New Article

A new article by Bart Vanthuyne has just appeared:

B. Vanthuyne, “Early Old Kingdom rock circle cemeteries in Deir el-Bersha and Deir Abu Hinnis”, in: M.D. Adams, B. Midant-Reynes, E.M. Ryan and Y. Tristant (Eds.), Egypt at its Origins 4. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference “Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt", New York, 26th-30th July 2011, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 252 (Leuven, 2016), 427-459.

Since 2002 the Deir el-Bersha Project has been investigating several cemetery and settlement sites at Deir el-Bersha and the surrounding region. In 2009 excavations started in the early Old Kingdom cemetery, located primarily on the escarpment north of the Wadi Nakhla, and this work has already yielded surprising results. The cemetery not only turned out to be very large but also contained many hundreds of burials. The methods of burial in fact continue a tradition already well established in the preceding dynasties, i.e., adults and children were interred in or under a variety of burial containers. However, new is that this container was mainly placed directly on the bedrock and surrounded and covered up by many stones and boulders, thus forming the so-called rock circle tomb. The author also discovered similar tombs in Deir Abu Hinnis, just north of Deir el-Bersha, whilst it was already known that in Nuwayrat a similar contemporary rock circle cemetery existed.

A preliminary report on the work in the rock circle cemeteries in Deir el-Bersha and Deir Abu Hinnis is presented, in which a selection of tombs is illustrated and some initial results described. Thus, it will become clear that this type of tomb was actually common in this part of Middle Egypt.