Note on the Harvard-Boston Excavations at El-Kurruw and Barkal in 1918-1919

George A. Reisner
1920 Journal of Egyptian Archaeology  
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact This content downloaded from 128.210.ON Dec. 24, 1918, the Harvard-Boston Expedition resumed its work in Dongola Province. I was accompanied by Mrs Reisner, my
more » ... aughter, and Mr W. G. Kemp. We brought 40 trained Egyptian workmen and filled up the ranks with unskilled labourers from the local villages. The work at Gebel Barkal lasted from Dec. 24, 1918 to Feb. 20, 1919. Preliminary work was begun at el-Kurruw on January 30, full work on Feb. 21, and continued until May 8. El-Kurruw is on the "east" bank about 8 miles down-stream of Barkal. The desert is a yellowish-grey sandstone plateau rising abruptly at first and then very gently towards the " east." The pyramid field is divided into three parts by two wadys-called by us the " North " Wady and the " South " Wady. Between these two wadys lies the Main Field containing the tombs of the kings. "North" of the "North" Wady is a small field of 6 tombs of queens, called the " North " Field. " South " of the " South " Wady is a much larger field, called the " South " Field, which contains three small groups of tombs of queens and a cemetery of horses. Lepsius' plan in the Denkmaler, Pt. I, P1. 122 shows only the " North " and the Main Fields, and is fairly correct as far as it goes. The large square behind represents a stone-quarry. The " westernmost" pyramid (Pyr. I) in the Main Field was the latest in date, ca. 350 B.C., that is 300 years after the next one before it in time. This was the pyramid of a king whose queen was buried in Pyr. II which was in the corresponding position in the " North " Field. Leaving the two late pyramids out of consideration, four of the tombs in the Main Field were identified as the tombs of Piankhy, Shabaka, Shabataka, and Tanutaman. The tomb of Piankhy might have been either a mastaba or a pyramid, but the other three were pyramids. Now these four tombs of kings of the XXVth Egyptian dynasty (to which I reckon Piankhy), are the last four tombs of a cemetery which contains 20 tombs. The top of the Field, the primary site, is occupied by a circular tumulus of rubble covering a pit with step and side chamber. The orientation is "north-south." On the ground of its position, its type and its contents, I place this tumulus as the first tomb made at el-Kurruw. Near it but lower down the slope, there are three other exactly similar graves. Still lower down towards the "west," stands an improved tumulus grave, like the earlier tumuli but cased in grey sandstone against which a crude brick chapel was built and enclosed in a horseshoe-shaped enclosing wall of sandstone (Ku XIX). A second stone-cased tumulus stands to the " south " of this on the edge of the " South " Wady. Beginning in front of the stone-cased tumulus Ku XIX, a row of eight square stone-cased mastabas runs from "south" to "north" right across the Main Field to the edge of the "North" Wady, Ku XIV, XIII, XI, X, IX, XXIII, VIII and VII. In front of VIII is a very small tomb, Ku XX, while a larger one, Ku XXI, lies in front of the space between VIII and VII. The type of pit and burial, and the orientation are the same in mastabas XIV, XIII, XI, X, and IX as
doi:10.2307/3853721 fatcat:amegng7uqffgnokhgmlbki65z4