US Team Exploring Tombs of Two Ancient Egypt Priests
A team sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Museum is exploring the burial chambers of two priests at the Teti pyramid complex at Saqqara, reported Egypt Revealed, a magazine specializing in Egyptology.
Both tombs were decorated with funerary texts typically reserved for the tombs of Egyptian royalty. Exactly when and why that came about remains unclear even after nine years of excavations at the Teti complex, said the report.
It sad that the team's 2001 season excavated a corridor associated with the tombs of Sekweskhet and Sahathor Ipi, priests during the Twelfth Dynasty 12 (1938-1759 BC) who were responsible for maintaining the funerary cult of Teti. Pharaoh Teti reigned from about 2350 to 2338 BC, during the Old Kingdom's Sixth Dynasty, but his cult persisted for centuries afterward, well into the Middle Kingdom.
The Pennsylvannia team, led by field director David Silverman, included Joe and Jen Wegner, plus graduate and undergraduate students and a volunteer photographer. In addition to exploring the tombs of the two priests, this year's work also focused on completing photographic surveys and documenting inscriptions at the site.
Three shafts have been excavated into the original corridor and to the burial chambers themselves. Within each of the two chambers was an inscribed sarcophagus. Later, other chambers off the corridor were dug to house more modest burials, and the remains of some 50 individuals have been found.
Silverman said decorations of the burial chambers and the sarcophagi of Sekweskhet and Sahathor Ipi incorporate both Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts, while the two tombs the team excavated earlier used only Pyramid Texts.
"This change in usage and the specific texts that appear will help date the tomb and provide information about the use of royal texts by non-royal individuals," he was quoted as saying.
He told the magazine that the team is working to determine how much influence the royal tombs and monuments had on non-royal tombs throughout the site. The architecture used in the two priests' tombs clearly mimic aspects of the royal family's tombs – Albawaba.com
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