Afterlife on the Nile

Digs & Discoveries July/August 2017

(Photo: Patricia Mora, © University of Jaén)

The intact tomb of a member of a powerful Egyptian family, dating to the nineteenth century B.C., has been discovered by the Spanish Archaeological Mission at Qubbet el-Hawa, across the Nile from Aswan. The burial’s outer coffin is severely damaged, most likely by termites, but the inner coffin is in fine condition. Made of Lebanese cedar, it bears the name of the deceased—Shemai—as well as those of his mother and father. Both Shemai’s father, Khema, and his eldest brother, Sarenput II, served as regional governors during Egypt’s 12th Dynasty.

The tomb also contains six wooden models representing scenes of daily life and wooden boats thought to have been involved in the funerary trip of the deceased. “This kind of discovery is uncommon in Egyptian archaeology today,” says Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano of the University of Jaén. “We have been able to record and document the whole funerary structure.”

  • Artifacts July/August 2017

    Rosary Bead

    Read Article
  • Around the World July/August 2017


    Read Article
    (Courtesy Jessie Garland, Underground Overground Archaeology)
  • Digs & Discoveries July/August 2017


    Read Article
    (Courtesy Jersey Heritage)
  • Features July/August 2017

    Egypt’s Final Redoubt in Canaan

    The fiery end of the last Egyptian colony

    Read Article
    (Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource, NY)