Sunteți pe pagina 1din 13

The Necropolis of Dahshur Eighth Excavation Report Autumn 2010 and Spring 2011 German Archaeological Institute/Free University

of Berlin Nicole Alexanian, Dirk Blaschta, Andrea Kahlbacher, Andreas Nerlich, Stephan Johannes Seidlmayer Contents Abstract Introduction Test excavation in the so-called workmen's settlement south-west of the Red Pyramid of Snefru Dating the lower causeway, the transportation road, and the sand deposits in the wadi of the Bent Pyramid Reliefs from the lower temple of the Bent Pyramid Burial equipment from the cemetery of the Middle Kingdom west of the pyramid of Amenemhat II Analysis of the human remains Abstract In autumn 2010 and spring 2011 the work of the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo and the Free University of Berlin at Dahshur was continued. A small test excavation was undertaken in the so-called workmen's village south of the Red Pyramid. Further research was done on the lower causeway of the Bent Pyramid. A detailed study of the pottery resulted in the dating of the two building phases within the Old Kingdom. The sand in the wadi of the Bent Pyramid gradually accumulated starting already in the Old Kingdom and continuing until the New Kingdom. New Kingdom pottery within a limestone sledgeway allows to fix the date of the dismanteling of the lower temple of the Bent Pyramid to the late 18th Dynasty or to the Ramesside Period. Three recently discovered relief fragments from the lower temple of the Bent Pyramid are discussed and offer additional information to the understanding of the decoration of the lower temple of the Bent Pyramid. Introduction The work of the team of the German Archaeological Institute (Cairo) and the Free University of 1

Berlin at Dahshur1 was continued from September, 27th until November, 18th 2010 and from March, 6th until April, 27th and 24nd until 26nd May 20112. Test excavation in the so-called workmen's settlement south-west of the Red Pyramid of Snefru A limited test excavation was carried out in the so-called workmen's settlement south-west of the Red Pyramid. The structures were first documented by the Royal Prussian Expedition to Egypt in 18423. A small scale excavation to the west of the modern street connecting the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid had been executed by the German Archaeological Institute already in 1992 4. Several rooms defined by walls from rough limestone blocks were cleaned and a lot of pottery from the early 4th Dynasty as well as animal bones and charcoal were then discovered. A small test excavation to the east of the modern street was opened in order to check which kind of information can be retrived through advanced excavation techniques and to identify appropriate methodology. Actually, a great many questions relating to this building complex still need to be answered. Apart from the general layout of the building, its history and function are still not at all clear. The sondage trench was situated to the east of the modern street connecting the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid and had a north-south orientation. It was 25m long (north - south) and 1m wide (east-west) (Pl. 1), divided into 25 1x1 m squares. All material removed was put
1 For earlier reports see N. Alexanian, S.J. Seidlmayer, Die Residenznekropole von Dahschur, Erster Grabungsbericht, MDAIK 58 (2002) 1-28; N. Alexanian, S.J. Seidlmayer, Survey and Excavations at Dahshur, Egyptian Archaeology 20 (2002) 3-4; N. Alexanian, S. J. Seidlmayer, Die Nekropole von Dahschur. Forschungsgeschichte und Perspektiven, in: M. Brta, J. Krejci (eds.), Abusir and Saqqarah in the Year 2000, Archiv Orientalni Supplement IX (Prague, 2000) 283-304; N. Alexanian, H. Becker, M. Mller, S.J. Seidlmayer, Die Residenznekropole von Dahschur. Zweiter Grabungsbericht, MDAIK 62 (2006) 7-41; N. Alexanian, R. Schiestl, S.J. Seidlmayer, The Necropolis of Dahshur. Excavation Report Spring 2006, ASAE 83 (2009) 25-41; six preliminary reports on seven previous excavation seasons (spring 2002, autumn 2003, spring 2007, spring 2008, spring 2009, autumn 2009 and spring 2010) are in print for ASAE; N. Alexanian, Die Gestaltung der Pyramidenanlagen des Snofru in Dahschur/gypten, in: Sanktuar und Ritual - Heilige Pltze im archologischen Befund. Ein Zwischenbericht aus der Clusterforschung des Deutschen Archologischen Instituts 2006-2009, in print; N. Alexanian, W. Bebermeier, D. Blaschta, The Discovery of the Lower Causeway of the Bent Pyramid and the Reconstruction of the Ancient Landscape at Dahshur (Egypt), in: BdE, in print; N. Alexanian, W. Bebermeier, D. Blaschta, A. Ramisch, B. Schtt, S. Seidlmayer, Reconstruction of the Ancient Landscape of Dahshur, in: Die Erde, in print. 2 The work is funded by the German Archaeological Institute (Cairo) and the German Research Foundation. The authors thank these institutions for their support. We are grateful for the support of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, represented by the inspectors Mohammed Omar Abd el-Tawab, Haeny Abdallah el-Tahib (autumn 2010) and Adel Atiya Abd el-Wahid and Mohammed Saber Mohammed el-Dialy (spring 2011), the directors of Dahshur Nasr Ramadan and Mohammed Youssef and the directors of Saqqarah Osama Shimy and Kamel Wahid and the Minister of Antiquities Dr Zahi Hawass for their support. We also wish to thank all team members for their work. Members of the mission in autumn 2010 were Nicole Alexanian, Dirk Blaschta, Audrey Eller, Tim Eggert, Tobias Gutmann, Diana Hrtrich, Andrea Kahlbacher, Silvia Lenz, Andreas Nerlich, Josuah Pinke, Nicole Richter, Katharina Schrder, Stephan J. Seidlmayer and Peter Windszus. The members of the mission in spring 2011 were Nicole Alexanian, Dirk Blaschta, Pieter Collet, Martin Mayrhofer, Sandra Mller, Andrea Kahlbacher, Josuah Pinke, Stephan J. Seidlmayer. 3 C.R. Lepsius, Denkmler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien I (Leipzig 1897) Blatt 35. 4 Stadelmann et al., Pyramiden und Nekropole des Snofru in Dahschur. Dritter Vorbericht ber die Grabungen des Deutschen Archologischen Instituts in Dahschur, MDAIK 49 (1993) 291-294; id., Die Friedhfe des Alten und Mittleren Reiches in Dahschur, MDAIK 54 (1998) 306-309.

through a sieve and checked carefully for plant remains, chips of silex etc.. A wall built from local rough limestone blocks, sandstones and taffla and an original floor from greyish mud were uncovered. Here a great quantity of pottery, bones and charcoal was found. It seems that the walls not just collapsed after the structure was no longer used, but were deliberately flattened. In an old construction trench an ovoid storage jar from the Early Old Kingdom with a hieratic inscription was discovered (Pl. 2).

Pl. 1: Excavation trench in the so-called workmen's village to the south of the Red Pyramid at Dahshur (DAIKairo, D. Hrtrich)

Pl. 2: Ovoid jar from the Early Old Kingdom with hieratic inscription from the so-called workmen's village (DAIKairo, P. Windszus)

The results of this test excavation inspire optimism that in the future questions relating to the structure, use and history of the building and the role it played in the context of the huge construction site of the Red Pyramid can be answered.

Dating the lower causeway, the transportation road, and the sand deposits in the wadi of the Bent Pyramid The study of the pottery retrieved from the large trench in which the lower causeway of the Bent Pyramid was uncovered5, revealed important information regarding dating. Actually, on the basis of architectural research, two building phases of the lower causeway could be discerned which could now be assigned to two different dates within the Old Kingdom. In addition, for the construction road which was used in the process of dismantling the lower temple of the Bent Pyramid a date in the New Kingdom could be ascertained.

Fig. 1: Plan of the lower temple and the lower causeway of the Bent Pyramid with transportation road (DAIKairo, AegArOn, Salma Khamis, T. Gutmann)

5 See so far N. Alexanian et al., The Necropolis of Dahshur. Seventh Excavation Report Autumn 2009 and Spring 2010, ASAE in print; N. Alexanian, Die Gestaltung der Pyramidenanlagen des Snofru in Dahschur/gypten, in: Sanktuar und Ritual - Heilige Pltze im archologischen Befund. Ein Zwischenbericht aus der Clusterforschung des Deutschen Archologischen Instituts 2006-2009, in print; N. Alexanian, W. Bebermeier, D. Blaschta, The Discovery of the Lower Causeway of the Bent Pyramid and the Reconstruction of the Ancient Landscape at Dahshur (Egypt), in: BdE, in print; N. Alexanian, W. Bebermeier, D. Blaschta, A. Ramisch, B. Schtt, S. Seidlmayer, Reconstruction of the Ancient Landscape of Dahshur, in: Die Erde, in print.

Fig. 2: Blue painted pottery sherds found within the transportation sledgeway of the New Kingdom period (DAIKairo, drawing by N. Richter)

In the excavation trench, just 1.00-1.50 m under the present surface, a transportation road constructed from fragments of limestone blocks was discovered 6. It is situated immediately to the south of the lower causeway, but on a much higher level (Fig. 1), namely at about 5.00-5.50 m above the floor of the lower causeway. Several pottery sherds were recovered from between the blocks of this sledgeway. Fortunately the pottery showed unequivocal characteristics which allow to assign them to the New Kingdom period (Fig. 2 a-c). Blue painted pottery is the most characteristic ceramic material from that period. The earliest examples for this characteristic material derive from the temple of Amenhotep II at Giza. In the time of Amenhotep III blue painted pottery was produced in great quantities. After reaching its peak at the end of the 18 th Dynasty during the reign
6 The transportation road was already located by Di. Arnold and R. Stadelmann in 1974/75 during their first excavation season at Dahshur and was in that time misunderstood as remains of the lower causeway itself (Di. Arnold, R. Stadelmann, Dahschur. Erster Grabungsbericht, MDAIK 31 (1975) 173, Taf. 111 c).

of Tutankhamun-Horemheb, this type of pottery declined during the Ramesside period. Final examples were fabricated in the reign of Ramesses IV 7. Concerning the motifs which were painted on the blue pottery vessels J. Bourriau pointed out, that there are two fabrication schools. One was situated in Memphis/Saqqarah and the other one in Amarna. The Saqqarah painting style shows very frequently concentric motifs including simple bands, rows of dots or curved strokes, friezes of realistic and stylised lotus petals, lotus buds, leaves and flowers. Furthermore the blue painted ware group can be divided into several groups according to the treatment of the surface below the painted decoration.8 The best comparisons for the pottery sherds from Dahshur (Fig. 2), come from the tomb of Horemheb at Saqqarah. Relevant examples from Saqqarah belong to the most common fabric group G1 Blue painted on a pink backround slip. Their characteristics are Nile B2 fabric and a colour of the backround slip ranging from pink to cream. This matches exactly the examples known from Dahshur. Significant similarities are also continuous friezes with red vertical strokes (Fig. 2 a, b)9. According to different tomb building phases the pottery in Saqqarah was dated by Bourriau from the beginning of the reign of Horemheb to the second half of the reign of Ramses II. In terms of pottery phases the Dahshur pottery corresponds with the end of phase 3A and almost completely with phase 3B. Therefore the time frame includes the end of the 18 th dynasty and the beginning of the 19th Dynasty (about 1300-1200 B.C)10. Until now there seem to be no pottery finds from within the sledgeway later than the blue painted pottery. Concerning the date of the transportation road it can therefore be concluded that it was built not before 1300-1200 B.C. and that, accordingly, the dismantling of the temple probably did not start before that time. The fact that the sledgeway is located about 2.50 m above the top of the lower causeway proves that the lower causeway was completely covered by sand already in the New Kingdom and was, therefore, invisible in this time.

7 D. Aston, "New Kindom Pottery Phases as revealed through well-dated Tomb Contexts", in M. Bietak (ed.), The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. II, CchEM IV, DAW 29 (Vienna 2003), 151; J. Bourriau, D. Aston, M. J. Raaven, R. van Walsem, with a contribution by C. Hope, The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb. Commander-in-Chief of TutAnkhamun. III: The New Kingdom Pottery, EES Excav. Mem. 71 (London 2005), 41-42. 8 Bourriau, et al., The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb. Commander-in-Chief of TutAnkhamun. III: The New Kingdom Pottery, 41-42. 9 Bourriau, et al.,The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb. Commander-in-Chief of TutAnkhamun. III: The New Kingdom Pottery, 44-50, fig. 25, nos. 132, 143. 10 Bourriau, et al., The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb. Commander-in-Chief of TutAnkhamun. III: The New Kingdom Pottery, 8. For the New Kingdom pottery phases see J. Bourriau, Umm el-Gaab. Pottery from the Nile Valley before the Arab Conquest (Cambridge 1981) 72-79 and D. Aston, in M. Bietak (ed.), The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. II, 135-162.

Fig. 3: Hemispherical cups of the early 12th Dynasty found near the top of the lower causeway (DAIKairo, drawings by D. Blaschta, A. Eller and N. Richter)

To answer the question, at which date the causeway was finally covered, the pottery from the levels between the limestone sledgeway and the top of the lower causeway was statistically analyzed. In spite of the fact that just a few pottery sherds of the Middle Kingdom were recovered, a number of chronologically valuable profiles of hemispherical cups could be reconstructed. Hemispherical cups from the early 12th Dynasty (Fig. 3) were all fabricated in Nile silt B2 and the external and inner faces are coated with an unpolished red wash. The diameter of these cups ranges between 12.4 and 14.2 cm and their vessel indices vary between 200-230. Similar cups dating from the beginning of the 12th Dynasty to the reign of Senusret I. (about 2000-1900 B.C.) were found at Tell el-Daba, at Abu Ghlib, at Lisht and at Elephantine11. The stratigraphic position of the Middle Kingdom sherds in the excavation trench shows that during the earlier part of the 12 th Dynasty at least 0.30 m of the upper mud brick vault of the lower causeway was still visible.
11 For the development of the early hemispherical cups compare S. Seidlmayer, Regionale und chronologische Charakteristika der Beigabenkeramik des Friedhofs von Elephantine, in: L. Pantalacci, C. Berger-el-Naggar (eds.), Des Nferkar aux Montouhotep. Travaux archologiques en cours sur la fin de la Vie dynastie et la Premire Priode Intermdiaire, TMO 40, Maison de lOrient (Lyon 2005) 279-299; E. Czerny, Tell El-Daba IX. Eine Plansiedlung des frhen Mittleren Reiches, DAW 16 (Wien 1999), 65-70, 125-129.

Fig. 4: Hemispherical cups of the classical period of the 12th Dynasty found directly above the lower causeway (DAIKairo, drawings by D. Blaschta and N. Richter) Pottery sherds from the late 12 th Dynasty (Fig. 4) were found at a little higher level, about 0.60-0.90 m above the early 12th Dynasty pottery sherds. These hemispherical cups are made of Nile silt B1 and B2 fabric with very thin walls. Two cups were completely covered with an unpolished red wash and one cup had only a thin painted red line at the rim. The diameters of these vessels range between 10.0 and 14.0 cm. Vessel indices were not possible to obtain, because no profile was completely preserved. Such vessel types were dated by J. Bourriau to the period from Amenemhat II down to Amenemhat III12. Do. Arnold could assign such cups to the classical phase of the 12 th Dynasty (Senusret IIAmenemhat III), even though such vessels exist also in late 12 th Dynasty and early 13th Dynasty contexts13. Therefore a chronological time frame of about 1900-1800 B.C. can be given. From this period, the lower causeway of the Bent Pyramid was probably completely covered with sand. The construction time of the lower causeway itself can be divided into two building phases. The dating of the first building phase seems to be confirmed by pottery sherds of the early 4 th Dynasty found in the construction level. In this period only the outer walls of the causeway were built and
12 Bourriau, Umm el-Gaab. Pottery from the Nile Valley before the Arab Conquest, 69, nos. 128 a, b. 13 Di. Arnold, Do. Arnold, Der Tempel Qasr el-Sagha. AV 27 (Mainz 1979), 32, 37-38, fig. 22,5 22,8; Do. Arnold, "Keramikbearbeitung in Dahshur 1976-1981", MDAIK 38 (1982), 36-42, 61-62, fig. 17-18. For late contexts see also R. Schiestl, Tell El-Daba XVIII. Die Palastnekropole von Tell el-Daba. Die Grber des Areals F/I der Straten d/2 und d/1, DAW 27 (Wien 2009) 127-137, 479.

the passageway to the temple was left open to the sky without any ceiling - exactly as the upper causeway of the Bent Pyramid and the causeway of the Meidum pyramid were designed during the reign of Snefru14. In a second building phase the causeway was roofed. According to pottery sherds found within the mortar of the mud brick vault this phase can be dated to the 6th Dynasty (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5: Sherd of a Meidum bowl (a) and fragments of bowls with a round molded rim (b) found within the mortar of the mud brick vault dating in the 6th Dynasty (DAIKairo, drawings by A. Eller, N. Richter, K. Schrder)

The first sherd (Fig. 5 a) is a fragment of a Meidum bowl (a round-bottomed bowl with a recurved rim) with a rim diameter of 27.4 cm and a red polished coating. Comparisons dating to the end of the 5th Dynasty and the 6th Dynasty can be found at Giza, Abusir and Saqqarah15. Rim fragments of large bowls with round molded rims and inner grooves at the rim (Fig. 5 b) were found within the mortar of the mud brick vault as well. The vessel diameter ranges between 34.0 and 36.0 cm, the fabric is Nile silt Ib1 coated with a simple red wash. Such vessels were found by W. Kaiser more often in late 5 th Dynasty than in later 6th dynasty contexts, but are discussed by
14 A. Rowe, The Eckley B. Coxe Jr. Expedition. Excavations at Meydum 1929-30, The Museum Journal 22, No. 1 (1931) 34-35, Pls. 8, 12, 31-34; Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur I, The Bent Pyramid (Cairo 1959) 105-106, Fig. 59. 15 W. Kaiser, "Die Tongefsse", in H. Ricke (ed.), Das Sonnenheiligtum des Knigs Userkaf. Band 2, Beitrge zur gyptischen Bauforschung und Altertumskunde, Heft 8 (Wiesbaden 1969) 80, nos. 112, 115; G. A. Reisner, W. S. Smith, A History of the Giza Necropolis. Volume II (Cambridge/Massachusetts 1955) fig. 110, nos. 35-12-46, 33-2117, 118, 119; T. Rzeuska, Saqqarah II. Pottery of the Late Old Kingdom Funerary Pottery and Burial Customs (Varsovie 2006) 427, Pl. 130-135.

Reisner and Rzeuska also in the context of burial sites of the 6 th Dynasty16. From epigraphic evidence it is well known that the cult of Snefru was renewed during the reign of Pepy I (about 2300 B.C.) who issued, in this context, the so-called Dahshur decree 17. Thanks to the pottery analysis it is now clear that the inner vault of the causeway was constructed only during the 6 th Dynasty. Therefore it seems plausible to suggest that this building operation formed part of Pepy I's arrangements for the cult of his illustrious predecessor. Reliefs from the lower temple of the Bent Pyramid Since Fakhry's excavations it is known that the temple at the causeway of the Bent Pyramid was dismantled during the New Kingdom, most probably in the Ramesside Period 18. Luckily the masons left some of the reliefs at their place and many of the smaller fragments were found scattered in the temple. Fakhry found and published about 300 reliefs and relief fragments and made an attempt to reconstruct of the scenes19. It was extremely fortunate that it was possible to discover about 50 more relief fragments which were reused to construct the sledgeway (Fig. 1) which served as a road for the masons in the New Kingdom to transport the heavy stone blocks from the temple20. The fragments found so far provide important new evidence for the reconstruction of the decoration program of the temple. Although the study of the reliefs is not yet finished and more material is expected to be uncovered, some examples will be presented here. The first fragment to be discussed shows the left hand of a male person holding a long vertical and a curved object which becomes broader in the lower part (Pl. 3). This fragment most probably formed part of a large depiction of the king smiting the enemies; the objects shown on the fragment are to be identified as the hair of an enemy and a long fighting stick which are both held by the king in his left hand. The smiting of the enemies is a well known scene since prehistoric times (actually it occurs in the "painted tomb" at Hieraconpolis) and is known from the time of King Snefru from a relief in Wadi Maghara, Sinai21. A good idea for a possible reconstruction of the scene is provided by Jquiers reconstruction of a scene of Pepy II in his pyramid temple at Saqqarah 22. This fragment is very important for the reconstruction of the decoration program of the temple because it proves that at
16 W. Kaiser, in H. Ricke (ed.), Das Sonnenheiligtum des Knigs Userkaf. Band 2, S. 67, nos. 177-180; Reisner, Smith, A History of the Giza Necropolis. Volume II, fig. 105, no. 12-12-555, fig. 114, nos. 24-12-183 B, 24-12-183 AA, 2412-183 P; Rzeuska, Saqqarah II, 427, Pl. 79-89. 17 L. Borchardt, "Ein Knigserlass aus Dahshur", ZS 42 (1905) 1-11. 18 Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur II, The Valley Temple I, The Temple Reliefs (Cairo 1961) 6-9. For a more accurate dating (terminus post quem) to the end of the 18 th and beginning of the 19 th Dynasty according to the pottery compare the previous chapter of this article. 19 Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur II, The Valley Temple I, The Temple Reliefs (Cairo 1961). 20 See already Alexanian et al., The Necropolis of Dahshur. Seventh Excavation Report Autumn 2009 and Spring 2010, ASAE (in print). 21 C.R. Lepsius, Denkmler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien II (Leipzig 1904) Blatt 2c. 22 G. Jquier, Le monument funraire de Pepi II, Tome II, Le temple, Fouilles Saqqarah (le Caire 1938) Pl. 8.

10

least one large scale scene of the king smiting the enemies already existed in the lower temple of the Bent Pyramid. Most probably the scene was located above the frieze of estates (according to its orientation) on the eastern wall of the central entrance hall or on the wall of the rear roofed part of the temple flanking the chapels23, because the scene was too broad to fit on one of the pillars.

Pl. 3: Relief fragment showing the left hand of King Snefru smiting the enemies (DAIKairo, P. Windszus)

Pl. 4: Relief fragment showing the red crown of King Snefru enthroned under a canopy (DAIKairo, P. Windszus) The second fragment (Pl. 4) shows the rear part of the red crown with the lower part of the

projecting coil and the upper left edge of a kiosk. This scene is very significant and belongs to a depiction of the king sitting on a throne under a canopy during his sed-festival. Good comparisons for this scene can be found in the relief decoration of the temples of Ni-user-Ra 24 and Sahu-Ra25, but similar fragments were also identified already by Ahmed Fakhry in the temple of the Bent Pyramid
26

. The scene is most likely to be reconstructed on a pillar, where also other scenes of the Heb-Sed

23 Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur II, The Valley Temple I, The Temple Reliefs (Cairo 1961) 1758, 125-170, Fig. 8; H. K. Jaquet-Gordon, Les domaines funraires sous lAncien Empire gyptien, BdE 34 (le Caire 1962) 125-137. 24 F.W. von Bissing (ed.), H. Kees, Das Re-Heiligtum des Knigs Ne-Woser-Re (Rathures), Band III, Die grosse Festdarstellung (Leipzig 1928) Bl. 4, 12. 25 L. Borchardt, Das Grabmal des Knigs Sa3hu-Rec, Band II: Die Wandbilder, Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Orientgesellschaft 7 (Leipzig 1913) Bl. 45. 26 Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur II, The Valley Temple I, The Temple Reliefs (Cairo 1961) Fig. 111.

11

were depicted27.

Pl. 5: Relief fragment showing a nome emblem and personifications of estates (DAIKairo, P. Windszus) A third very important fragment (Pl. 5) shows fragments two female representations of estates of Snefru turning to the left. The framing line to the left shows that the scene originally ended here. The first figure is holding an ankh-sign in her left hand, the second figure is holding a tablet on her right arm28. The upper part of the relief is not preserved but it certainly showed each figure carrying a tablet with offerings and the name of the hw.t Snfrw above each personification. In front of the first personification a sign of a nome can be detected. Since on all fragments discovered so far by Ahmed Fakhry the representations of estates of the Lower Egyptian nomes turn to the left and those of the Upper Egyptian nomes turn to the right, one would expect that a sign of a Lower Egyptian nome is depicted. However, the remains of the nome sign on the fragment do not resemble any sign of a Lower Egyptian nome. Rather, the remains fit best with the outlines of the sign of the 8th Upper Egyptian nome t3-wr29. The fragment can hardly belong to the procession of estates on the
27 Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur II, The Valley Temple I, The Temple Reliefs (Cairo 1961) 5994. 28 For the type of representation compare Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur II. The Valley Temple I. The Temple Reliefs (Cairo 1961) Fig. 24. 29 W. Helck, Die altgyptischen Gaue, Beihefte zunm Tbinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients B5 (Wiesbaden 1974) 9093; W. Helck, Gauzeichen, Lexikon der gyptologie III (Wiesbaden 1977) Sp. 422-426.

12

temple walls, because the scale of the figures is much smaller than that of those in the frieze of estates on the lower temple walls. The boundary line to the left and the small scale of the figures rather suggest that the scene belonged to a pillar 30. It is an interesting fact that the sign of the 6th upper egyptian nome, on a fragment discovered by Fakhry, is also represented on a similar small scale and most probably also belonged to the bottom register of a pillar31. Burial equipment from the cemetery of the Middle Kingdom west of the pyramid of Amenemhat II The small finds and pottery of the Middle Kingdom Necropolis to the west of the Pyramid of Amenemhat II were studied. The analysis of the small finds from shaft 5P12-1 (previous number SF 08) resulted in reassembling several small wooden objects which were scattered all over the floor of the burial chamber. For example two coloured stuccoed ears could be identified which were originally attached to a wooden head of a canopic jar. Moreover several sticks and staves, scepters and parts from wooden miniature boats could be reassembled and identified. Analysis of the human remains The human bones of 12 individuals were analysed in autumn 2010 by A. Nerlich. Ten individuals were buried in the Middle Kingdom shafts to the west of the pyramid of Amenemhat II, two individuals were excavated in a cemetery of the Graeco-Roman Period to the southwest of the pyramid of Amenemhat II32. Two individuals from the Middle Kingdom were only 13-16 years old and one Middle Kingdom burial was a child of only 7 to 9 years. It is significant to see that these persons were buried in single shafts in the court cemetery attached to the pyramid of Amenemhat II.

30 Ahmed Fakhry noted already that representations of estates existed on a different scale and that some of them most probably belonged to the pillars (Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur II, The Valley Temple I, The Temple Reliefs (Cairo 1961) 19, 48). 31 Ahmed Fakhry, The Monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur II, The Valley Temple I, The Temple Reliefs (Cairo 1961) 48, Fig. 20. 32 Alexanian et al., The Necropolis of Dahshur. Sixth Excavation Report Spring 2009, ASAE (in print); id., The Necropolis of Dahshur. Seventh Excavation Report Autumn 2009 and Spring 2010, ASAE (in print).

13