First archaeological campaign 2008

The main objectives of this campaign were the excavation, restoration, and site management of the Mortuary Temple of Thutmosis III, located on the West bank of Luxor.

The first archaeological investigation was carried out from the middle of September until the end of October 2008. During this campaign, specialists of different nationalities, including two Spanish members, formed the team. The work was entirely sponsored by the Spanish petrol company CEPSA.

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Second archaeological campaign 2009

The second archaeological campaign at the Mortuary Temple of Thutmosis III took place from the beginning of November until the middle of December 2009. As in the previous season, the campaign was funded by the Spanish petrol company CEPSA.
During this season, excavations continued on the main ramp, along with the investigations to reveal the façade of the containment wall of the Peristyle hall. The restoration and protection of the architectural features of the Second Court continued as well, while excavations in area of the Hypostyle hall were initiated.

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Third archaeological campaign 2010

The third consecutive campaign of archaeological investigations at the Mortuary Temple of Thutmosis III was carried out between October 2nd and December 17th 2010. The campaign was made possible by the continued support of CEPSA, with additional support from the Marcelino Botin Foundation, enabling the campaign to be prolonged. This led to a marked increase in the amount of work achieved by the joint Spanish-Egyptian team.
The team was reinforced this season by the addition of several members of the Department of Fine art and Archaeology at the University of Granada. Several graduate students, specialising in Egyptology, Archaeology and Restoration, also joined the team in order to gain valuable field experience.

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Fourth archaeological campaign 2011

Since the beginning of the excavations in 2008, the Mortuary Temple of Thutmosis III has generated a large amount of material, which has implied the involvement of additional specialists from diverse fields. For this fourth season, the focus was on the following objectives:

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Ninth Archaeological Campaign 2016

Goals

The ninth archaeological and Egyptological investigations season at the Temple and the Middle Kingdom necropolis begun on October 4, 2016. During previous interventions, numerous archaeological materials have been discovered, whose study is contributing to a better understanding of various life aspects of the ancient city of Thebes. From a historical point of view, the site has produced structures and objects so far, that from various periods: XIth dynasty modest tombs, XIIth dynasty nobles’ tombs, the XVIIIth dynasty temple and a priest’s house of the XIXth dynasty. The archaeological richness for each of these periods is providing interesting information.

The main objectives of this field season will focus on the following points:
• Continuation of the excavation and restoration of the enclosure wall west of the temple, with the aim to complete the investigations of the walls and achieve a historical assessment through preserved mudbrick stamp seals.
• Continuation of the excavations on the upper terrace of the temple to be able to expose and preserve the whole area. It also intended to progress in the architectural study of the foundations and stone structures that is still in place, with the aim to design its musealization. This phase of the project will involve several seasons of work, the ultimate goal is to have the plan of the temple clearly marked in the ground.
• Continuation of the excavations of the necropolis of the XIth dynasty located on a rocky promontory outside the enclosure wall north to complete the works initiated there.
• Excavation of new tombs located under the temple, where a team will work on the excavation of tomb number XXI, discovered at the end of 2015 season.
• Resuming of the task of documenting the large amount of material found throughout previous seasons to progress on the database updating. Further, there are two doctoral theses in progress focused on the study of New Kingdom materials from the site.
• Continuation of the work of restoration of mudbrick structures.
• Continuation of the study of the vast amount of pottery from different periods found in different sections of the site.
Depending on the findings, the objectives will also include a preliminary study of human remains that might be found in the course of the season.



The jewellery of the lady

The work in the tombs located in the necropolis below the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III starts to bear fruit. The Egyptian-Spanish team has discovered two tombs from the Middle Kingdom (2137-1781 BC), which brought to light very interesting material dating from a relatively obscure period of the Theban region.

On the 15th October of this year the seventh campaign of excavating and restoring the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III, located near the modern town of Qurna on the West Bank of Luxor, commenced. One of its objectives is the cleaning and preservation of the tombs that had been previously localized by employing the technology of exploration by geo-radar. And one of them has yielded truly exceptional results.
Once the cleaning of the funerary shaft of the tomb no. XIV, which already had been looted in antiquity, was finished, the excavators could determine, that in one of the chambers part of the roof had already collapsed before the desecration by ancient tomb robbers, which in turn nourished hopes that this certain part of the sepulchre had not been plundered in the past. As the cleaning of the debris went on, it became clearer and clearer that indeed these hopes have not been false.
A large boulder, which had fallen down before the tomb was looted, had crushed and buried a previously untouched coffin with all its contents. Thus, the raiding of the valuable artefacts attached to the mummy inside was prevented. Removing the aforementioned boulder, the excavators discovered vestiges of a wooden coffin and an utterly destroyed female mummy, which, however, still wore the marvellous jewellery attached to it during the process of mummification and subsequent burial. A preliminary analysis of the pottery found in the tomb allows for a reliable dating of the ensemble to the Middle Kingdom.
The female owner of the tomb was buried with a cylindric amulet made of semiprecious stones and gold plates, and with a pendant in the form of a finely wrought golden shell. Furthermore, she carried two golden bangles on her arms, each formed by two pieces of twisted wire, connected to each other and silver bracelets on both ankles. The golden shell and the two golden bangles were found in a perfect state of preservation, while the silver ankle bracelets suffered from heavy damage. These spectacular findings confirm, that under the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III there is located an elite necropolis, in which wealthy and important individuals of the Middle Kingdom and their families were buried.
In fact, at the end of the campaign of 2013 another tomb, no. XI, was unearthed, containing the, unfortunately badly preserved, funerary equipment and fragments of a wooden coffin belonging to a person named Ikery. The tomb, that had been looted and reused in later times, preserved the bones of seventeen different individuals and, among other artefacts, fragments of wooden models, canopic jars and small figurines, among which about twenty fragments of so-called magical wands manufactured from ivory are especially important, which transmit important information about the beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians.