2017 Grant Recipient
The Necropolis of the Vaulted Tombs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art excavations of the Late and Ptolemaic Periods Necropolis at Thebes
This grant is for the publication of a comprehensive report on the excavations of the necropolis of brick tombs located south-east of the Asasif, on the west bank of Luxor in Egypt, conducted by various archaeological missions in 1907-11, 1912-13, 1915-16 and 1934-35. These structures were initially erected around the large rock-cut tombs built over the Asasif plane during the late 25th (c. 747–656 BC) and the 26th (664–525 BC) dynasty, while new ones were added to the south-east, towards the edge of the cultivation, during the Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BC). Built in close visuospatial relationship with the impressive temple-tombs, these modest brick tombs served as the burial place for the high to middle levels of society, which means that a sizeable portion of contemporary (and later) Theban population is represented here. The data provide information on a range of socio-cultural aspects such as access to resources for the construction of these tombs and to prestige art, and inform on the funerary practices of the time with regard to the use and extent of artificial mummification and inclusion of funerary material culture in tombs.
Dr. Maria Cannata (Beijing University) completed her D.Phil. in Egyptology at the University of Oxford with a specialisation in Funerary Culture and Demotic Studies. Her main research interests lay in social history, especially that of the Late and the Greco-Roman periods in Egypt, and all of her work to date has focused on bringing a cross-disciplinary perspective into the study of the funerary sphere in Egypt. Her doctoral studies focused on the organisation of the Ptolemaic funerary industry in Egypt and were based on the countrywide analysis of both archaeological and textual evidence, highlighting not only the identity of the officials in control of necropolises, and the competences of various priests in the embalming, funeral, burial, and mortuary cult of the deceased, but also the resilience of the Egyptians’ funerary beliefs, and the great degree of continuity in this sphere during this period. She has taught widely in Egyptology both in the UK and in China, and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Egypt Exploration Society, and as academic journals editor. She has taken part in excavations in Egypt and is currently part of Dr. Penny Wilson’s team working at Sais (Sa el-Hagar) in the Nile Delta.