The tombs of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22), Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), and anonymous tombs GE 23, 40, and 56-58.
With contributions by Maria Dobrovolskaya, Maria Mednikova, Irina Reshetova, Elena Dobrovolskaya, Elena Lebedeva, Alexey Sergeev, Natalia Sinitsyna, Olesya Popova, Valeria Kuvatova, and Annie Schweitzer.
The rock-cut tombs published in this volume include two monuments with epigraphic an iconographic materials, the tombs of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22) and Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), and anonymous structures clustered around.
The tombs of Perseneb and Ipy were explored in the 19th century by G.B. Caviglia, J.-F. Champollion, K.R. Lepsius, and A. Mariette. K.R. Lepsius assigned both tombs his own numbers: LG 78 for the tomb of Perseneb and LG 80 for the tomb of Ipy. Under these numbers, the tombs were scarcely mentioned in Egyptological literature. However, there has never been an extensive study of the architecture and decoration of these tombs; the shafts and the burial chambers have long remained unexcavated.
The tombs of Perseneb and Ipy are considered nucleus tombs for two rock-cut complexes, situated at a distance of approximately 30 meters. These tombs were surrounded by other minor burial structures that were later cut and have no preserved texts or representations. In addition to the tomb of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22), the northern rock-cut complex included tombs GE 23, GE 58, and GE 40. The southern complex included the tomb of Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), GE 56, and GE 57.
The published tombs are located in the southern part of the area investigated by the Russian Archaeological Mission at Giza (Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences), in the rock massif of Sen el-Agouz. The massif is the outcrop of the Mukattam limestone formation characterized by the alternation of different geological strata from solid rock to loose limestone and tafla. The rock chapels of the eastern edge of the plateau followed the existing geological strata and formed a terraced monumental landscape typical of Giza.
The tomb of Perseneb as well as anonymous tombs GE 23, GE 40, and GE 58 were cut in the upper part of the cliff; the tomb of Ipy and tombs GE 56 and GE 57 are situated close to the wall that separates the Giza Necropolis from the village of Nazlet el-Samman. The monuments are located about 300 m to the east of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, their local coordinate values are as follows: East 500.427 – East 500.447 and North 99.730 – North 99.776.
The presented rock-cut complexes developed in close connection to each other regarding both architecture and their history of use. The tombs are marked on the general plan of the area and published under the field numbers of the Russian Archaeological Mission.
As is usual in this part of the Giza Necropolis, a serious challenge for the team was the significant degree of destruction of the tombs presented in this publication. The destruction was caused by both natural processes and human factors, which included contemporary Old Kingdom innovations, ancient and medieval destruction, and later developments connected to occupational activities.
The structure of the volume implies a combination of the publication of new material followed by more detailed excursuses on different aspects of Egyptian culture touched on by the newly published material. The publication of the burial complexes follows the same structure as in previous volumes: architecture, archaeological context, epigraphy, ceramic material, and other finds.
The main text of the volume is supplemented by excursuses. The first two excursuses are devoted to a comparative analysis of scenes with lotus flowers and musicians, which reflected the idea of communication between two worlds. Additional excursuses are devoted to analyzing the meaning of the feast of Khufu attested in the tomb of Perseneb, and the characteristic features of the iconography of the mummy cartonnage of the Ptolemaic Period found in the same tomb.
Photos for the publication were made by all the authors; plans and sections of the tombs were executed by Sergey Vetokhov; tracings of the reliefs and inscriptions, drawings of the stratigraphy, and plans of burials were prepared by Maksim Lebedev; drawings of pottery were made by Svetlana Malykh; reconstruction of mummy cartonnage was executed by Valeria Kuvatova, drawings of finds were prepared by Oksana Nosova and Maksim Lebedev.