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Saturday, June 2 • 4:00pm - 4:30pm
(Architecture) From Blocks to tomb-chapels: Documentation and Reconstruction of 246 stone blocks for display in the Grand Egyptian museum

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The Grand Egyptian Museum-Conservation Center (GEM-CC) will host the conservation and reconstruction of the Nilometer’s blocks. The research follows a values-based methodology where the archaeological, historic, artistic values and significance of the blocks guide the conservation and the reconstruction decisions. An impressive number of blocks—about 246—might belong to several tomb-chapels from the Late-Period. Other blocks have been excluded from the present study, since they date to other periods, and their provenance are likely different than the majority of the blocks. Since their discovery in the 1930s, the current location and most of the contents of the blocks reused in the substructure of the Nilometer at Roda Island have become obscured for the Egyptologists. After thorough research, it is quite certain that they came from the Nilometer at Roda Island. They had been reused in the substructure of the Nilometer and discovered during the restoration work, which took place from December 1934 till July 1939 by the Ministry of Public Works under the supervision of Kamel Osman Ghaleb Bey. 
The importance of the research is the primary study that confirms the blocks are from six tomb-chapels that date back to the Twenty Six Dynasty. The blocks still have the remains of pigments; blocks have a depiction of texts and vignettes from parts of the book of the dead. This depiction is considered one of the rare depictions from ancient Egypt, not present in other tombs, particularly late period tombs. It will be considered a research guide for those studying this time of ancient Egypt civilization. Complete documentation of the blocks starting from photographic documentation to digital drawings were made,  recording all details and information to make a new register. Digital drawings made to complete the missing parts of the stone depend on completing the depictions. 
The second part focus on investigation and analysis of the blocks which will make to identify the composition of the stone and the pigments to identify the source of the stone and type of color used at this time. The analysis will depend on the X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) to trace elements to determine the elemental composition of the stone. Also Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is able to distinguish the texture of the stones. The reconstruction of the depictions depend on studies to reconstruct the scenes and texts, using the book of the dead as a reference, which includes the complete scenes. Through this, using facsimiles and translation of the texts of the complete scenes in comparison with the location of similar texts and vignettes in royal and private tombs, the original position of the blocks could be to a great extent reconstructed, which will allow for a proper and comprehensive museological display of the blocks in their original context, going as far as the complete reconstruction of parts of the tomb-chapels. 


Nassef Elsayed Abd Elwahed

Director of the Archaeological Selection Unit, Grand Egyptian Museum
Director of the archaeological selection unit of the Grand Egyptian museum Previous positions: archaeological inspector in Qalyoubia antiquities zone 1992-2011 Member of the Archaeological unit of the Grand Egyptian museum 2011-2012Training courses: site management 2006 Comprehensive... Read More →

Saturday June 2, 2018 4:00pm - 4:30pm MDT
Texas Ballroom C Marriott Marquis Houston
  6. Specialty Session, Architecture