Dr. Zahi Hawass’ Video with the Latest Discoveries from Dra Abu el-Naga

Dr. Zahi Hawass shows the New Discoveries in Drabu el NagaHeritage Key has posted the latest video clip from Dr. Zahi Hawass regarding current excavations at the Valley of the Kings and surrounding areas.

In New Discoveries in Drabu el Naga, Dr. Hawass brings us up to date with his excavations at this promising site on the West Bank of the Nile, close to Luxor and directly across from Karnak.There are about 80 numbered tombs at Dra Abu el-Naga, some of which are royal tombs dating from the Seventeenth Dynasty, with other New Kingdom tombs belonging to Theban priests and privileged court officials.

The site suffers from modern encroachment, with houses being built on top of some burial sites.Other sites have been looted in times both ancient and modern.But Dr. Hawass remains confident that there is still much to be discovered at Dra Abu el-Naga.

Indeed, there have been a number of exciting finds made recently at the necropolis.Dr. Jos Galn, of the National Research Center at Madrid, has had a Spanish team excavating Dra Abu el-Naga since 2002.At the end of the 2008 season his team discovered a deep shaft under the burial chamber in the tomb of Djehuty (TT11), a high official in the court of Queen Hatshepsut.At the beginning of the 2009 season Dr. Galn was able to properly survey his find and discovered a second burial chamber decorated with texts from the Book of the Dead, also called Pyramid Texts, with the goddess Nut adorning the ceiling.

It is even possible that some of the houses built over top of burial sites may have inadvertently protected the sites from spoilage.

Dr. Hawass discusses finds made by his own team, in particular three New Kingdom tombs (although one may date from the Late Period) belonging to Theban officials.The first he discusses is the tomb of Amen-Em-Opet, an official bearing the title of Supervisor of Hunters, who was previously dated to prior to the reign of Akhenaten, but in this clip Dr. Hawass speculates that he may have lived during the Amarna Period.

The jewellery discovered in Djehuty's TT11 at Dra' Abu El-NagaAlthough one might expect a bearskin rug and a mounted elks head over a fireplace in the tomb of the official Supervisor of Hunters, we are treated to no such fineries in this video.We are, however, shown a seal bearing Amen-Em-Opets name, and a shabti bearing the name of a usurper, “Ray-?”. Apparently the tomb was reused at least once during the Nineteenth Dynasty, or possibly during the early part of the Third Intermediate Period, and the interloper left behind one of his miniature servants.

More Heritage Key Expert Videos:
Dr Mark Lehner Searches for Information About the Pyramid Builders
Dr Hawass Tells About the New Inscribed Finds from the Valley of the Kings

Dr. Hawass goes on to give some details of two other tombs which had previously only been described as two undecorated tombs [that were] found to the north-west of Amen-Em-Opet’s.The first was the tomb of a high priest of the god Montu, but the owners name is illegible.The entrance is decorated with the death scenes, including one depiction of the priest and his wife in adoration of Montu, and another scene depicting Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys.Dr. Hawass does not think it is one of the New Kingdom tombs, but probably dates to the Late Period.It has not yet been excavated.

There are fewer details about the second tomb, but Dr. Hawass reveals its owners name to be Ankh-min, and believes that it dates to the reign of Ramesses III.It also has a death scene depicting Osiris, and like the previous tomb, has not yet been excavated.The tombs have almost certainly been looted, but so had the tomb of Djehuty, and Dr.Galn, in addition to a beautifully decorated second burial chamber, recovered two gold rings and five gold earrings.Until the tomb is fully excavated, we have no idea ofwhat waits within.

Video: The New Tombs Discovered at Dra Abu El Naga

Read the full transcript on our video page.

Dr. Hawass concludes the video clip, after the credits roll, by reasserting that there remains a possibility of finding intact tombs in Dra Abu el-Naga.It is even possible that some of the houses built over top of burial sites may have inadvertently protected the sites from spoilage.