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Human remains from the Tomb of Khety (MMA 508/TT 311) in North Asasif

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ID: <oai:bibliotekanauki.pl:1634172>


The North Asasif Necropolis, adjacent to the New Kingdom temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari, has been the subject of several excavations over the past century, first by H.E. Winlock in the early 20th century, and since 2013 by the Asasif Project. Most of the tombs in the necropolis are rock-cut tombs of honored officials dating to the Middle Kingdom. One of these officials, named Khety, was buried in a tomb designated by Winlock as MMA 508 (also known as Theban Tomb 311), though the tomb was subsequently reused for another burial (or burials) during the Third Intermediate Period. Though Winlock excavated this tomb in the early 20th century, he left much archaeological material behind, and systematic documentation of this excavation debris by the Asasif Project has yielded a wealth of information. This study focuses specifically on the human remains recovered from MMA 508 during the 2019 season. Despite the commingled nature of the MMA 508 assemblage, much information has been gleaned from the human remains. The remains of at least twenty individuals, including infants and children as well as adults, were recovered from the tomb debris. Evidence for systemic physiological stress and infection was observed in some of the remains, and both male and female individuals were identified. Various aspects of body treatment testify to the elite status of the individuals interred in this tomb. The relatively high percentage of sub-adult remains may support theories that the tombs in this part of the necropolis were sometimes used as multi-generational family tombs. Further study of the human remains from MMA 508 may shed light on burial practices from the Middle Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period.

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