Deir el-Bachit Book Presentation at NVIC 14 June


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EMCP 2011-2012 season – May

The idea to update the blog every day after work proved impossible in the last four weeks, unfortunately. Since the last posting, we have worked for several more days. During this time we managed to finish the work on the finds from the tomb of Amenhotep II. Still several fragments of the Tano chariot need our attention: fortunately, our conservator is back in town, which means that the whole team is ready to finish the registration. Meanwhile, a television team of TV 6 came to film us and the Tano leather. The crew was accompanied by Robert Huford (see, who is specialised in chariot reconstructions. Also Kathy Hansen, specialist in horses and especially harnessing. The discussions with our colleagues proved very useful.

Discussion of EMCP members with Robert Huford (left) and Kathy Hansen (right). Photograph by E. Endenburg.

Update Footwear Project

Besides the work on the Egyptian Museum Chariot Project, work continues to study the footwear in the collection as well. Due to the excellent collaboration with the responsible curator, Wafaa Habib, we managed to register a fair number of sandals, shoes and other footwear, including the leather mules from Deir el-Medinah, more examples of sewn-edge plaited sandals, a fibre open shoe as well as leather eared sandals. The large majority registered this year, however, are wooden tomb sandals. Moreover, this part of the collection is being refurbished and newly written labels will be included. We have good hope that we will be able to finish the re-organisation within two weeks from now.

A new project was started several weeks ago, dealing with the leather finds from Fustat. The far majority of this corpus, however, consists of footwear (see The material was excavated by the IFAO in several seasons work.

The Coptic Museum Project, studying the leather and basketry collection, is started in May as well ( More information about this project will follow in due course: on June 14th, it will be presented at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo. During this event, the recently published book ‘Sandals, shoes and other leatherwork from the Coptic Monastery of Deir el-Bachit. Analysis and Catalogue. – Leiden, Sidestone Press’ will be presented. The book can be read in the e-library of the publisher (

For a list of recent publications on footwear and leatherwork see the pages dealing with the projects.

Refurbishing the showcases. Photograph by A.J. Veldmeijer.


Bioarchaeology Conference

A two-day conference on the Bioarchaeology of Egypt is scheduled for Janury 2013. Details can be found here:

EMCP 2011-2012 season – 7 and 14 March

The last two weeks, two days of work on the Amenhotep II leather was done. This important material, remnants of quivers and bow-cases as well as more ordinary red axe lashings, have been described (Salima) and photographed (André). It becomes increasingly clear that there are many differences between these finds and those from other tombs, but, interestingly, also many analogies. The material is very fragile and in need of conservation, the possibilities of which will be explored by our conservator, Lucy.

The curator, Ibrahim el Gawad with his assistant.

EMCP 2011-2012 season – 19 and 22 March

Two more days of working in the museum. We have been able to finish checking the description of the ‘Tano’ chariot – our part of the work is nearly done but the conservation and consolidation will continue for some time to come.


The EMCP includes the study of other chariot leather; some objects from the tomb of Tuthmosis IV remains to be studied as well as the finds from Maiherpri. Thursday 22 March we started working on the leatherwork from the tomb of Amenhotep II, discovered in 1898 by Victor Loret. This material, including parts of (a)bow case(s), is important for various reasons, among which is the elaborate decoration (seemingly much more elaborate than the leatherwork from Amarna and the tombs of Amenhotep III and Tutmosis IV) as well as the extensive use of glue.

EMCP 2011-2012 season: text report (Ole Herslund)

The work with texts mentioning chariots and related topics is progressing as planned. So far the focus has been placed on creating a complete overview of attestations of chariots in the written record of the New Kingdom. The information to be gained from the texts is twofold. Firstly, the ancient Egyptian language contained different words for different kinds of chariots as well as a technical terminology comprised by names for chariot parts and associated equipment. Secondly, the textual record allows us to glimpse into the many social contexts in which chariots are attested and can thus help us to place the chariot in a micro-historic framework within New Kingdom society.

Papyrus Harris 500 (P. BM 10060) includes love poems, which indicate the use of chariots as personal, everyday transportation). Courtesy of the British Museum (

Interview Ancient Egypt Online

Recently, Salima and I have been interviewed for Ancient Egypt Online:


EMCP 2011 season – Iconography report 8 March (Lisa Sabbahy)

Chariot iconography research is well underway. A collection of Eighteenth Dynasty depictions of chariots is basically complete. We are assembling a spreadsheet so that the sources can be easily reviewed and shared, and of course, checked for omissions. Sources included are: temple walls and blocks, private tombs, stelae, and ostraca. We have also been collecting any article or book chapter, which discusses any aspect of chariots in ancient Egypt, and also relevant articles about leather. When the spreadsheet is finished and checked, we will move on to the Ramesside evidence for chariots, a little more daunting task because of all the temple war scenes.

See (scroll down to EMCP for earlier accounts and images).

Book on Bachit’s leatherwork available

Sandals, shoes and other leatherwork from the Coptic Monastery Deir el-Bachit.


The Coptic monastery and cemetery Deir el-Bachit stands on the hilltop of Dra’ Abu el-Naga, the well-known necropolis in Qurna (West Bank, Luxor). It is the largest Coptic monastery complex preserved in Western Thebes and the first monastery that has been systematically investigated. The excavation of the monastery was started as a DFG-Project des Ägyptologischen Instituts der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in close collaboration with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Abteilung Kairo.Until the start of the investigations in 2001 with a survey, little research was done. After three seasons of preliminary research, full archaeological research was started in 2004.

The leatherwork was studied in 2007, the present volume of which presents the results. The book consists of two parts: the analysis and a detailed catalogue, including colour images of all finds and, where necessary, line drawings. The finds are analysed within the framework of the excavation as well as within the frameworks of the Ancient Egyptian Leatherwork Project and the Ancient Egyptian Footwear Project (

Available in print through and Oxbow Books.

Online reading is possible at the site of the publisher; pdf is available as well.