The causeway leading to the tomb of Sarenput I, the first Middle Kingdom ruler of Elephantine, present-day Aswan, during the reign of King Senusert I of the 12th dynasty (1991 – 1878BC), has been newly unearthed, as Mahmoud Afifi, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, announced.
The ascending causeway was discovered by the British mission from Birmingham University jointly with the Egypt Exploration Society, at Aswan’s Qubbet al-Hawa necropolis.
Excavation works in this region started at the hands of British archaeologists in 1885, Mr Afifi said, but no one had succeeded in unearthing the causeway.
The mission also unearthed a collection of clay containers or pots inside a hollow within the causeway, which archaeologists believe were later used for mummification purposes.
According to Nasr Salama, general-manager of Antiquities of Nubia and Aswan, the newly discovered causeway is considered the longest ever found on the west bank of the Nile in Aswan, stretching 133 metres. It was built by order from Sarenput I to connect his tomb to the Nile bank.
“The causeway is decorated with reliefs,” Mr Salama added, “the most important of which are found on the eastern part of the northern wall and depicts three men pulling a bull.”
The mission’s field director Martin Yumath says he was very enthusiastic about the discovery, describing it as a wonderful success that could change the archaeological features of Qubbet al-Hawa that have been know for centuries. “The mission will conduct studies on this causeway to unearth more secrets about the region which includes tombs of princes and rulers from the Middle Kingdom.”
8 November 2016