site of Meydum, one of the most important royal and non-royal cemeteries
of the Old Kingdom (2625-2130 B.C.) was excavated from 1929-1931
under the direction of Egyptian Section Curator Alan Rowe. His work
was a continuation of that begun by Flinders Petrie at the pyramid
of Meydum and the surrounding 3rd and 4th Dynasty (2675-2500 B.C.)
mastabas. Rowe's excavations also uncovered later burials of the
Middle Kingdom (1980-1630 B.C.) through the Graeco Roman Period
(332 B.C.-A.D. 642).
Rowe and workmen pump groundwater during excavations of the valley
temple at Meydum, c. 1929-32.
Watch clips from the 1929 film of Alan Rowe's expedition
to Meydum. Click here for the full video or use the links below to view the specific clips.
of coffins from tomb chamber. This particular tomb consisted
of 12 chambers built into the rock; piled inside were 101
coffins. Some were badly preserved but all contained mummies.
(Note the Meydum pyramid in the background at the end of
2. After the coffins are removed, the debris
is sifted so that not even a single bead is lost.
the coffins and the mummies they contain to the excavation
4. Rowe and assistant undertake the delicate operation of
unwrapping each mummy.
sarcophagus is found. Two miles south of the pyramid,
a granite sarcophagus, weighing over a ton, from the Roman
period, is found and transported to the house for safekeeping.
sarcophagus is then taken to its new resting place by
cart. This is its first removal in 2000 years.