Substructure of Iurudef's tomb

A tomb-shaft opens directly in front of the chapel and was excavated in 1985. It is 8.08 m deep and leads to seven tomb-chambers: four on a first level (4.75 m deep) and three more at the bottom (one entered via a second pit and 9.98 m deep). These still contained considerable remains of Iurudef's burial gifts. The total number of individuals buried here amounts to at least 32.

VOne of the burials in the tomb of IurudefBut Iurudef's relatives were not the last persons to be buried here. At some stage, the tomb was robbed and its contents burnt. During the Third Intermediate Period (somewhere between 1100 and 850 BC), the four chambers of the upper level were re-used for the burial of about seventy people. This was a period of great impoverishment, at least in Memphis. Accordingly, there were badly-mummified corpses wrapped in palm-stick mats, children in papyrus coffers or rectangular boxes, and only 27 proper coffins. The latter are of great interest because of their obvious lack of craftsmanship. The construction is poor, the decoration full of ill-understood details, and the texts have been written in pseudo-hieroglyphs. The find of this intrusive cache has proved to be highly important for a better understanding of the post-New Kingdom use of the Saqqara necropolis.

The upper chambers still contained considerable remains of Iurudef's burial gifts, including parts of inlaid wooden coffins, shabtis in stone, wood and faience, fragments of a fine openwork mummy cover, a scribe's palette, a pectoral, a scarab inscribed for Ramsesses II, and cosmetic vessels.