In Photos: Djehuty and Hery tombs in Luxor open for visitors after restoration

Nevine El-Aref , Friday 10 Feb 2023

The tombs of Djehuty and Hery, two high officials of the 18th Dynasty, were officially opened to the public two decades after their discovery.



Both tombs were discovered in Luxor’s Draa Abu El-Naga necropolis by the archaeological mission of The Djehuty Project, led by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and Spain’s Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) since 2002. 

Throughout the past 20 years, the project’s excavation, restoration and conservation works have led to numerous finds in the necropolis. It has brought to light intact coffins, mummies, and the only funerary garden known to date.

The opening was attended by the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, the Ambassador of Spain in Egypt Álvaro Iranzo, and the President of the CSIC Mrs. Eloísa del Pino.

The inauguration was also attended by renowned Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass, General Director of Antiquities in Upper Egypt Fathi Yassin, and Head of the Spanish-Egyptian mission José Manuel Galán.

The tombs belong to two high officials in one of the most important periods of ancient Egyptian history: the beginning of the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom, which saw the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Ahmose (c.1530 BC)

Waziri pointed out that visitors will be able to access the site and contemplate the tombs of both top officials.

The tombs are a classic example of the burial practices of high officials during the 18th Dynasty. They are decorated in relief and are now illuminated using green energy produced by solar panels.

Djehuty was the supervisor of the treasury and oversaw artisans in the service of Queen Hatshepsut (1507-1458 BC). Hery lived 50 years earlier and was supervisor of the double barn of the royal wife and mother of Queen Ahhotep (1560-1530 BC)

The tombs were discovered in 2003. Their walls are beautifully decorated with hunting and religious scenes. The most distinguished scene is at Djehuty’s tomb, which depicts a harpist with two singers standing behind him and with the lyrics of their song engraved above the figures.

Galan said that Djehuty’s name and face on the walls of his tomb were systematically effaced after his death to rob him of his identity and thus the ability to be remembered and to live eternally.

He pointed out that Djehuty was perhaps neither married nor had children, an uncommon fact among the Egyptian elite in ancient times. Therefore, the purpose of maintaining his memory through the funeral cult is very uncertain.

His father appears not to have been of Egyptian origin, but a native of Syria-Palestine. This may have been the reason why Djehuty tried to highlight his mastery of Egyptian writing and his knowledge of the earliest religious texts and rituals. From façade to burial chamber, his tomb-chapel was conceived as a ¨monument to the written letters¨.

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