This page includes information that may not reflect the current views and values of the Penn Museum.

egypt gods + goddesses egypt galleries egypt expeditions egypt home expeditions past and present
museum sitemap museum search contact the websiters museum homempage


Expeditions Past & Present


The 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).Alan Rowe and workmen pump groundwater during excavations of the valley temple at Meydum, c. 1929-32.
Alan 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.

1. Removal 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 the clip.)
2. After the coffins are removed, the debris is sifted so that not even a single bead is lost.
3. Taking the coffins and the mummies they contain to the excavation house.
4. Rowe and assistant undertake the delicate operation of unwrapping each mummy.
5. A 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.
6. The sarcophagus is then taken to its new resting place by cart. This is its first removal in 2000 years.


Egypt Home | Expeditions Past and Present | Gallery Tour | Gods and Goddesses