Robbed – Ransacked – Rescued [?]
The Tombs of the Qubbet el-Hawa North

15.09.2023 to 10.03.2024
Neues Museum

The Egyptian-German excavation team of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) and the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities in Aswan present the midway results of a long-term project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The project will continue until 2028. The find-site is situated on the west bank of the Nile opposite Aswan. The fate of this recently looted area will be explained with the help of photos, drawings and other documents.

Thanks to the initiative of the Egyptian Authorities and the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung (Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection), it was possible to apply for a cooperative excavation project in 2014. The joint mission has been working since 2015 on the west bank of the Nile opposite Aswan in a region called Qubbet el-Hawa North. During the unstable period of the Arab Spring between 2011 and 2013, local communities occupied the small hillside to enlarge their building area. While doing so, they detected around ten rock-cut tombs and looted them thoroughly.

The area is located around 800 metres north of the well-known necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa (Dome of the Wind). The importance of the find-site has to do with the fact that the ancient tomb owners were representatives of the local elite of the New Kingdom (c. 1550 – 1000 BC). Most of the dignitaries are familiar to us through other monuments, but the place of their burials remained unknown until 2011.

The three main targets of the Egyptian-German cooperation are

  1. documenting the architectural structures and objects that survived the looting
  2. publicising information about the tombs and
  3. safeguarding of the area and developing a sustainable site management.

Documentary Exhibition with Highlight

The exhibition shows the current findings of the project and its scientific research. All tomb structures and their owners will be presented. A special highlight is a 1:1 photographic replica of the wall paintings from the tomb of User, mayor of Elephantine. The tomb and its remarkable decoration date back to the era of Pharaoh Amenhotep III (c. 1360 BC).

A special exhibition of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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Related Links

Qubbet el-Hawa North: Rescue excavation project

Exhibition catalogue (German only) in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin webshop