1902-03 el-Hibeh

Type of fieldwork: 
Season summary: 

The excavations were sponsored by the Graeco-Roman branch and thus were concerned with recovering papyri from the Graeco-Roman period rather than objects or material from different time periods.

The intent at the start of the season was to finish the last seasons excavation of tombs. At the base of the north wall of the town the excavators uncovered Ptolemaic tombs which had been looted in antiquity, although some papyrus cartonnage was recovered. One intact tomb contained 20 mummies, 14 of which had cartonnage. Further from the north wall, Ptolemaic sarcophagi were recovered as well as two Roman mummy portraits. 

Outside the east side of the town wall was a mud brick building containing inscribed statuette bases along with a wooden statuette of Isis. This structure lay over a 2.5 m deep shaft with rock-cut chambers. This tomb contained wooden and limestone sarcophagi, canopic jars, shabtis, a bronze statuette of Osiris, and small blue beads which decorated the mummies.

The east and south sides of the town were explored, with the excavators noting numerous burials but no papyri. They did recover an elaborately decorated mummy which was retained by the Cairo Museum. 



Relevant archive holdings: 
London, Lucy Gura Archive, Egypt Exploration Society
Distribution Notes: 

One of the mummy portraits was distributed to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo while the other went to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. In the shaft tomb two highly decorated wooden sarcophagi were retained with one example staying in Cairo and the other going to the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique.

Relevant publications: 

Catalogue of Egyptian antiquities : found by Prof. Flinders Petrie at Abydos and Drs Grenfell and Hunt at El Hibeh, Oxyrhynchus, &c. (Egypt Exploration Fund) and drawings from the Osireion (Egyptian Research Account), 1903 ; exhibited at University College, Gower Street, London, July 1st to 25th. London, 1903.

Grenfell, Bernard P. and Arthur S. Hunt 1903. Graeco-Roman branch. Excavations at Hibeh, Cynopolis and Oxyrhynchus. Archaeological Report (Egypt Exploration Fund) (1902-1903), 1-9.

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