Long searched for causeway of Sarenput I found in Aswan
The joint University of Birmingham - Egypt Exploration Society Research Project at Qubbet el-Hawa (QHRP) has discovered the long searched for causeway of Sarenput I.
|Relief at the end of the causeway showing three men driving an ox as a provision |
for Sarenput I after his death [Credit: EES]
This discovery comes in the framework of the archaeological work which the British archaeological mission does in cooperation of the Aswan region to develop the Qubbet el-Hawa area and support the work carried out by the mission.
Dr. Martin Bommas, director of the QHRP explained that a relief was discovered on the eastern face of the northern wall of the causeway. He went on describing that the relief shows a funerary scene in raised relief which is the southernmost example of funerary relief art of the early Middle Kingdom found in Egypt.
It is made of blue sandstone, a building material only available in the area of Shat elSaba Regal near Kom Ombo which was used at the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahari and the temple for Satet on the Island of Elephantine.
eastern entrance of the causeway of Sarenput I, north wall, leading up
to the tomb |
of Sarenput, governor of Elephantine Island in 1910 BC [Credit: EES]
A dig within the vicinity of the causeway yielded pots tumbled within a pit. Dr. Eman Khalifa, director of the pottery project of the QHRP clarified that those particular pots with shallow lids were in use during the Late Period. Similar examples are known from the Embalmer’s Cache discovered in Saqqara.
The pots, she carried on, show visible remains of their contents. Further chemical analysis will be carried on in the future to identify the compound, and hence shed light on the substances used for embalming and preserving the bodies of the ancient Egyptians.
The recent find was part of the first season of the QHRP team which mainly consists of Egyptian academics and scholars. It confirms the hypothesis that Sarenput I had built a causeway which reached close to the borders of the river Nile.
With a length of 133 meters it is the longest causeway ever built on the west bank of Aswan, used to access his tomb and ritually bury Sarenput I, the first governor of the area at the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. The decoration of the causeway was already underway in year 10 of the reign of Senwosret I (1910 BC).
As the pottery shows, the causeway was in use for almost 600 years as a place of memory and funerary ritual activities.
Source: Egypt Exploration Society [November 08, 2016]