Life Histories of Theban Tombs
The project Life Histories of Theban Tombs (LHTT) focuses on a group of mostly unfinished rock tombs on the hill of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna in Thebes-West (Luxor, Egypt). They were part of a cemetery built for the part of the elite that was closely related to the ruling king between 1450–1400 BCE. Their history of use extends – with long interruptions in between – from the Late Bronze Age to the early 19th century.
The cemetery is the starting point for investigations concerning landscape overbuilding, rock-cut excavation and decay, and the use of monumental burial complexes in Thebes over long periods of time. The project aims to trace the life histories of the cluster of tombs and investigate how the rock-cut tombs interacted with their natural and built environment, with institutions, people and things in the course of their history of use, and the ways in which actions and events were reflected in the materiality of the tombs.
The project is committed to an integrative research model that takes equal account of modern archaeological, historical and scientific issues and strives to apply new technologies and research methods from archaeometry, geology, geomatics, photogrammetry, anthropology, medicine and biology to Egyptian archaeology. In addition to the rapid publication of current multidisciplinary research results in journal articles, selected data sets will be made available to the professional community online.
The project ensures the professional handling of ancient objects and their sustainable conservation – which is also a priority for the Egyptian authorities – and enables the training of local specialists in archaeology and restoration.
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