The Anglo-Dutch mission 1975-1998

View over the necropolis of Saqqara
The first season at Saqqara of the EES/RMO mission (directed by Geoffrey Martin, the RMO being represented by Hans Schneider) was both a failure and a success. The location indicated for Maya 's tomb by Lepsius proved to be wrong. But the map helped the expedition to hit the very centre of the New Kingdom necropolis of Saqqara . Within a few days the team had identified the remains of the tomb of the General Horemheb , a contemporary of Maya and likewise represented in the RMO collections by some fabulous reliefs. Full excavation of this huge tomb took from 1975 to 1979.

In an new endeavour to find the tomb of Maya , the expedition then moved west. Here two small tombs were uncovered, belonging to the Overseer of Builders Paser and the Singer Raia (1981). North of Horemheb's monument, the mission excavated the tomb of the Treasurer Tia , a brother-in-law of King Ramesses II (1982-1984) , the subsidiary shaft of Tia's secretary Iurudef (1985), and three smaller tombs to the west of Tia's complex (Ramose , Khay and Pabes, 1986).

Reconstruction of the New Kingdom tombs at Saqqara by jean-Claude GolvinWhile exploring a robbers' break-through from the tomb of Ramose northwards, the expedition finally located the tomb of Maya and his wife Meryt.This was fully excavated from 1987 to 1991, and restoration of the burial-chambers could only be completed in 1998. By then, the fieldwork had already been extended to the area south of Horemheb's complex, where the tombs of the Overseer of Cattle Iniuia (1993) and of the Directors of the harîm Pay and his son Raia (1994-1998) were uncovered. The fruitful cooperation between the Egypt Exploration Society and the RMO ended in 1998, when the concession was taken over by a joint mission of the RMO and Leiden University.