The Antiquities Documentation Centre has completed its project to document Al-Maala necropolis, which is located in the town of Esna in Luxor governorate.
The necropolis is a very important archaeological site because it was the official cemetery of the rulers of the third nome of Upper Egypt during the Third Intermediate Period.
Hisham El-Leithy, the director general of the centre, explained that the documentation work was carried out by an Egyptian mission from the centre.
Al-Maala is the second site in the town of Ensa to be subject to the process; Esna temple was the first.
The documentation project, he explained, aims to record information about every inch of every monument in Egypt according to the most up-to-date scientific and archaeological techniques.
“The actual documentation methods will consist of computer-data sets, plans and sections, as well as photographs, drawings and illustrations, recording forms, logbooks, site notebooks, diaries and dive logs,” El-Leithy said.
He added that GIS systems, 3D reconstructions, applications that support on-site recording processes, modern measuring techniques and data-processing software used in geophysical research would also be used.
El-Leithy said that the project to document all the archaeological sites in Egypt was also stopped in the aftermath of the 25 January Revolution due to budgetary problems.
The ministry however resumed the documentation project earlier this year and started with the Esna Temple and the Tanis site. At Al-Maala, the mission documented the architecture of the seven tombs that compose the necropolis as well as their engravings and paintings. All the pillars found there were also documented and given a special number.
The Al-Maala necropolis consists of seven tombs divided into two groups: the southern and northern groups.
The southern group, El-Leithy said, is composed of three tombs, with the main one belonging to Ankh-Tify, the ruler of the Nekhen area found between Edfu and Isna towns during the reign of King Nefer-Ka-Re of the Third Intermediate Period.
The tomb is decorated with his biography and different titles, and contains information about the period.
The other two other tombs have not been identified yet, but one of them is decorated with scenes showing the process of grain storage as well as the tomb’s owner in different positions with his family members. The second tomb has no decorations.
The southern group at the necropolis, El-Leithy said, consists of four tombs, the main one belonging to Prince Sobek Hetep, believed to be the son of ruler Ankh-Tify.
The tomb is decorated with scenes of daily life. It is surrounded by three other undecorated tombs that have not yet been identified.
decorated pillar found inside one of the tombs