Monday, February 20, 2017

Short Story: The NMEC Opens in Cairo

Model of a weaving workshop
A temporary exhibition on the development of Egyptian crafts through the ages is marking the soft opening of the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Overlooking the Ain Al-Sira Lake in the heart of Egypt’s first Islamic capital of Al-Fustat stands the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) with its pyramid-shaped roof. After six years of delay due to budgetary constraints in the aftermath of the 25 January Revolution, the NMEC was partially inaugurated this week with the opening of a temporary exhibition relating the history and development of Egyptian crafts through the ages.

As Al-Ahram Weekly went to press Prime Minister Sherif Ismail was scheduled to officially inaugurate the exhibition along with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany. Although the work at the NMEC has been proceeding according to the schedule drawn up with UNESCO in 2002 when the foundation stone was laid, construction was put on hold after the revolution.

The museum was originally to be opened in July 2011. Owing to the revolution and funding problems, the opening was delayed. Over the past six years work proceeded slowly, but by 2014 all the construction work had been completed, including the galleries, corridors and exhibition sections as well as labs and storage galleries. Despite still showing some concrete underlay, the building’s floors and staircases are now encased in grey marble and the lighting and security systems all installed.

 A crescent necklace
However, budgetary issues have still prevented the total completion of the museum and its opening to the public. To overcome such obstacles, El-Enany suggested creating a temporary exhibition hall to put on show some of the museum’s planned exhibits to encourage tourism to the NMEC and provide the required funds to open the whole museum.

Over the last six months work on the two levels hosting the temporary exhibition “Egypt’s Crafts through the Ages” has been at full swing to meet the opening deadline. Workers have been organising artefacts inside showcases, while others have been inserting graphics on the theme of the exhibition design. Curators have been fixing labels on each display.

“I am very happy and proud to say that a part of my dream has now come true,” El-Enany told the Weekly, referring to this week’s partial opening. He added that between 2014 and 2016 he had been honoured to have been the supervisor of the NMEC project.

“In this capacity, I have seen first-hand the hard work and dedication of the museum staff and the ministry employees in making the museum’s debut exhibition a reality and a successful one at that. I take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work,” El-Enany said, explaining that the newly opened exhibition was only a sampler of many more exciting endeavours to come.

“I hope every visitor will enjoy the exhibition and stay tuned to all of the NMEC’s future projects,” he said. The exhibition, El-Enany added, embodied what the NMEC as a museum and an institution aims to highlight: the material culture of a long-standing, diverse and advanced civilisation. It reflects both the continuity of traditions and the innovation of technologies in Egypt.

 Mabrouk and El-Enany inspecting the latest work at the exhibition hall before
 the opening
El-Enany said that the chosen crafts for the new exhibition were particularly relevant to the museum’s surrounding area, which has long been a hub of woodworking, textile production, jewellery making and pottery manufacturing. “Although the inauguration marks the opening of a single temporary exhibition to the public, the NMEC is a much larger entity than that, with rich galleries covering a plethora of themes in addition to being an extensive scientific research centre and cultural hub,” El-Enany said.

He announced that in order to celebrate the NMEC’s soft opening, the museum would offer admission to visitors free of charge beginning on 16 February and continuing through the end of the month. Photographs and videos for TV channels would be free of charge in the same period, he said.

“Craft production in Egypt has a long and rich history that over time has been continuously refined, incorporating new techniques and raw materials to create a treasure trove of exquisite masterpieces, many of which survive to this day,” Mahmoud Mabrouk, the exhibition designer, told the Weekly.

He said that the choice of crafts for the first temporary exhibition held at the NMEC boded well, with the location of the museum in Al-Fustat being known for its rich tradition of crafts. The area around the museum hosts a centuries-old pottery production community, and pottery producers and vendors line the main streets leading to the Museum.... READ MORE.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Re-Opening, Luxor: Luxor's Stoppelaëre House Transformed Into Scientific Centre For Heritage

The 1940s Stoppelaëre House  opened Last Week on Luxor’s west bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

After 12 months of restoration, Stoppelaëre House opened with a view to developing it into a cultural and scientific centre for heritage. 

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Swiss Ambassador Markus Leitner  opened the house Friday. The house is a fully restored masterpiece of 20th century architecture by Egypt's pioneer architect Hassan Fathy. 

The restoration was part of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative launched in 2008 by the Ministry of Antiquities in collaboration with the University of Basel and the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, said that Stoppelaëre House is an example of Fathy's mature approach to mud brick architecture. It was built in 1950 for Alexander Stoppelaëre after the completion of the village of New Gourna, a visionary housing project of the late 1940s. 

The restoration was funded by Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation, Madrid, and the work was carried out by the Waly Centre for Architecture and Heritagein Cairo with a team of local craftsmen.

Tarek Waly, one of the leading heritage architects working in Egypt, worked with Fathy for many years and has a deep understanding of his aims and intentions. Great attention has been paid to preserving the building while also making it serve a new function as a state of the art 3D scanning, archiving and training centre.

Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation, explained that the new centre at Stoppelaëre House will bring 3D scanning technologies (including medium/long range survey scanning, close range high-resolution surface scanning, composite photography and high-resolution photogrammetry) to Luxor. High-resolution recording and documentation provides a cost effective solution for heritage documentation that will benefit the local community.

He pointed out that in 2016, Factum Foundation began training local operators under the supervision of Aliaa Ismail, a specialist in architecture and Egyptology, who will run the centre. “The first two local operators are already fully trained and as the centre becomes fully equipped, the number of people receiving training in data recording, processing and archiving will increase,” Lowe said.

He added that the restoration of Stoppelaëre House and the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative Training Centre are one of the central elements of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative (TNPI), a project initiated in 2008. The TNPI gained prominence in 2014 for installing an exact facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamun on the site near Howard Carter´s house.

Lowe continued that high-resolution recording and documentation are transforming the ways in which we protect, monitor, study and communicate the importance of vulnerable cultural heritage sites like the Valley of the Kings.

Now the initiative is focused on the tomb of King Seti I. Upon the discovery of the tomb 200 years ago by the explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni, a facsimile was made of the tomb’s wall to put them on show in London. Regretfully, Belzoni’s facsimile was made by casting the walls, which caused significant damage to the tomb. Belzoni and others also removed sections of the tomb that are now in international museums and collections around the world.

Stoppelaëre House become the symbol of a new approach, whereby such scattered fragments are analysed and reintegrated into a whole by way of new technologies. During 2017 there will be a significant transfer of skills and technology in order to facilitate the recording of sites in and around Luxor.

Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, describes the training programme as a fantastic idea. “It will provide Egyptians with the most up-to-date technologies that will allow them to preserve and document their cultural heritage accurately and completely. This shows how international cooperation can further the preservation of heritage, not just for Egypt, but for the world," she said.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Our Exhibtion Abroad, Swiss: Zurich hosts Egyptian Sunken Secret Exhibition for The First Time

After its successful tour in Paris and London, Osiris Egyptian Sunken Secrets Exhibition was hosted by Rietberg Museum in the Swiss city of Zurich between 10 February and 12 July. 

In a big press conference that was covered by a number of local and international media outlets, the Egypt Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, provided information about the importance of the exhibited pieces that tells the mythical story of Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of rebirth, and were found in the old cities of Thonis-Heracleion, Canopus, Abo Qeir, and Alexandria eastern port.

“The exhibition hosts 319 relics that were found below the Egyptian coasts, starting from the 2000s and going back to the Pharaonic, Roman, and Greek eras,” Elham Salah Al-Din, head of the museum sector in the Ministry of Antiquities, said. The relics were chosen from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Graeco-Roman Museum, the Alexandria National Museum, and the Bibliotheca Alexandria Museum. The process of hosting such rare pieces is not an easy task.

“The exhibition has been held many times before in many countries around the world. We never deal with individuals, we always communicate with authentic governmental institutions which provide some offers for receiving the relics. We always deal with reliable insurance and packaging companies. The relics must be shipped on EgyptAir flights to guarantee their security,” she added.

According to, the exhibition features some outstanding exhibits, such as the colossal statue of Hapy, the personification of the inundation of the Nile, which is more than five meters tall; the life-sized sculpture of the sacred Apis bull; the shrine with the oldest Egyptian calendar; and the statue of Queen Arsinoe II, that testifies to unique sculptural skills.

The exhibition is open for visitors from all nationalities for six months. An official from the Ministry of Antiquities must accompany the relics in exhibition for the whole scheduled period. “Foreigners are obsessed with Egypt’s ancient era and when we announce holding any Egyptian exhibition in any country, we usually receive a lot of attention and positive feedback. This can be a great way for reviving the tourism sector in Egypt again and attracting bigger numbers of tourists,” she added.

In her opinion, this exhibition would benefit Egypt on many different political, educational, cultural, and economic levels. “The exhibition is not only a good source of income, it also introduces Egypt’s name and civilisation to people in many different countries and sends an important message about the stability and security of Egypt’s current circumstances. It also builds strong connections between Egypt and the major countries where people study Egypt’s ancient history in their educational curriculum,” she explained... READ MORE.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

News, Cairo: UNESCO Director General Visits Cairo's Newly Restored Museum of Islamic Art

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Tuesday evening, to tour the newly restored and re-opened facility. Ahram Online.

Accompanied by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Bokova extended her 45-minute planned tour to 90 minutes to see the work which went into restoring the museum, which was badly damaged by a car bomb explosion in 2014 that targetted the adjacent Cairo Governorate Police Security Directorate.

El-Enany said that Bokova’s visit to Egypt and the MIA serves as a message to the world that it's time to visit Egypt, which he said has stood firm in the fight against terrorism. “The reopening of MIA embodies Egypt’s success in opposing terrorism and violence,” the minister said.

Bokova described the restoration work as “great” and said it "succeeded in returning the MIA to its original allure." “The work also shows dedicated international cooperation to rescue one of Egypt’s distinguished monuments,” Bokova added.

UNESCO, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Switzerland as well as other international museums, institutes and NGOs contributed to the museum's restoration.

“The MIA is an emblem of Islam and its contributions to history, culture, science, art and medicine,” Bokova said. Bokova gifted the MIA library with a series of seven books about the history of Islam and its historical contributions. 

The series, published in English, was compiled by UNESCO over the last 40 years. Bokova and El-Enany are set to open Wednesday evening the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

News, Cairo: National Museum of Egyptian Civilization Opens Temporary Exhibit, Free Admission

The museum's soft-opening will showcase "Crafts and Industries through the Ages" in Egypt, offering free admission 16-28 February. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Under the name "Crafts and Industries through the Ages" the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) is set to open its first temporary exhibition Wednesday evening, showcasing the history of four crafts in Egypt: clay, jewellery, textiles and wood. The opening will be attended by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

On a tour of the exhibition Monday, Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Ahram Online that to celebrate the NMEC's soft opening the museum will offer free admission from 16 through 28 February. Mahmoud Mabrouk, the exhibition's designer, said the museum will showcase a collection of 400 artefacts selected from Cairo's Egyptian Museum, Coptic Museum, Museum of Islamic Civilization and Al-Manial Palace Museum, as well as Alexandria's Jewellery Museum and NMEC storage.

Final preparations for Wednesday's opening are currently underway. "The exhibition will bring to life the continuation and development of ancient crafts into modern times through graphics, multimedia electronic guides and a documentary screening," Mabrouk said.

The most important artefacts, Mabrouk said, will be a collection of prehistoric clay pots, the royal chair of Hetep-Heres, mother of King Khufu, and a small ancient Egyptian stool carved from 120 wooden pieces. A Qabbati robe textile and set of Islamic doors decorated with foliage and geometric designs with ivory are also among the distinguished items to be displayed, along with jewellery from Siwa, Nubia, Upper and Lower Egypt.

Saeed Mahrous, NMEC Supervisor-General told Ahram Online "This exhibition is a step toward the NMEC’s third and final stage along the road to opening; it includes the museum’s 23,000 square metre exhibition hall.” “The exhibition will be organised by the chronology and geography of the artefacts,” Saeed added.

Plans to create the NMEC began in 1982 and construction finished in 2009. In 2000 a location on Lake Ain Al-Sira in Fustat was selected and in 2002 the large, square foundation stone — the platform of the building's stylised pyramid design — was installed.

When it opens fully to the public, the museum will display a collection of 50,000 artefacts from different eras in Egyptian history from the pre-dynastic through the modern age. The site houses a number of high-tech storage galleries, as well as a state-of-the-art security system, much like its counterparts the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Our Treasures Abroad, Brussels: 35,000 Year-Old Axe to Return to Egypt After Studies

The Returned Axe From Belgium
The Louvain University in Belgium handed over a 35,000 year-old axe to the Egyptian Embassy in Brussels after studies. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

After the completion of archaeological and scientific studies, the Louvein University in Belgium handed over a 35,000 year-old axe to the Egyptian Embassy in Brussels. The axe will arrive in Egypt within days.

Shaaban Abdel Gawad, the supervisor-general of Antiquities Repatriation Department, said the axe is carved in stone and was discovered by the Louvain mission along with a human skeleton in Nazlet Khater archaeological site in Sohag in Upper Egypt.

The Luvein mission took both the skeleton and the axe to Belgium for studies. The skeleton returned to Egypt in August 2015. Abdel Gawad said that the axe is one of the oldest skeletons ever found in Egypt.

It goes back to the Old archaic era around 35,000 years ago. It also shows the development of human species that lived in Egypt throughout different eras. 

Abdel Gawad suggested that the skeleton and the axe be put on show at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat.

Friday, February 10, 2017

News, Giza: Encroachments Removed From Dahshur Necropolis Site - Ministry

Bulldozers from a neighbouring quarry had entered the Dahshur necropolis site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

After two days of violations, the Dahshour necropolis, where the both pyramids of King Senefru are located, has been restored to its former state.

Alaa El-Shahat, head of the Administrative Centre for Antiquities in Cairo and Giza, told Ahram Online that in collaboration with the Tourism and Antiquities Police, Cairo Governorate, the army forces and General Security, the Ministry of Antiquities has succeeded in removing all recent encroachments made on the archaeological site and its safe zone.

Three days ago, El-Shahat said, bulldozers from a neighbouring quarry entered the Dahshur necropolis site, which is located around 40km south of Cairo.

The ministry has removed the encroachments and the police have caught the criminals who violated the archaeological sites.

The ministry, he continued, will also build a long wall to separate the archaeological site from the neighbouring quarry as well as establishing a small security unit of the Tourism and Antiquities Police in the area adjacent to the quarry in order to prohibit any future encroachment onto the site.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Discovery, Nile Delta: Monumental' Building Complex Discovered at Qantir in Egypt's Nile Delta

A mortar pit with children's footprints still preserved was also uncovered at the site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

At the ancient city of Piramesse, which was Egypt's capital during the reign of the King Ramses II, an excavation team from the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim in Germany has uncovered parts of a building complex as well as a mortar pit with children’s footprints.

The head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at Egypt’s antiquities ministry, Mahmoud Afifi, describes the newly discovered building complex as "truly monumental," covering about 200 by 160 metres. The layout suggests the complex was likely a palace or a temple, Afifi told Ahram Online.

The mission director, Henning Franzmeier, explained magnetic measurements were carried out last year in order to determine the structure of the ancient city, and through those measurements the building complex was located.

The site of excavation had been chosen, he explained, not just because of its archaeological potential but because of its proximity to the edges of the modern village of Qantir, which is endangering the nearby antiquities under its fields due to rapid expansion.

Franzmeier told Ahram Online that the team has also uncovered an area of about 200 square metres in its excavations. 

It is the goal of this work to locate a potential entrance to the monumental building, which seems not to be located as is typical in the axis of the complex, but rather in its north-western corner. Furthermore a second small trench was laid out in an area where the excavators believe the enclosure wall can be traced.

"The finds and archaeological features uncovered are most promising," he said, adding that just a couple of centimetres beneath the surface a multitude of walls was uncovered, all dating to the Pharaonic period. Due to the limited size of the trenches no buildings can be reconstructed so far. 

Nonetheless it is obvious that the stratigraphy is extremely dense and several construction phases are preserved, and not all the walls are contemporaneous.

The team has also found a mortar pit extending to at least 2.5 by 8 metres. At the bottom, a layer of mortar was uncovered, in which children’s footprints have been preserved. Even more extraordinary is the filling of the pit, consisting of smashed pieces of painted wall plaster. 

"No motifs are recognisable so far but we are certainly dealing with the remains of large-scale multi-coloured wall paintings," said Franzmeier.

The team fragments have been cleaned in situ and subsequently removed. A comprehensive excavation of all fragments followed by permanent conservation and the reconstruction of motifs will be the subject of future seasons.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Recovered Artifacts, UK: Two More Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Recovered from London

Two ancient Egyptian pieces carved in glass were handed over to Egypt’s embassy in London. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

one of the recovered objects/ photo courtesy of 
the ministry of antiquities
Two ancient Egyptian artifacts carved in glass were recovered on Thursday after being handed over to the Egyptian embassy in London. Both objects were stolen and illegally smuggled out of the country. Shaaban Abdel Gawad, the supervisor-general of the Antiquities Repatriation department, said that both artifacts depict human faces.

The first one was stolen from the storehouses of Al-Qantara East city, after being damaged and looted amid the security vacuum following the January 2011 Revolution.

The second, he said, was stolen from the El-Sheikh Ebada site in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya. With the return of these two objects, Abdel Gawad told Ahram Online, Egypt has in total recently recovered four items.

He continued to explain that the first was a limestone relief that was stolen from Queen Hatshepsut’s temple in El-Deir El-Bahari in Luxor. It was chopped off a wall and illegally smuggled out of the country.

The relief was stolen from the temple in 1975 and resurfaced earlier this month at a small auction hall in Spain, where it was bought by a British antiquities dealer. Two months ago the relief was recovered. The second was an ushabti figurine from Qubet Al-Hawa necropolis store gallery in Aswan and was handed over to the Egyptian embassy in London two days ago.

Monday, February 6, 2017

News, Giza: Work on Giza Plateau Development Project in Full Swing - Antiquities Minister

The Giza Plateau development project is to be partly inaugurated end February. Written By/Nevine El-Aref.

Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany toured on Thursday work on the Giza Plateau Development Project and said that the plateau’s administrative building would be ready for inauguration very soon.

The minister said that work on the plateau is in full swing, and that the site looks entirely different from how it did two months prior. El-Enany called for information boards to be erected at the site’s ticketing area to serve as a guide for visitors.

Ashraf Mohi, Director-General of Giza Plateau, told Ahram Online that progress on at the site includes the completion of the administration building and the visitor centre. The foundation, pillars and ceiling of the students’ building have also been installed.

The purpose of the students’ building, Mohi said, would be to educate youth on archaeological work, and especially the excavation process. It is also intended to raise visitors’ awareness and understanding of Egyptian heritage.

Mohi said the plateau development project aims to improve security measures to make the site more tourist friendly. The project started in 2009 but was put on hold in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution for lack of funding. Work on the project resumed late last year.

Mohi said that state-of-the-art security system with monitoring cameras have been installed at the site. A new lighting system to illuminate the Giza Pyramids and the plateau at night is scheduled to be installed soon.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

News, Cairo: Exhibition Commemorating Coptic 'Martyrs' Inaugurated at Coptic Museum

An exhibition on Egypt’s Coptic 'martyrs' from the early Coptic era until the present was inaugurated on Thursday at Cairo’s Coptic MuseumWritten By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Senkesar book/ Photo by Ahmed El-Nemr
Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Bishop Julius of the Old Cairo Churches inaugurated on Thursday an archaeological exhibition at the Coptic Museum titled “Egypt Martyrs."

The exhibition pays homage to Egyptian martyrs across the span of the country’s history with a focus on Copts who were killed during the period of religious persecution by the Romans in the early Christian era as well as Egyptians (whether Christian or Muslims) killed in terrorist attacks in recent years. The exhibition spans up until the most recent deadly sectarian attack against Christians in December 2016 at the St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Cairo, which killed 28 Copts.

Ahmed El-Nemr, the supervisor general of the Coptic Antiquities Documentation Department, told Ahram Online that the exhibition put on show ten artifacts carefully selected from the museum’s treasured collection and banners displaying martyrs. The artifacts, he pointed out, include three icons, a relief, a copy of Al-Senkesar (a book commemorating the life of Coptic Saints) as well as glass and clay oil chandeliers.
Source: Ahram Online 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Short Story: Aswan Discoveries

New discoveries in the Gabal Al-Silsila area of Aswan have changed perceptions of this ancient Egyptian quarry. Written By/ Nevne El-Aref.

Gabal Al-Silsila in Aswan is well known as an ancient Egyptian quarry where stones were cut to build temples, shrines and tombs. However, new discoveries by a Swedish archaeological mission on its northern side have now changed previous theories of how it operated.

“Gabal Al-Silsila was actually a major hub of commerce, worship and possibly political activities,” John Ward, assistant director of the mission, said. He added that the new discoveries had also revealed the health of the area’s inhabitants.

Two weeks ago, an Egyptian-Swedish archaeological mission from Lund University in Sweden stumbled upon a group of 12 rock-hewn tombs from the reign of New Kingdom pharaohs Amenhotep II and Thutmose III, as well as three crypts cut into the rock, two niches possibly used for offerings, one tomb containing multiple animal burials, and three individual infant burials along with other associated materials.

Maria Nilsson, head of the mission, said that the majority of the tombs excavated so far, with the main exception of the two infant burials, had been plundered in antiquity and left without further disturbance covered by up to three metres of Nile silt, sand, and fallen quarry spoil and debris.

“These readily identifiable stratifications have given us a wealth of information with regards not only to the manner in which the spoil and silt have been deposited, but also provided a rudimentary chronological overview for the area,” Nilsson said. She explained that the individual tombs excavated so far had revealed multiple burials within the same chamber or crypt. This suggests the tombs could have belonged to a complete family and individuals of varying ages and sex.

“In addition, the newly discovered infant burials present another aspect to the cemetery, clearly indicating family life at Al-Silsila,” Nilsson pointed out. She added that three different styles of burials had been documented so far, including a rock-hewn crypt, a shallow grave covered with stone, and one infant wrapped in textile placed within a wooden coffin.

Two of the three children were placed within the overhangs of the natural sandstone bluffs. They were placed on their side, oriented in either a north-south direction, face towards the east, or alternatively an east-west direction, and facing north. Amulets depicting the figure of the god Bes, necklaces, ceramic vessels, worked flint and coloured pebbles were also found within the graves....... READ MORE.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

New Discovery, Luxor: Tomb of Ramesside-Era Royal Scribe Uncovered in Luxor

A Japanese mission from Waseda University discovered a private tomb in the Theban necropolis in Luxor, Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the antiquities ministry's Ancient Egypt Department, said on Tuesday. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Photo: Courtesy of Waseda University
Afifi says that the tomb, located at the El-Khokha area on the west bank of the Nile, is beautifully decorated and likely dates to the Ramesside period, based on its style. Early inspection of the tomb suggests that it belonged to a royal scribe named Khonsu .

Jiro Kondo, the head of the Japanese mission, told Ahram Online that the tomb was discovered while excavators were cleaning the area to the east of the forecourt of the tomb of Userhat, a high official under king Amenhotep III. He added that the team aslso stumbled upon a hole hewn connected to the south wall of the transverse hall of the previously unknown tomb of Khonsu. The tomb is built on a T-shape on an east-west axis, with the main entrance, currently covered in debris, facing the east.

The tomb measures approximately 4.6m in length from the entrance to the rear wall of the inner chamber, while the transverse hall measures approximately 5.5 m in width.

Decoration scene & The scene of the baboons
Kondo explains that on the north wall of the entrance doorway, a scene shows the solar boat of the god Ra-Atum being worshipped by four baboons in a pose of adoration.

On the adjacent wall, hieroglyphic texts are inscribed vertically describing Khonsu as a “true renowned scribe.” On the southern part of the eastern wall in the transverse hall, Khonsu and his wife worship the gods Osiris and Isis in a kiosk, behind which is a depiction of the two ram-headed deity, likely Khnum or Khnum-Re.

On the upper register of the northern part of the tomb, there are carved seated figures of Osiris and Isis, though the upper parts of their bodies are broken. On the lower register, a portion of the paintings shows the followers of the tomb owners. "Regretfully, most of the wall paintings on the western wall of the transverse hall are no longer there," says Kondo.

Hani Abul Azm, the head of the Central Administration for Upper Egyptian Antiquities, says that the wall where the hole hewn is found hold vertical inscriptions at the top. The name and title of tomb's owner are identified. The frieze pattern near the ceiling shows a typical khekher-frize of the Ramesside period.

The ceiling decorations are better preserved than the wall paintings, while more images may be discovered in the inner chamber once the debris is cleared.