Sunday, February 26, 2006

Translating the Assassif Tomb article

Bob Wickland has moved up in my estimation from "good guy" to "all out hero" for re-translating the Italian article about the new tomb found by Francisco Tiradritti near Deir el Bahri, which tied me up in such knots. It took him an age to translate the article, so sincere thanks. Here's what Bob wrote, with his own comments in squared brackets:

Your bullet points are about right except that the article doesn't say anywhere that the tomb "contained one internment"
Here goes my attempt:
It deals with the tomb of Wahibra-neb-pehty, a priest contemporary with Harwa. It's entrance is by the east side of the entrance portico of the very monumental tomb of Harwa and the scholars had to remove a considerable quantity of debris to enter it. In the process of which they found evidence of the activities of tomb robbers. Thus came to light the wall that had sealed the tomb, in part already removed by the robbers. And beyond was a short corridor giving onto a room with diagonal walls , (one of which) uniquely formed a common wall the the earlier(constructed) well known tomb of Kheruef. Inside was the first great discovery after millennia of oblivion: the remains of a decoration [relief?,painting?,sculpture?] with the complete figure of a sacred calf and the posterior part of a bull which precede it [I think this is the key part: a bull not a cow]. A substitution of great importance for a greater understanding of the rich mythological pantheon of Ancient Egypt. In addition a preliminary analysis of the plastered ceiling of the entrance [here I'm not sure if 'soffitto dell'entrato' simply means that or more specifically what we would call the soffit of the doorway] - [painted] plaster of a curiously floral character (similar decoration is scarcely attested in the entire history of Egypt). It was possible to ascertain that the very beautiful fragment of ceiling with a lotus flower and papyrus plant found in the courtyard of the tomb of Harwa had it's origin in the new(ly found) tomb. At the end of the exploration of the entire funerary complex were found two funerary masks of painted wood. Dating from the early Ptolemaic period (IV-III centuries B.C.) and made in the "Phoenician" style (so-called because the the form of the eyes, which resemble the faces of Phoenician statues and masks) they constitute the first true examples of the passage from the classic "hieratic" mask style (used from the first dynasties) to the "anthromorphic" (style) which reproduced the appearance in life of the face of the dead exemplified by the Fayum portraits of the Greco-Roman period.

Thanks again Bob. MUCH apreciated.

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