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Studies in the Saqqara New Kingdom necropolis: from the mid-19th century exploration of the site to new insights into the life and death of Memphite officials, their tombs and the use of sacred space
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 02:06 authored by Nico Theodorus Bernardus Staring
This study is presented in the form of a ‘thesis by publication’ comprising published journal articles and conference proceedings. The articles are thematically linked to the New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara and grouped in three interrelated sections. This thesis sets as its main aim the study of the tombs, tomb owners and the use of sacred space in the New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara by examining, as a point of departure, the sources pertaining to the early exploration of the necropolis. In the first section, unpublished archival material pertaining to the early, mid-Nineteenth Century exploration of the necropolis is studied. This includes the photographs taken by Théodule Devéria at Saqqara in 1859 capturing monuments that are today “lost”. Investigations into the collection histories of the individual objects enable a reconstruction of the history of dismantling the tombs. The second section examines the inscriptional sources that offer biographical information about the early Nineteenth Dynasty tomb owners. The officials’ titles constitute the main data of research in this section. The rationale of the tombs’ spatial distribution is analysed by combining information pertaining to groups of officials covering a longer period of time and extending over the whole necropolis. The titles are also used to study aspects of the administration of the city, Memphis, and its temples. The final section examines the actual use of the necropolis and the tombs therein. Due to the activities of the early explorers, few archaeological traces pertaining to past activities have remained for us to study in situ. The figural and textual graffiti that were left on the tombs’ stone elements offer the main data for research.