Abdelrheem, conservator Elizabeth Drolet, and UCSB PhD student Shayla Monroe removed many preserved organic materials in the Kerma period graves at Abu Fatima, include reed matting, hide, and leather.  Shayla is particularly excited about the intact sheep included in one of the graves. Naturally mummified burials are also common at the site.

تمكن كل من مفتش الآثار رماح عبد الرحيم و المرممة اليزابث دروليت و طالبة الدكتوراة شيلا مونرو من جمع عينات عضوية بحالة جيدة من مقابر فترة كرمة بأبوفاطمة من ضمنها بساط من السعف و جلد حيوان. شيلا مونرو كانت سعيدة جداً باكتشاف الكبش الذي وجد بحالة جيدة في احدي المقابر. كما وجدت المومياءات المحنطة  طبيعياً منتشرة في هذا الموقع

Scribe-Reckoner of the Gold of Kush

كاتب جدول حسابات ذهب كوش

This year we found a large deposit of funerary cones, stamped with a dedication for Siamun and his mother Weren, including many of the unusual rectangular type with a larger, more legible stamp, prompting a revision of his title to “Scribe-Reckoner of the Gold of Kush.” This differs from the previous reading of “Overseer of Foreign Lands.” Stamped with the tomb owner’s name and titles, the cones were placed across the façade of a tomb and reflect Siamun’s strong Theban ties, since they appear almost exclusively at Egypt’s southern capital. Siamun’s is only the second tomb in all of Nubia to have them, the other located at the colonial capital of Aniba in Lower (Egyptian) Nubia. The new title is well known from the administration of gold production and the assembly of annual tribute in Nubia. In particular, it appears in the Tomb of Tutankhamen’s Viceroy of Kush Huy, held by an official named Harunefer, who supervises the weighing and shipment of gold for the annual Presentation Ceremony. Siamun may have played a similar role as the tribute of Kush was assembled.

عثرنا هذا العام علي مجموعة كبيرة من القطع المخروطية الجنائزية عليها أختام “الأختام الجنائزية” تخص سيامون و زوجته وورن و من ضمنها العديد من الأختام المختلفة المستطيلة الشكل و عليها أختام مقروءة بشكل أوضح تشير الي ترقيته الي منصب “كاتب جداول حسابات ذهب كوش”. وهو منصب مختلف عن منصبه المنصوص عليه سابقاً “مشرف الأراضي الأجنبية”. كتب علي هذه الأختام الجنائزية إسم صاحب المقبرة و ألقابه و وضعت علي طول واجهة المقبرة و يدل انتشار هذه الأختام بصورة خاصة تقريباً في العاصمة الجنوبية المصرية علي علاقة سيامون الوطيدة مع طيبة. و مقبرة سيامون هي الثانية التي عثر فيها علي مثل هذه الأختام الجنائزية في منطقة النوبة حيث وجد قبلها مقبرة في عاصمة مستعمرة عنيبه في النوبة السفلي المصرية. و هذا المنصب الجديد معروف في إدراة إنتاج الذهب و جباية الضرائب في النوبة. و تظهر بصورة واضحة في مقبرة نائب الملك توت عنخ أمون في كوش و يحمل هذا اللقب الإداري هارونفر الذي يشرف علي وزن و ترحيل الذهب لمراسم العطايا السنوية.  و فيما يبدو أن سيامون قد لعب نفس الدور في التشكيلة الإدارية لِجباية ضرائب كوش

Settlement at Hannek

JA Hannek blog photo

Over the last two seasons, UCSB PhD student, Jessika Akmenkalns, has conducted excavations at the site of Hannek, which is located just across the Nile from Tombos.  Hannek is a habitation site that was occupied during the Kerma period, between approximately 2000 – 1500 BC and possibly later.  The site can be thought of as a ‘suburb’ of the ancient town of Kerma, which served as the political and economic capital of the kingdom bearing the same name.  Together with El Hassan Mohammed, Murtada Bushara, Mohamed Faroug, Mindy Pitre, and a team of local community members, we have documented the remains of numerous houses and other structures, along with ceramics, stone tools, food remains, and other artifacts that provide a window into the lives and activities of the ancient people who lived at Hannek.

Juvenile Burials at Tombos

Purdue PhD student, Kaitlyn Sanders, and UCSB PhD student, Erin Bornemann, are working in tombs located in Unit 36. This area of the Tombos cemetery has been particularly interesting because it has a much higher concentration of juvenile burials, including young individuals in buried in baskets as well as adults buried in reed mats.

Tombos Elementary School Talk

Dr. Michele Buzon gave a talk about Tombos archaeological research and bioarchaeology at the local town elementary school.

Heart Scarab


Dr. Stuart Tyson Smith found a heart scarab associated with the intact burial in Unit 35. It lay under the neck of the mummy where it probably fell as the wrappings decayed. Heart scarabs are rare and indicate her elite status. They were inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead that ensured that the deceased’s heart/soul would not betray her in the Netherworld during the final judgment:

 “Oh my heart of my mother! Oh my heart of my mother! … Do not oppose me in the tribunal! Do not show your hostility against me before the Keeper of the Balance! For you are my ka which is in my body, the protector who causes my limbs to be healthy! Go forth to the good place to which we hasten!”

Dog Burial

dog cropped

Dr. Sarah Schrader discovered an intentionally buried dog within a Kerma period grave at Abu Fatima.  The dog, with a leather collar, was found in association with a young adult male; both were placed on top of cowhide.  Dogs were also found buried at the feet of individuals at the royal burial site in the Kerma capital.


***Update: Here is a photo of the leather collar found with the dog.

Dog Collar

Festivities in Tombos!


Photo by Dr. Stuart Tyson Smith

One of our workmen, Antar, is preparing for his upcoming wedding during the men’s henna party.

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