Cairo University ExpeditionSupported by: Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University
Director: Ola el-Aguizy
Area: New Kingdom necropolis, north-east sector
There is no website for this expedition.
In 1977, Soad Maher of Cairo University started excavations at a distance of about 200 m to the north-east of the Dutch concession, and just south of the Unas causeway. The objective was to uncover the cemetery of the monks who once lived in the nearby Monastery of Apa Jeremias. Instead, several large tombs dating to the Ramesside period came to the light, indicating that the New Kingdom necropolis extended at least to that sector of the Saqqara plateau. The excavations were taken over by Sayed Tewfik, dean of archaeology of the same University. Between 1984 and 1988 he exposed about 35 tombs, but his untimely death then interrupted the work and prevented their proper publication. The most important tombs belong to the vizier Neferrenpet, the treasurers Amenemone and Nebnefer, and to several royal butlers. Underneath this stratum of large limestone temple-tombs of the New Kingdom lies another layer of Old Kingdom tombs, and even remains of Early Dynastic galleries. In the centre of the excavation lies the large mastaba of the 5th Dynasty vizier Minnofer, whose granite sarcophagus has been in the Leiden Museum since the early 19th century. The work was recently resumed by a new team of Cairo University under the direction of Ola el-Aguizy. Two more Ramesside tombs have been discovered, one of them belonging to the overseer of guards Wadjmes, a contemporary of Ramesses II (found 2008). The results of the Cairo University mission deserve to be published in full, because they are highly comparable to the finds of the Dutch expedition.