History : Oct-Nov 2015
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 5 Álvarez, the lead archaeolo- gist, believes is a represen- tation of the descent of the deceased into the under- world. The stairs lead to a portal through which they reached a vaulted chapel pre- sided over by a magnificent statue of Osiris. He wears his characteristic atef crown and carries the crook and flail, traditional symbols of ancient Egyptian authority. In front of the statue they found a 30-foot-deep well that led to another well, 20 feet deep, which brought them to a vaulted funerary chamber that appeared to be immediately beneath the statue. There a corridor led to another chamber with yet another well, this one 26 feet deep and descending to four more funerary chambers. The largest of these is decorated with reliefs de- picting demons that sit or stand within little cha- pels. Some of them hold knives, while others have lizards in their hands. Ac- cording to Álvarez, the de- ceased had to know and pronounce the names and the titles of these other- worldly creatures in order to gain access to the afterlife. The funerary complex still holds many mysteries, not least being who built it. Since there is no inscription with the owner’s name, we do not know if it was used to bury members of a fam- ily and later reused, or if it was originally conceived as a necropolis where the dead would be buried under the divine protection of Osiris. MINPROJECT.ARTWORKS:RAFFAELLACARRERA THE FUNERARY WELL discovered at the foot of the statue of Osiris was hidden underneath the stairs leading up to the god’s statue. The stairs were actually detached, so that the steps could be removed to allow a new burial and then put be put back in place afterward. This ingenious design was intended to conceal the chambers and their rich treasures from grave robbers. Sadly, the strategy was unsuccessful, and the tombs were stripped bare of whatever grave goods they once held. WHAT LIES AT THE GOD’S FEET? Funerary chambers Well Chapel of Osiris Well Funerary chamber LAYOUT OF THE TOMB KAMPP 327 Well Corridor Funerary chambers MINPROJECT.PHOTO:PAOLOBONDIELLI MIN PROJECT. PHOTO: EDU MARÍN (EFE) OSIRIS’S CHAPEL (above) with the statue of the god commanding the room. In front of it is the well that leads down to several funerary chambers. Egyptologists Mila Álvarez and Irene Morfini (below) work in cramped conditions inside the tomb known as Kampp 327.
Dec 2015-Jan 2016