The Spanish-Italian archaeological team working on the ‘newly’ discovered Osiris Tomb in Egypt will be returning to the site in October to begin excavation.
Irene Morfini, Assistant Director for the project told The Archaeology Hour in a recent interview: “Since this one was our second season of work, we are still inspecting, photographing, recording data, copying texts, conserving and restoring. During the next season we will hopefully start the proper excavation work.”
The Osiris tomb complex is a previously undiscovered part of a much smaller tomb that was first documented in the 19th century. A new complex of shafts, tunnels and chambers was discovered by the Sosa-Morfini team recently. The complex forms a representation of the underworld – ruled by the god Osiris. The original occupant of the tomb is unknown but, according to Morfini, many other burials were placed in the complex over time.
Early on in its history the tomb was robbed. It is now filled with debris from falling walls and ceilings, with fragments of mummies torn apart by thieves, and the original material backfilled by the original builders.
Under the Direction of María Milagros Álvarez Sosa and Morfini the crew will excavate stratigraphically (as opposed to 10cm increments as some archaeologists do) and gradually unravel the mysteries of the Osiris Tomb.
Sosa and Morfini Source: The Min Project
During the summer months (when it is too hot to excavate underground in Egypt) the team will work on the data recovered during the pre-disturbance survey. Interesting facts are already emerging. The tomb complex includes a burial chamber for Min, the tutor of Amenhotep II. Min was the mayor of Thimis, and an important figure during the reign of Thutmose III, Amenhotep’s father. One of his many titles included “Overseer of the Army of the Western River.” This implies some level of military background.
Amenhotep’s tomb was discovered many years ago and it’s walls recorded the young king’s prowess as an archer. He claimed he could shoot an arrow through a “palm’s thickness” of copper. This was long considered to be a boast and discounted by earlier Egyptologists. Now, the Sosa-Morfini team’s findings show that Amenhotep was tutored by a military leader—so perhaps the claim is not such a boast after all.
We will feature a live interview with Irene Morfini in the pilot program of The Archaeology Hour to be launched in a few weeks.
The young Amernhotep II on the knee of his tutor Min: Drawing by Raffaella Carrera. Min Project.