Presentation Title

Photo of Francisco Martin Valentin The 'Instituto de Estudios del Antiguo Egipto' (I.E.A.E.) is a non-profit scientific institution, established in Madrid in June 1997, devoted to the investigation, preservation, conservation and divulgation of the Ancient Egypt heritage.

In pursuance of one of the main aims for which it was founded, the I.E.A.E. has been particularly involved, since its beginning, in the tasks of conservation of the archaeological heritage of the Ancient Egypt cultures.

In the development of these tasks, the I.E.A.E. has conceived, subject to the invitation of the competent authorities, the elaboration of a project of adaptation and presentation of one of the most outstanding monument amongst the private tombs located in the necropolis of the ancient city of Thebes (Luxor).

We are talking about the TT 353, one of the two monuments that the chief architect of Queen Hatshepsut (1473 - 1458 b.C.) made himself excavate.

Discovered by Herbert Winlock in January 1927, and located in the outer part of the northeastern corner of Queen Hatshepsut's temple in Deir el Bahari, the hypogeum was thoroughly cleaned-up and published by Peter Dorman in 1991.

The monument has values of extreme archaeological importance, not only for its present-day excellent condition of conservation, but for being the evidence of one of the most important monuments of the Egyptian history during the New Empire.

At the same time, it results exceptionally important the extraordinary 'Astronomical Ceiling' that the chief architect made himself draw in the upper facing of the modern Chamber A of the hypogeum.

The project prepared by the I.E.A.E. relative to this emblematic monument, starting from the suggestions made by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, involves fitting out the monument in order to make compatible the visit of the public with its adequate preservation; and all this by means of the adoption of the necessary measures and the installation of the necessary technical elements.

At the same time, and due to the small size of the only chamber that can be visited (Chamber A of Dorman), to proceed to the installation in the outer area of a module of didactic purposes, with a room of photogrammetric reproduction of the astronomical ceiling and of the facings with hieroglyphic texts, in a greater scale than the natural one, and with an admittance capacity of 20 visitors per explanation shift.

Also, it is imperative the execution of the necessary works of cleaning and fitting-out of the area where the services hut and the didactic room will be raised, what will mean a detailed archaeological work to document, conserve and publish the possible findings that could come out in the zone near to the present entrance of the hypogeum and its surroundings.

The execution of this project tries to conciliate the conservation and preservation of this treasure of the Egyptian funerary architecture of the XVIII Dynasty with the possibility that the monument can be visited by the interested public, with the due guarantees of protection; that would require the development of a noticeable technical and human sponsoring effort that will allow us to make known the level of commitment of our country in the works of preservation of the ancient Egyptian monuments that are cultural heritage of the mankind.

I.E.A.E. Manager