In the last edition of the Western Cemeteries we visited the field itself with George Reisner and the Hearst Expedition.  We will be visiting Reisner quite a bit, later in this series, but this time we are going to look in particular at the Italian Turin Mission, led by Ernesto Schiaparelli.  Schiaparelli is perhaps more associated with his discovery of the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, but he did receive the concession to explore the Western Cemetery for Italy, and he did do some work there.  Let’s take a look.

Just a couple of notes beforehand.  First, this edition is dedicated to my friend and G.P., Dr. Akshaya Patel, who had blessed me with good health, counsel, and conversation.  I am a man of my word – Dr. Patel, this is for you.  Second, as I am bringing the site back into current service, I am slowly approving and responding to literally hundreds of pending posts.  Please be patient!  

 

The Western Cemetery of Khufu Part 5: Ernesto Schiaparelli and The Turin Expedition

 

Bust of Ernesto Schiaparelli, courtesy of the Twitter feed of the Museo Egizaio Torini, July 12, 2016.

The Turin Expedition was led by Ernesto Schiaparelli, an Italian Egyptologist. From 1903 to 1920, Schiaparelli would lead twelve expeditions into Egypt, ranging from Aswan, where he excavated the Tomb of Harkuf, a Sixth Dynasty governor of Upper Egypt under Pharaoh Merenre I and Pepi II, to the discovery of Nefertari’s Tomb in Deir el-Medina. In 1887, Schiaparelli was appointed Director of the Egyptian Museum in Florence, where he expended a great deal of effort reorganizing the collection, under the guidance of his mentor, Gaston Maspero (Ansermino). He continued to publish on monuments and pyramids during his tenure.

Schiaparelli worked almost every season in Egypt from 1903 to 1920, but relatively little of it was in the Western Cemetery of Khufu. His primary areas of interest at Giza were the Pyramid of Khufu and its related cemeteries. However, his other work was equally important. At Heliopolis, he focused on Predynastic and Early Dynastic sites. He worked the necropolis at Asyut, where events unfolded that led to the end of the Old Kingdom and the beginning of the First Intermediate Period. A somewhat more infamous site, he worked the Necropolis of Antaeopolis (Tjebu, or Djew-Qa), associated with the god Set. Schiaparelli also made valuable contributions to the excavations at the Theban Necropolis (Ansermino).

Schiaparelli and his team’s camp at the excavation QV44, that of Khaemwaset (E). one of the sons of Ramesses III. Source: Laboratoriorosso.

Ernesto Schiaparelli had a long connection to the University of Turin. His father, Louis, was a professor of ancient history at Turin. Schiaparelli himself graduated from the University of Turin in 1877, after which he was appointed to the Florence museum. In 1894, he moved to the Turin Museum, where he was appointed to the position of Director (Francesco Ballerini – Biography).

Francesco Ballerini, public domain.

Another important member of the Turin Expedition was Francesco Ballerini. Ballerini graduated from the Accademia Scientifica Letteraria di Milano in 1899, with a specialization in ancient Egypt, the subject of his dissertation. In 1902 he became the curator of the Turin Museum, which led to him joining Schiaparelli in December of the same year. His promising career in Egyptology was cut short by illness in 1910, but not before he was able to work in the Valley of the Queens, Deir el-Medina, Heliopolis, Asiut, and other notable sites in Egypt (Francesco Ballerini – Biography).

 

Schiaparelli’s Valley of the Queens. Photo from King and Hall, p. 369, in the public domain.

Statue of Royal Architect, Kha, (Eighteenth Dynasty) discovered in 1906 by Schiaparelli during his mission at Deir el-Medina, tomb TT 8, photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbera, shared via Creative Commons.

The Turin Expedition was officially underway in November of 1902, when Mary Reisner drew lots from a hat determining which of the three expeditions – the Italian Turin Expedition, the German Sieglin Expedition, and the American Hearst Expedition – would receive which part of the Western Cemetery. The cemetery was divided into three east-to-west portions, and the Italian team was granted the concession for the southernmost section. But even as the Turin Expedition in Giza was underway, Schiaparelli was drawn to other sites. In 1903, he joined the Italian Archaeological Mission at Bab el Harim, Thebes, and in 1905, Schiaparelli gave up the Western Cemetery concession to the American team, which had returned to Giza as the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition (still under the direction of George Reisner), in order to return to Thebes, as well as Deir el-Medina (Greco and Moiso). Schiaparelli was also plagued by financial and administrative problems at Giza (Jimmy Dunn), which may have been a blessing in disguise, given the work he would go on to do with the Italian Archaeological Expedition.

According to Digital Giza, Schiaparelli and other members of the Italian team excavated, at least partially, G 4121 (Ankhmare), G 4122, G 4211, G 4240 (Snefruseneb), G 4630 (Medunefer), G 4631 (Ankhiris), G 4811/Gcemetery 5000 4812 (Irankhptah and Ptahrudj), G 4911 (Ankhtef and Djefat), G 5040 (Bashepses and Kaemked), G 5110 (Duaenre, Ihat, and Iufi), G 6037 (Nikauptah), and the unnumbered mastabas of Hetepi (2), Khentkaus, Tjentet, Wehemnefret, Behib, and the unnamed “Director of Scribes” (Giza Cemetery G 5000). It should be kept in mind that many of these were later more thoroughly excavated by Hermann Junker, George Reisner, and others.

Much of the work done by the Turin Expedition in the Western Cemetery, which was, in part, also conducted by Francesco Ballerini, has yet to be published (Porter and Moss). In addition to the above, the Turin Expedition also apparently excavated in the tomb of Weneshet (G 4840), as the stelae of Wehem-nofret and Thented are believed to have been recovered from later additions to that tomb, and now reside in the Turin Museum. The stela of Khent-kauw-s, also in the Turin Museum, was recovered by Schiaparelli (Ballerini?) from mastaba 5140. William Stevenson Smith speculates that a block currently in the Turin Museum may have come from the chapel of Akhy (G 4750), which was later more fully excavated by Junker (530-31), and which may have been recovered by Schiaparelli near G 5140 (Smith, p. 530-31).

 

NOTE: Most of the information, and most of the photos in the Western Cemetery of Khufu series come from the Digital Giza website, Harvard University’s home for their (and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s) Giza Archive. This is at best a humble introduction and tribute to that work, and will hopefully encourage you to visit the site for your own enjoyment and edification. You can navigate to Digital Giza from http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/ Works cited will appear at the bottom of the articles, after the tombs. So, on to Turin Concession!

 

Schiaparelli Concession, looking west across site of excavations, photo ID HUMFA_A617P_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

Schiaparelli Concession, looking east across site of excavations, trial pits at proposed dumping site, photo ID HUMFA_A618P_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

A variety of Western Cemetery burial types from Silvio Curta, plate 5.

 

G 5232 Bebib – Judge and Administrator, Preeminent of Place, and Overseer of Scribes.

Late Fifth or Sixth Dynasty. Exact position unknown. Re-excavated by George Reisner.

 

Fragments of limestone false door lintel of Bebib, identified as “Judge, Administrator, and Overseer of scribes”, from mastaba of Bebib (Museo Egizio, Turin, TUR_S.1864), photo ID TUR_NEGB2877, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

Fragment of uninscribed rectangular limestone offering stone, representing mat with bread between two shallow basins, from mastaba of Bebib ( Museo Egizio, Turin, TUR_S.1871), photo ID TUR_NEGC2980, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 4121 Ankhmare – Inspector of Royal Document Scribes of the Granary. Son, Kawab (Royal Document Scribe of the Granary).

Stone-built mastaba, Fifth through Sixth Dynasties. Re-excavated further by George Reisner.

G4122 and G 4121, looking northeast, photo ID HUMFA_B8973_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 4121 A, three roofing stones over burial, looking south, photo ID HUMFA_C5571_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 4121, Ankhmare, chapel, west wall, south false door inscribed for Ankhmare, and relief to south (standing figure of Ankhmare), looking west, photo ID HUMFA_A7287_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

Wehemnefret – King’s Daughter, Royal Acquaintance. Also attested: Ka-priests – Beby, Hesy, Iyenkhenet, Kaiu, Khenu, Senmerer, and Werptah; Royal Acquaintances – Hetepheres, Meresankh, Nefrethasnefru, Snefrubaef-nedjes, Reputnisut, and Tjentet; Irenptah (depicted as young boy, no titles), Khentkaef (Royal Document Scribe), Snefrubaef (Great One of the Tens of Upper Egypt, Overseer of Works), Wehemnefret (King’s Daughter), Ankhetisi (untitled person attested to on false door), and Ankhkhufu (God’s Sealer of the Ship, Recruit).

Unnumbered stone-built mastaba, possibly part of mastaba S 984 excavated by Hermann Junker. Old Kingdom.

Left, limestone false door of Wehemnefret from mastaba of Wehemnefret (Museo Egizio, Turin, TUR_S.1840), photo ID TUR_LastraGizaC863, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives. Right, sketch of Wehemnefret’s false door from Curta, plate 20.

Uninscribed circular offering stone from mastaba of Wehemnefret (Museo Egizio, Turin, TUR_S.1841), photo ID TUR_NEGC2984, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 4240 – Snefruseneb – (Sem-priest, Director of the Kilt, Administrator of Dep, Mouth of all Pe, Companion, King’s Son of his Body).

Stone-built mastaba, middle Fourth to Early Fifth Dynasties. Re-excavated by George Reisner.

G 4240, east face, looking northwest, photo ID HUMFA_B1246P_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

False door tablet from Snefruseneb’s, chapel (Egyptian Museum, Cairo JE 4329), photo ID HUMFA_B8852_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 4630 – Medunefer (Chief Lector-priest, Scribe of the Divine Book, smA-priest of Anubis). Wife Nebuka (Royal Acquaintance). Sons Ankhiris (Lector-priest, Scribe of the Library of the God, smA-priest of Anubis, Khet-priest of the Great One and of Tjentet), Seneb (no titles listed), Kairef (no titles listed). Wife of Ankhiris, but possibly of Medunefer, Tjentet (Royal Acquaintance). Grandson, son of Ankhiris, Medunefer (II) (Lector-priest, also listed as one of Medunefer’s Children of the Funerary Estate). Attested as Libray of the God and One of Medifer’s Children of the Estate: Hetep, Iti, Sekhentiu,Shepsesnisut, Shepsesnisut , and Tiu.

Stone-built mastaba, End of Fifth Dynasty or later. Re-excavated by George Reisner.

 

Street between G 4630 (to west) and G 4730 (to east), men at work, looking north, photo ID HUMFA_C5470_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

Left, false door of Medunefer in situ in G 4630 (Cairo, EMC_CG_57123 = EMC_JE_36191), photo ID TUR_LastrascavoE306001, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives. Right, sketch of the false door of Medunefer, in Curta, plate 32.

 

Pottery, large two-handled combed ware jar with potmarks from G 4630 A (MFA 19.1456), photo ID HUMFA_C5518_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 4631 Nensedjerkai – Royal Acquaintance, Priestess of Hathor, Priestess of Neith.

Stone-built mastaba, Fifth Dynasty. Re-excavated by George Reisner.

G 4631 (abutting eastern face of G 4630), false door tablet inscribed for Nensedjerka (owner of G 4630), photo ID HUMFA_A1096_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 4631, Nensedjerkai, corridor chapel, inscribed false door niche for Ankhiris, son of Medunefer (see G 4630, above), looking west, photo ID HUMFA_B2108_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

Copper tools from G 4631 B: [on left] 14-1-28 (adze blade), [all others] 14-1-30 (sixteen items), photo ID HUMFA_C5557_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

G 4911 Ankhtef – Royal Acquaintance, Royal Wab-priest, Priest of Khufu. Wife Djefat (no titles listed).

Rubble-built mastaba, Fifth or Sixth Dynasties. Re-excavated by George Reisner.

 

G 4911 H, door block, looking south, photo ID HUMFA_C13633_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 4911 H, burial (skeleton, 35-12-34), looking north, photo ID HUMFA_C13635_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

Limestone false door of Ankhtef from G 4911; Ankhtef depicted on both outer jambs, his wife Djefat represented with him on north outer jamb (Museo Egizio, Turin, TUR_S.1846), photo ID TUR_NEGD0071, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 5040 Khnumshepses – Judge and Administrator, Preeminent of Place, Secretary of Judgements in the Great Court, Scribe of the Great House, Secretary of the God’s Treasure, Inspector of Arbitrators in the August Places of the Great House, Inspector of the Great House, Secretary of the king in the Great House; and co-owner, Kaemked – Royal Acquaintance, Royal Wab-priest.

Stone-built mastaba, late Fifth or Sixth Dynasties. Re-excavated by George Reisner.

 

G 5040, chapel with two entrances (to the west of rock-cut offering room of Kaemked, and to the south of rock-cut offering room of Khnumshepses, looking southwest, photo ID TUR_LastraGizaC868, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

Street between G 5040 (to west) and G 5140 (to east), shaft S 903 and mastaba S 900/902 (abutting eastern face of G 5040), looking north, Photo ID KHM_AEOS_I_5726, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 5040, southern rock-cut offering room, western wall, false door inscribed for Khnumshepses, looking west, photo ID HUMFA_A7144_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 5010 Duaerne – King’s Son of his Body, Hereditary (Prince), Count, Vizier, Scribe of the Divine Book, Mouth of Nekhen, Mouth of every Butite. Also attested: Ihat (Royal Acquaintance, Priestess of Hathor), and Iufi (Overseer of ten).

Stone-built mastaba, reigns of Khephren to Menkaure. Also excavated by Karl Lepsius and George Reisner.

 

G 5010, south end, chapel, looking west, photo ID HUMFA_B2586_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 5010, chapel, eastern wall, south of entrance, relief, looking east, photo ID HUMFA_B8484_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

G 5010, chapel, looking southwest, photo ID HUMFA_C6881_NS, courtesy of Digital Giza, the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archives.

 

 

Works Cited

Ansermino, Osvaldo. “Ernesto Schiaparelli nel centocinquantesimo anniversario della nascita nell’ontattesimo anniversario della morte.” Municipality of Occhieppo Inferiore. 12/06/06. Web. http://schiaparelli.upbeduca.eu/

Curta, Silvio. “Gli Scati Italiani A El-Ghiza.” Rome:Aziende tipografiche eredi Dott G. Gardi, 1903. Online at: http://gizamedia.rc.fas.harvard.edu/images/MFA-images/Giza/GizaImage/full/library/curto_gli_scavi.pdf

Dunn, Jimmy. “The Cemeteries of Giza in Egypt.” Tour Egypt. N.d. Web. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/gizacemeteries.htm

Ernesto Schiaparelli. Digital Giza: The Giza Project at Harvard University. Web. 2016. http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/modernpeople/469/full/#tombs

Francesco Ballerini – Biography. Centro di Egittologia Francesco Ballerini (CEFB). 2009. Web. http://www.cefb.it/en/biography.htm

Giza Cemetery G 5000. Digital Giza: The Giza Project at Harvard University. Web. 2016. http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/sites/19/full/

Greco, Christian, and Beppe Moiso. “Ernesto Schiaparelli’s Excavations at Thebes.” LaboratorioRosso. 2012. Web. http://www.laboratoriorosso.com/eng/panel4/

King, L. W., and H. R. Paule. “History of Egypt: Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria in the Light of Recent Discovery.: Deparment of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum/Grollier Society:London, 1906. Online: http://gutenberg.polytechnic.edu.na/1/7/3/2/17321/17321-h/v1d.htm

Porter, Bertha, and Rosalind L.B. Moss. Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings 3: Memphis (Abû Rawâsh to Dahshûr). Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1931. 2nd edition. 3: Memphis, Part 1 (Abû Rawâsh to Abûsîr), revised and augmented by Jaromír Málek. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1974. Online at: http://www.gizapyramids.org/pdf_li…/porter-moss_III_giza.pdf

Smith, William Stevenson. “The Origin of Some Unidentified Old Kingdom Reliefs.” American Journal of Archaeology 46 (1942), pp. 509-531. Online at: http://www.gizapyramids.org/pdf_libra…/smith_aja_46_1942.pdf

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