1903-04 Deir el-Bahri

Type of fieldwork: 
Season summary: 

Excavations were concentrated at the south of the temple between the structure and the cliffs although the top layer was the spolia from clearing the temple. The excavation was started on the 5th November​-27th January and was focused on uncovering extant architecture associated or adjacent to the temple. 

  • part of the funerary chapel of king Mentuhotep III of the 11th Dynasty. 
  • graves from the 11th Dynasty were uncovered, which had been disturbed in antiquity. Grave goods were found.  
  • the remains of mud brick building with a plaster floor which the excavators thought might be a guard house and contained wooden figurines and vase stands.
  • an 18th Dynasty temple, which had been purposefully destroyed was uncovered.  The fragments of reliefs were displayed at the annual exhibition and distributed to museums. Other decorated fragments were stored on site to be reconstructed. Naville notes that a large amount of stone working tools such as mallets, wedges, and chisels were recovered from the site. Some fragments of sandstone pillars or pilasters were also displayed at the annual exhibition and presumably distributed. 
  • A disturbed burial from later than the 20th Dynasty which had mostly intact grave goods including models of a granary and a bakery/ brewery.
  • Artefacts recovered include: votives in ceramic, bronze and faience of cows, female figures, eyes, ears, and scarabs; bronze plaques with a roughly incised cow; blue vases with a cow decoration. Organic debris like nuts and resin. A loaf of bread. Hieratic ostraka and sketches by artists. 
  • Demotic and Coptic ostraka were found throughout the site along with unspecified Coptic material. 



Relevant archive holdings: 
London, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Archive Documents

Distribution Notes: 

The model of the bakery/brewery is in the British Museum, along with parts of the female mummy found in the grave, and other objects from the tomb. The model of the granary went to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. 

Relevant publications: 

Catalogue of Egyptian antiquities : found by Prof. Flinders Petrie at Ehnasya, Dr. Naville & Mr Hall at Deir el Bahri and Drs Grenfell & Hunt at Oxyrhynchus (Egypt Exploration Fund), Mr Loat at Gurob and drawings from tombs at Saqqara by Misses Murray, Hansard & Mothersole (Egyptian Research Account), 1904 ; exhibited at University College, London, July 4th to 30th. 1904. London.

Naville, Edouard and H. R. Hall, 1904. Excavations at Deir el-Bahri. Archaeological Report (Egypt Exploration Fund)(1903-1904), 1-12.

Additional archive material: 
London, Lucy Gura Archive, Egypt Exploration Society; Oxford, Griffith Institute, University of Oxford
Related excavations: 
Distribution destinations: