A team of researchers from the UAB Department of Antiquity asteend Middle Age Studies and the Institute of Ancient Near Est Studies (IEPOA), directed by professor in Egyptology Dr Josep Cervelló, in colaboration with the Egyptian Antiquities Service, aim this year to unveil a whole series of secrets discovered in the Kom el Khamaseen necropolis. This site, located in Saqqara, an area presided by the stepped Pyramid of Djoser, the first ever to be built in the history of Egypt, was active over 4,000 years ago and includes the burial sites of individuals from different social statuses. One of the most outstanding is Aim For, the sem priest of the god Ptah at Memphis, capital of Egypt at that time.
If all goes as planned, the dig campaign will take place in the months of April and May and will serve to excavate and extensively document the site and thus continue with the dig commenced in 2019, suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak of last year. To carry out the campaign, a micro donations campaign has been launched to collect the sum of €25,000.
The team is formed by archaeologists, epigraphers, topographers, ceramologists, restorers and anthropologists, most of them from the UAB, alongside four egyptologists and archaeologists and thirty specialist workers. “This is an ambitious dig campaign in which we want to reach the bottom of the tombs and original stratum. We know that there are at least five tombs”, Josep Cervelló points out.
The 2021 campaign will be the culmination of a project which began over 20 years ago, when the IEPOA team directed by Josep Cervelló realised the archaeological and historical potential of the site. Since 1997, several have been the reasons hindering progress on the project, such as the regulations of the Egyptian Antiquities Service and ransacking of the necropolis. “Despite the destruction caused by the ransacking, there is still much to rescue and document”, concludes Dr Cervelló, who is also the coordinator of the UAB's Official Master's Degree in Egyptology. This is the only official academic programme in Egyptology to be offered in Spain and other parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Until now othe programme was offered on-site, but starting in the 2021-2023 edition, it will also be offered online.