Archaeological Missions

Qubbet el-Hawa

Archaeological mission at Qubbet el-Hawa (Aswan – Egypt)

Director of the mission: A. Jimenez-Serrano (University of Jaén). 

To find out more about the mission, see

About the site

Since 2008, the University of Jaén, in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, has undertaken an ambitious project in the Old Kingdom (ca. 2543-2120 BC) and Middle Kingdom (ca. 1980-1760 BC) necropolises of Qubbet el-Hawa. The First Cataract area is one of the most important archaeological and historical sites in the country for several reasons. The Aswan region was considered to be the “world’s border”, positioned between Ethiopia, the sources of the Nile and the Mediterranean world. In addition, the cemeteries of Qubbet el-Hawa have the largest collection of autobiographical inscriptions in a non-royal necropolis and the sanctuary of Heqaib at Elephantine attests to the first cult of a private person in Egyptian history. The Qubbet el-Hawa necropolises contain monumental remains from almost every period of ancient Egyptian history. The tombs of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom local rulers are located in the upper part of a mastaba-shaped hill, carved in a fine sandstone stratum. The local history of Elephantine is exceptionally well-documented with a more extensive series of known governors than other Egyptian cities due to the rare preservation of large tombs beyond the middle of the 12th Dynasty (1939-1760 BC). 

The wooden funerary equipment of these local elites, found intact or looted, is among the most carefully preserved of the period, offering a particularly rich research potential

Wood study

The study of wooden funerary objects is being carried out by various specialists. Gersande Eschenbrenner Diemer is in charge of identifying workshops and the provenance of wooden objects discovered in various tombs of the necropolis. She works in close collaboration with Oliva Rodriguez Ariza (Wood anatomist, University of Jaén) and Marta Dominguez Delmas (specialist in dendrochronology, University of Liege).

Medjehu members involved: 

Gersande Eschenbrenner Diemer, Egyptologist/Wood anatomist

Connected projects:

Studying wood networks and craft in the First Cataract area.