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In the current issue


Excavating a Middle Kingdom Town

Author: Josef W. Wegner

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During an initial site survey at Abydos in 1966, David O’Connor briefly examined South Abydos: a part of the site which had not seen substantial excavations since work from 1899–1904 by the British Egypt Exploration Fund. This area of Abydos includes the royal mortuary complexes of the 12th-Dynasty king Senwosret III (ca. 1850 BCE) and the 18th-Dynasty king Ahmose (ca. 1550 BCE), the founding pharaoh of Egypt’s New Kingdom. South Abydos remained highly promising for renewed archaeological work. O’Connor mapped and photographed the landscape at that time and even made trial excavations into deposits close to the pyramid of Ahmose.

Although O’Connor initially applied to the Egyptian Antiquities Service to excavate through the entire site of Abydos, he was only granted permission to dig at the area of North Abydos where he started work in 1967. Later, in the 1990s, separate permission was granted for new work at the Ahmose complex, initially excavated by Stephen Harvey from 1993–2007 as part of the Ahmose and Testisheri Project, and now under the aegis of the 30 Egyptian-American ASP project (see article by Vischak and Damarany on Page # of this issue). Excavations under my direction in the Senwosret III area were initiated in 1994 and continue to this day as the Penn Museum excavations at South Abydos. Over the last two decades, numerous discoveries have come from the broader environs of the Senwosret III mortuary complex including the 2013–14 discovery of the tomb of King Seneb-Kay discussed in this issue.

Current Issue

Expedition 65-3 cover.

Abydos & Beyond

From David O'Connor's Storied Career to the Penn Museum's New Galleries

Winter 2024

Vol. 65 No. 3

In This Issue:

  • Reminiscences of Abydos in the 1960s
  • The Search for Egypt's First Kings
  • Discoveries at the Temple of Ramses II
  • An Elite Necropolis in South Abydos
  • The Palace of Merenptah at Penn

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