Back in June, we provided an update from the Penn excavations at the mortuary complex of Pharaoh Senwosret III in Abydos. The team has since returned from the field, and graduate student Kevin Cahail generously passed along some photos showing what the project looked like as they were wrapping up in the field. Just as a reminder, the project has concentrated on three principal areas: (1) the subterranean tomb of pharaoh Senwosret III; (2) the mortuary temple and associated structures dedicated to the cult of Senwosret III; and (3) the urban remains of the Middle Kingdom town at South Abydos. You can read a bit more about the project in our first post.
After excavations are complete, the team documents the site by setting up a huge wooden ladder in the middle of the desert, climbing up it, standing at the top, and taking photos. Kevin mentioned that its a great view, but that he did have to put quite a bit of trust into his Egyptian compatriots to hold the ladder steady.
The mound in the background is mastaba S10 of the Late Middle Kingdom. Three tombs are visible from left to right, CS.8, CS.4, and CS.5. These three tombs date to the New Kingdom.
Following their excavations in the town site of Wah-sut, grad students Paul Verhelst and Shelby Justl are seen here drawing brick plans of the exposed architecture:
This shot shows the excavations in the Temple Cemetery, Tomb TC.19:
This one-room vaulted tomb with a rectangular entrance shaft had been looted in the months before the team arrived in 2013. Despite this, they did recover a fragment from a yellow-type coffin showing the lower portion of some standing gods:
A third vaulted chamber to the right below the sand remains unexcavated. The team plans to tackle this next season.
To give you a sense of the size of this tomb, here is a photo of Joe Wegner taking a photo of Kevin from inside TC.20. Kevin is standing in the entrance shaft, and Joe is in the burial chamber: