Australian Centre for Egyptology Expedition

Supported by: Macquarie University, Sydney

Director: Naguib Kanawati

Area: Teti pyramid cemetery

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Relief in the tomb of WaatetkhethorFor many years, Naguib Kanawati excavated and recorded Old Kingdom tombs at various sites in Upper Egypt (el-Hawawish, el-Hagarsa, Deshasha, Deir el-Gebrawi). From 1983 he made a first start at a new concession to the north-west of the Teti pyramid, in an area formerly excavated by Zaki Saad (1943) and adjoining the concession of the Egyptian archaeologist Mahmud Abd-er-Raziq (with whom Kanawati collaborated on several projects). Work was properly concentrated in this area from 1994 onwards, and since then Kanawati and his team have discovered several more small mastabas dating to the late Old Kingdom. In 2002 they also exposed the north-west corner of the enclosure wall of Teti's pyramid. Apart from excavating new tombs, the Australians also record the wall-decoration of previously known monuments in the area and empty their shafts, which have often not been explored before and prove to contain important remains of the funerary equipment of the original owners. In this ways they have now published several important tombs, such as those belonging to Ankhmahor, Nikauisesi, Ka-aper, Hesi, and recently the first volume devoted to the well-known tomb of Mereruka. In the the strata overlying the Old Kingdom mastabas important New Kingdom remains have also been found, which are being studied by Boyo Ockinga who already published the important tomb of the chief goldsmith Amenemone. The expedition is especially interested in new historical evidence on the succession from Unas to Teti, and from the latter to Pepi I, and in this respect work has also been done in the cemetery of the Unas pyramid.