The Tombs of Ptahemwia and Sethnakht at Saqqara [Paperback]

Maarten J. Raven (Author)

ISBN: 9789088908095 | Published by: Sidestone Press | Series: PALMA | Volume: 22 | Year of Publication: 2020 | Language: English 476p, H280 x W210 (mm) 506fc/502bw

The Tombs of Ptahemwia and Sethnakht at Saqqara


The two tombs dealt with in this book were discovered in 2007 and 2010 by the Leiden Expedition in the New Kingdom necropolis of Saqqara. Both date to the transition period between the reign of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten and the return to orthodoxy under his successor Tutankhamun. They are valuable additions to the growing corpus of funerary architecture from the Memphite cemeteries, yet they are quite different.

Ptahemwia was a royal butler, presumably in the Memphite palace. The wall-reliefs and inscriptions of his tomb illustrate aspects of his professional life. Yet the career of the tomb-owner preserves some mysteries, such as the assumed change of his name, his potential foreign origins, and the reason why his tomb could not be finished according to plan.

Sethnakht is an even more elusive person. This simple scribe of the temple of Ptah can hardly have been the main owner of the tomb next to Ptahemwia’s, which was started in the same lavish style and then remained undecorated. There are reasons to assume that Sethnakht was just one of the relatives of the owner, who – like Ptahemwia – seems to have suffered from the political vicissitudes of the period.

This publication presents the results of the recent excavations, with an introduction on the biographical data of the tomb owners followed by detailed discussions of the tomb architecture and wall decorations, as well as the objects, pottery, and skeletal material found in the area. Thus it is aimed at an audience of professional readers with an interest in funerary archaeology.

Table of Contents

Staff of the expeditions, 2007–2017
I    The site and its history      Maarten J. Raven
II   The family and career of Ptahemwia and Sethnakht Maarten J. Raven  
III   The architecture Maarten J. Raven
IV  The reliefs and inscriptions        Maarten J. Raven and Harold M. Hays†  
V   The graffiti        W. Paul van Pelt and Nico T.B. Staring
VI   Objects   Maarten J. Raven
VII  Pottery   Barbara G. Aston
VIII  Skeletal remains   Ladislava Horáčková
Concordance of excavation numbers and catalogue numbers
Spatial distribution of finds
List of designated features

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