the cemetery of tuna el-gebel

in central Egypt

With its diverse tomb buildings made of mud bricks and local shell limestone, the cemetery on the edge of the desert provides a unique view of a burial culture between the Orient and the Occident. Already the first graves to be built around 300 v. The influence of the new Greek rulers on the Nile is apparent. After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander d. Gr. and the founding of the new capital Alexandria, the cultural identity also changed in the 500 km southern Nile valley. Another cut came at the turn of the century, when the Romans took possession of the land.

The result of a geophysical prospection of a DFG project funded since 2004 is the largest known graveyard of this epoch in Egypt, from which only about 10% of the area was excavated. Since 2018 excavations have been carried out in this area under the direction of Katja Lembke. The aim is to obtain in-depth information on the cult of the dead, which was of great importance for the Egyptians, but secured a "beautiful burial" after life after death. There is hardly another place in Egypt where the change in cultural identity from the dynastic period to Alexander d. Gr. to understand so well in the Roman Empire.

In addition, 2012 initiated a »field school« for restorers in cooperation with Minya University and HAWK Hildesheim (Prof. Dr. Nicole Riedl), initially funded by the DAAD, since 2015 by the Volkswagen Foundation.

The results of the research of the cemetery of Tuna el-Gebel are regularly on the homepage updated.