College of Communication and Fine Arts Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology
The god Anubis guides HawraDr. Corcoran at the tomb of HarwaRelief from the tomb of HarwaDr. Ayad working in the tomb of Harwa
Tomb of Harwa
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The 2003-04 field season at the tomb of Harwa marked the beginning of a new collaboration for the Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology.  After visiting the University of Memphis last spring, Dr. Francesco Tiradritti, the Field Director of the Harwa Mission, invited Dr. Lorelei Corcoran, Director of the IEAA, to participate in this year's field season along with two of her students.  The Memphis members joined an interdisciplinary, multinational team of Egyptologists, archaeologists, and other professionals from Italy, Egypt, France, Slovenia, and Spain.

Dr. Corcoran reviewed Late Period cartonnage and coffin finds from the tomb, especially a fragmentary mummy portrait.  Dr. Corcoran is the author of Portrait Mummies From Roman Egypt, a monograph focusing on portrait mummy collections in Egypt. Before beginning her work in Luxor, she gave a well-attended lecture at the American University of Cairo at the invitation of Dr. Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at AUC. 

Dr. Mariam Ayad, Assistant Director of the IEAA, returned to the Mission with the University of Memphis team.  She has worked at the tomb since 2000. The tomb of Harwa is of special interest to Dr. Ayad, as it complements much of her dissertation research on the chapel of the god's wife Amenirdis at Medinet Habu.  Her previous research has assisted in the epigraphic effort to reconstruct the texts and decoration of the tomb.

Jacob Shock and Laura Deneke are both second-year graduate students in the Department of Art majoring in Art History with a concentration in Egyptian Art & Archaeology. They were chosen by their professors to participate in the field season.  Upon arriving in Egypt, they were both able to conduct research pertaining to their theses at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. They both worked as part of the epigraphic team, recording the fragmentary hieroglyphic inscription and scenes in an ongoing attempt to reconstruct the decoration of the tomb. 

While in Egypt, the members had the opportunity to visit many monuments and other sites of interest.  Their residence on the West Bank was centrally located, allowing easy access to monuments such as the Valley of the Kings, Deir el-Bahri, and the tombs of the Nobles.  The modern city of Luxor on the East Bank is the site of Luxor Temple, the Luxor Museum, and the temple complex at Karnak, where the University of Memphis is involved in an epigraphic effort to copy portions of the Great Hypostyle Hall. 

Go to the Harwa website.


University of Memphis Team Members

- Dr. Lorelei H. Corcoran
- Dr. Mariam Ayad
- Jacob Shock (graduate student)
- Laura Deneke (graduate student)


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Sites Visited:
Before beginning their work in Luxor, Jacob and Laura had the opportunity to spend a few days in Cairo.  They visited the sites of Saqqara and Giza and the Egyptian Museum. 

Saqqara is most famous as the location of the Step Pyramid Complex of Djoser.  The complex dates to the Third Dynasty and is the earliest example of monumental architecture in Egypt.  The site includes the Step Pyramid, designed by Imhotep, a serdab which contained the seated statue of King Djoser (now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo), and a festival court.  Several mastaba tombs (including the tombs of Mereruka, Tiye, and Ptahhotep) and the pyramids belonging to the kings Pepi and Teti are located near the Djoser complex. 

The Giza Plateau is home to the only remaining wonder of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Khufu.  Also present are the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure along with multiple subsidiary structures.  The famous Sphinx is located in front of Khafre's pyramid, next to his valley temple.

After arriving in Luxor, the team traveled to the West Bank, where they lived and worked for the next month.  They visited the Tombs of the Nobles, the Temples of Merneptah and Amenhotep III, the Colossi of Memnon, the temple complex of Medinet Habu, the Ramesseum, Deir el-Medina, the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri, and many royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

The Temple of Karnak, located on the East Bank, was connected to the smaller Luxor Temple by a causeway lined with sphinxes. The Luxor Museum houses spectacular works of art including the cache from the Solar Court of Karnak.

A day trip was made to Abydos and Dendera. The temples of Seti I and Ramesses II and the Osireion are located at Abydos. The temple of Seti I is perhaps best known for its king list, giving the names of the pharaohs from the Old Kingdom up to Seti I (omitting Hatshepsut and Akhenaton). Dendera is the site of the Ptolemaic temple of Hathor. One of the few images of Cleopatra VII with her son by Julius Caesar, Cesaerion, can be seen on the back of the temple.


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Mission Calendar

December 14: Mariam Ayad, Jacob Shock, and Laura Deneke join Lorelei Corcoran in Luxor at the Italian Archaeological Mission at Luxor. 

Typical Work Day
Team members worked six days a week, arriving at the tomb at 7am and working there until 1pm. There was an additional work time in the evening from 5pm to 7pm at which time members updated the computer database.

In addition to our daily schedule, team members participated in the following extracurricular activites:



December 16: Visited the tomb of Amenhotep III (WV22).  This site is under conservation by Waseda University of Japan and is closed to the public. 

December 17: Visited the work site of Dr. Andreij Niwinski who is searching for the tomb of Amenhotep I.  His work site was on the edge of a cliff overlooking the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri.

December 21: Visited the tomb of Pabasa (TT 279).  This tomb has many parallels to the tomb of Harwa in terms of architecture and decoration.

December 22: Egyptologists Ted and Lyla Brock and Rosalind and Jac Jansson visited the tomb of Harwa.

December 25: Attended Christmas dinner at Chicago House, the permanent residence of the mission of the University of Chicago in Luxor.

December 26: Took a day trip to Abydos and Dendera.  Visited the Temple of Seti I and the Osireion at Abydos, and the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. 

December 29: Visited tomb of Padineit, adjacent to the Tomb of Harwa.  This tomb is currently under excavation by Dr. Farouk Goma.

December 31: Celebrated New Year's Eve with the French Mission to Karnak and the Japanese Mission from Waseda Univeristy.

January 1: Visited Luxor Temple and the Luxor Museum.

January 2: Visited the Valley of the Kings.

January 4: Visited Deir el-Bahri, the temple of Hatshepsut.

January 5: The team of Chicago House visited the tomb of Harwa.  Visited the Ramesseum.

January 6: The Polish Mission visited the tomb of Harwa.  Later the same day, the tomb was visited by Dr. Sabri Abd el-Aziz, the Director General of the Giza Plateau, who was accompanied by other officials of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. 

January 7: Visited the temple of Montuhotep II, closed to the public.

January 8: Last day of work at the tomb.

Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology 
315 Art and Communication Bldg.
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152-3140

Phone: (901) 678-2555
FAX: (901) 678-2735






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Last Updated: 2/2/12