Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dig Diary: Malqata


The Malqata excavation is now underway at Luxor, and a dig diary with plenty of photographs can be found at the above address.

Other tabs show information about the site, including its history. Here's a short expert:

While the tombs of the pharaohs from the pyramids of the Old Kingdom to the Valley of the Kings are familiar the world over, the settings in which the kings of ancient Egypt lived and ruled are comparatively little known. One of the two royal cities from Ancient Egyptian times is at Malqata in western Thebes. It was built by the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned for thirty-eight or thirty-nine years from about 1390-1352 B.C. Located on the sandy edge of the cultivation at the southern end of the Theban necropolis, the site today is marked only by low mud brick ruins and the great mounds that border the huge harbor known as the Birket Habu, also built by Amenhotep III.

One of the most significant urban sites surviving from ancient Egypt, Malqata was established by Amenhotep III in the 30th year of his reign (about 1360 B.C.) when he celebrated his first heb-sed, a royal jubilee intended in part to rejuvinate the king. The great palace city was constructed to the south of the large funerary temple the king was building for himself. In all, Amenhotep celebrated three sed-festivals: in year 30, year 34, and year 37 of his reign. After his death , the palace city was largely abandonned.

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